PhD Course – Global Challenges: Urbanization, Livelihoods and Food Security

When: 7th of July – 15th of August, 2014

Where: Botswana

 

The course is a mutual effort of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the University of Botswana, the EU-Africa Doctoral Student Network (DocLinks) and the African Network of Agriculture, Agroforestry, and Natural Resources Management (ANAFE).

The course will take place between July 7th and August 15th 2014. During the first two weeks, the course participants will spend time at home reviewing the literature and preparing for the course. Then between July 28th and August 8th, the students will attend the course in Botswana together with other course participants and facilitators from around the world. The course programme will include lectures, discussions and four field trips. Lastly, the time between August 9th and August 15th, the students will be expected to complete their individual written assignments to successfully complete the course.

 

URL: http://phdcourseulfs.weebly.com/

Social Simulation for Serious Games – Call for Members & Call for Papers for Special Track @ ESSA 2014

Call for Members

Special Interest Group on Social Simulation for Serious Games

http://jmlin.eu/ss4sg/

 

There is an important distinction between simulations and serious games: the latter provide abstractions and include game mechanics to entice players and let them learn or practice. Certain serious games try to ‘gamify’ social simulations, for example negotiation training systems, systems that help children cope with bullying and skills training for alcohol screening. Certain forms of serious games (e.g. role-play) also enable researchers to simulate and experiment with social situations otherwise difficult to reproduce in real life, thus allowing them to study human behaviour. This kind of gamified simulation was for example successfully used in the management of natural resources when studying the behaviour of stakeholders when faced with new fishing regulations.

 

In the SS4SG SIG, we investigate how the fields of social simulation and serious games are linked. In particular, we focus on the following topics:

  • Serious game design. Which level of abstraction is chosen for a serious game? Will it be close to a strict simulation or will it incorporate extensive metaphors? What are the factors based on which this choice is to be made? Which (serious) game mechanics are useful?
  • Modelling the social situation. Which approach captures the situation with sufficient granularity? How should a choice be made to include specific theories and models that describe the situation? For example, using a data-driven methodology, how can the steps be made from data to theory to application (and game mechanics)? For agent-based modelling, how can artificially intelligent agents be made that act according to a specified model?
  • Example implementations. Stories of success and failure: which elements in a serious game that includes social interaction turn out to be useful and which are counter-productive to the game’s goal? Which elements of social simulations can be used in the design of serious games?

 

We intend this SIG to be an active platform for discussions and information dissemination (e.g. relevant papers and events, exchanging knowledge and experience). Depending on the level of activity in the SIG and of the interests of its members, we plan to organise special tracks at future conferences, for example at (serious) game conferences such as GALA, VS-Games and ISAGA, but also at social science conferences such as ESSA and SocialCom. In addition, we are open to suggestions for other events, such as workshops or courses.

 

We welcome interested individuals from any field or level of education as we strive to take a cross-disciplinary approach to address social simulations and serious games.

 

For all queries associated with this SIG (for example wishing to join, sharing information or wanting the ability to post on our blog) please visit http://jmlin.eu/ss4sg/ or contact one of the SIG co-organisers.

 

SS4SG organiser: Jeroen Linssen (j.m.linssen@utwente.nl)

SS4SG co-organiser: Melania Borit (melania.borit@uit.no)

 

 

Call for Papers for Special Track @ ESSA 2014

http://essa2014.eu/

 

As a first possible event for SS4SG, we have been invited to submit papers related to our topic to ESSA 2014 at Barcelona, Spain, this year’s conference of the European Social Simulation Association. If at least 3 full papers get accepted, a special track on Social Simulation for Serious Games will be organised.

 

The official Call for Papers for ESSA can be found here: http://www.bsc.es/essa/essa-call-papers-april-11th. Please notify us if you intend to submit a paper to ESSA related to the topic of SS4SG.

 

Types of contributions accepted:

  • Full papers – in the length of 10 to 12 pages, should be comprehensive and consists of detailed presentation of theory, methodology and simulation results.
  • Extended abstracts – in the length of 3 to 4 pages, which presents the current topic in progress with enough detail to ensure proper evaluation and discussion, or
  • Posters – maximum allowed size A1 (smaller sizes are acceptable), should present the current work in progress. An abstract (1-2 pages) should be submitted before contributions deadline.

 

Important dates:

  • (Extended) deadline: April 11th, 2014
  • Notification of acceptance: May 15th, 2014
  • Early registration closes: May 23th, 2014
  • Final paper due: June 15th, 2014
  • Conference: September 1st-5th, 2014

 

 

Kind regards,

 

The SS4SG organisers

 

Jeroen Linssen (University of Twente, The Netherlands)

Melania Borit (University of Tromsø, Norway)

Ph.D. Course in Social Psychology and Micro-Sociology

When: 9th – 13th of June

Where: Linnæus University, Sweden

The course aims at promoting a general overview of methods, including experiments and simulation, and research questions typical of micro-sociology, social psychology, and other behaviorally oriented disciplines. It will also show how these instruments can be applied to improve our understanding of important social facets, such as social norms, social influence, collective action, and group identity.

The course is based on two lectures per day, Monday, June 9 to Friday, June 13. It will include both classroom lectures and laboratory activities. The latter ones are designed to give students a direct experience of participating in and running behavioral experiments and will present running examples of known simulation models.

URL: https://medarbetare.lnu.se/support-and-service/researchadministration/for-phd-students/interdisciplinary-courses/social-psychology-and-micro-sociology?l=en

Ph.D. Course in Mixed Models with Applications in Medicine

When: 12th – 13th June, 2014

Where: University of Southampton, Southampton

This course will focus on the application of linear mixed models for medical applications with a continuous outcome. Topics will include simple and more complex hierarchical data structure such as repeated measurements on patients within wards within hospitals, crossed and nested effects, fixed and random effects as well as random coefficient models. The course will give an introduction to the general mixed model and highlight its ability to cope with potentially nested fixed and random effects simultaneously. Data structures with repeated measures in time will also be touched upon. All models will be illustrated at hand of study data. The course will include a mixture of lectures and practical workshops using the software STATA.

The course is aimed at researchers who want to perform linear mixed model analysis and/or need to analyse hierarchically structured study data. Participants may be academic researchers in the Medical and Health or Social Sciences sector or may work within the Government, pharmaceutical industry, or other parts of the private sector.

Participants are expected to have a good working knowledge of simple statistical methods, including a basic understanding of regression and analysis of variance. No familiarity with the software STATA is required.

URL: www.southampton.ac.uk/s3ri/cpd/courses/mixed_models_with_applications_in_medicine.page

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