Seminar: Andrew Bell - NYU, 11am

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Andrew Bell, New York University
Time of Event: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 11:00

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

Title: Mobile tools to inform agent-based models


Agent-based models (ABMs) are powerful tools for the study of complex systems, particularly when outcomes of interest at the system level (e.g., forest cover, traffic jams, or presidents) emerge from the decisions of individuals interacting with each other and their environment (e.g., farmers, drivers, or voters).  However, the capacity to represent detailed decision structure within a model introduces a major burden of data collection to inform and calibrate those decisions.  Historically, our ability to collect detailed data on decisions at large scale has been limited, but the advent of mobile information and communication technologies (ICTs) into rural areas is changing this.  I present examples from past, present, and proposed work to capture decisions at larger scales and with precision, using mobile tools to take the lab environment into the field.

About the Seminar Speaker

Andrew Bell (Ph.D. 2010, Michigan) is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University. Prior to this post he was a Research Fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC, and a post-doctoral research fellow at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. His current research portfolio focuses on the use of field instruments – such as discrete choice experiments, framed field experiments, randomized control trials – to inform behavior in agent-based models of coupled human-natural systems. 

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The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.

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Open to the Public
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