Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)

Simulation based Science @ UvA

To deepen our understanding of the complex systems that we study, we need to formulate quantitative and qualitative models and explore those models via computer simulation. At the IAS, we bring together researchers who work on such simulation based approaches.

Photo: Clint Adair, Unsplash

Historically, simulation based science started at the end of the second world war in the physical, chemical, and engineering sciences. Pushed forward by powerful numerical algorithms and ever increasing computational speed, it slowly penetrated other scientific domains, e.g. climate modelling, weather prediction, and the life sciences. In the last two decades, driven forward by the abundance of available data, simulation based science has found its place in literally all realms of science, including medicine, social sciences and the humanities.

Simulation based science is all about formulating computational models of phenomena that we observe and performing computer simulations in order to deepen our understanding of the systems that underpin these phenomena. The aim is to predict their future behaviour or to find adaptations that would change their behaviour in some desired way. Simulation based science is sometimes called “the third pillar of science” and complements theory and experiments. Together they underpin the scientific method and strongly interact. Theory provides the necessary framework for computational models, experiments provide the data against which the computational models need to be validated, and numerical simulations may lead to new insights and theory or new hypotheses that are tested experimentally.

Simulation based Science community @UvA

We have identified a substantial number of researchers that use various computational modelling and simulation methods, spread across all UvA faculties. At the IAS, we bring them together to exchange knowledge and develop new skills and methods. Our aim is to form an active community of Simulation based Scientists, and host weekly activities at the institute (e.g. lectures on methods and application areas, working groups on specific challenges etc).

Monthly thematic meetings

26 April 2018 Agent-based Modelling
31 May 2018 Network Science
29 June 2018 Computing beyond the desktop

Weekly SbS@UvA Club

Members of the community meet weekly on Friday afternoon in the SbS@UvA club; an informal gathering with no agenda other than a plenary one-hour session, organised by junior scientists (e.g. lectures, discussions, a journal club).

Agenda for the plenary sessions the coming weeks, Fridays at 16:00:

25 May 2018 Tolga Ozden: “Macroeconomic time series analysis using DSGE modeling”
1 June 2018 no Friday club
8 June 2018 "A coarse-grained statistical description of cell migration dynamics in blood flows"
15 June 2018 Ben Czaja: "Star formation in colliding molecular clouds" (CANCELLED)
22 June 2018 Jelle Bruineberg: "Active inference and niche construction"
29 June 2018 Ben Czaja: "Star formation in colliding molecular clouds" 


Scientific Lead

Prof. Alfons Hoekstra - Faculty of Science (Coordinator | SbS@UvA )
Prof. Cees Diks  - Faculty of Economics and Business
Prof. Antoine van Kampen - Academic Medical Centre
Prof. Han van der Maas - Faculty of  Social and Behavioural Sciences


If you want to join the Simulation-based Science community @UvA, contact us!

Published by  UvA Institute for Advanced Study

29 June 2018