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C Merdes Member since: Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy and Computer Science), Master of Science (Computerscience)

I am a formally oriented philosopher, applying computational techniques to questions of social epistemology and political philosophy. My current research is focused on explanations and interventions for phenomena of collective irrationality.

Christopher Watts Member since: Monday, March 14, 2011 Full Member

PhD Warwick Business School, MSc Operational Research, University of Southampton, Post-graduate Diploma in Theology, University of Cambridge, MA / BA (Hons.) Philosophy, University of Cambridge

I am an agent-based simulation modeler and social scientist living near Cambridge, UK.

In recent years, I have developed supply chain models for Durham University (Department of Anthropology), epidemiological models for the Covid-19 pandemic, and agent-based land-use models with Geography PhD students at Cambridge University.

Previously, I spent three years at Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich, working on Human-Environment Relations and Sustainability, and over two and a half years at Surrey University, working on Innovation with Nigel Gilbert in the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS). The project at Surrey resulted in a book in 2014, “Simulating Innovation: Computer-based Tools for Rethinking Innovation”. My PhD topic, modeling human agents who energise or de-energise each other in social interactions, drew upon the work of sociologist Randall Collins. My multi-disciplinary background includes degrees in Operational Research (MSc) and Philosophy (BA/MA).

I got hooked on agent-based modeling and complexity science some time around 2000, via the work of Brian Arthur, Stuart Kauffman, Robert Axelrod and Duncan Watts (no relation!).

As an agent-based modeler, I specialize in NetLogo. For data analysis, I use Excel/VBA, and R, and occasionally Python 3, and Octave / MatLab.

My recent interests include:
* conflict and the emergence of dominant groups (in collaboration with S. M. Amadae, University of Helsinki);
* simulating innovation / novelty, context-dependency, and the Frame Problem.

When not working on simulations, I’m probably talking Philosophy with one of the research seminars based in Cambridge. I have a particular interests when these meet my agent-based modeling interests, including:
* Social Epistemology / Collective Intelligence;
* Phenomenology / Frame Problem / Context / Post-Heideggerian A.I.;
* History of Cybernetics & Society.

If you’re based near Cambridge and have an idea for a modeling project, then, for the cost of a coffee / beer, I’m always willing to offer advice.

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