Behave summer school

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Behave summer school2020-01-20T14:40:44+00:00

BEHAVE-ESSA Summer School 2020 on “Agent-Based Modelling for Social Scientists”, 31 August-11 September 2020, Collegio Lucchini, via Vallotti 3C, Brescia, Italy

Jointly organised by Behave Lab, ESSA-European Social Simulation Association, GECSResearch Group on Experimental and Computational Sociology (University of Brescia), the ESLS PhD Programme in Economic Sociology and Labour Studies (University of Milan) and supported by Fondazione Grazioli and Collegio Universitario Luigi Lucchini di Brescia, this school aims to train students on Agent-Based Models (ABM) in NetLogo by using modelling examples from social science research.

  • Full-day hands-on training from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • The first week addressed to beginner or experts needing a refresh, the second to advanced training on model calibration and ouput statistical analysis, with an intermediate Sunday tutorial on R for beginners.
  • Some classic ABMs will be coded from scratch in NetLogo. No previous coding skills required during the first week.
  • Assistance and customized counselling on personal research projects during the whole week with experts.
  • Personal project presentations.
  • A social dinner and other events with drinks and food.

Important: The school takes place the week before the Social Simulation Conference 2020, which will be held at the University of Milan on 14-18 September 2020. Students will have the great opportunity to remain the week end to participate to the conference at a special rate.

Students will be provided with the theoretical background on the use of ABM in social science research and will learn how to develop an ABM from scratch. During the introductory week, the examples will be on social impact theory, culture dynamics and social network effects on individual beliefs. Individual activities and exercise will be combined with group activities. No prerequisite on computing is needed. Students are expected to join the training with their own laptop. Students are also encouraged to develop a customized project starting from a personal research idea: bring your own model or data if you have, and we will help you! During the advanced week, students will be trained on empirical calibration of parameters with quantitative and qualitative data, validation techniques and model documentation. The last day of the school will include a training on how to survive peer review and editors when trying to publish ABM studies in scholarly journals.

The 2020 faculty includes (still incomplete):

Federico Bianchi (GECS, University of Brescia, Italy)

Ernesto Carella (University of Oxford, UK)

Simone Gabbriellini (GECS, University of Brescia, Italy)

Nicolas Payette (University of Oxford, UK)

Gary Polhill (The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK)

Flaminio Squazzoni (University of Milan, Italy, School director)

Registration fees (Fully lodged!)

Fees include: accomodation in a university residence (all rooms with private bathroom, Wifi and various facilities!), coffee breaks, luncheons, welcome party, social dinners, lectures and materials.

Fees Categories

1 Student fees (i.e., Bachelor, Master or PhD students): 700 euros (intro course), 800 (advanced course), 1400 (full two weeks course)

2 Non-student, academics (i.e., post-docs, assistant, associate, full professors): 800 euros (intro course), 900 (advanced course), 1500 (full two weeks course)

3 Non academic, professionals: 800 euros (intro course), 900 (advanced course), 1700 (full two weeks course).

Note that 4 bursaries of up to 250 EUR are kindly offered by the European Social Simulation Association to help (category 1) students with travel costs. Priority will be given to attendees who are matriculated students at institutions in Group A and Group B countries as listed on Research4Life’s website ( Awardees will be paid by electronic bank transfer on attendance at the Summer School and presentation of receipts. In case you are interested, please add a sentence at the end of your letter of presentations motivating your willingness to apply for these boursaries.

To apply to the school, please send your CV and a letter of presentation describing (a) the type of training you want to attend ((1) only the introductory course, (2) only the advanced course, (3) the full two weeks course), (b) any prior relevant expertise (e.g., ABM, R or any programming language) and (c) the research project/objectives you are interested to develop during the school to by 30 April 2020. Approval will be notified by 15 May 2020, after which registrations will open.

The registration form with all detail about the payment of the registration fees will be sent by email to all accepted applicants. The deadline for registration is June 26 2020. For any detail and information on the registration, please contact us here.


Brescia is reachable by train from Milan (Malpensa and Linate), Milan Bergamo Orio al Serio, and Verona airports. Here some info on Brescia and its main attractions.

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