PAD 724 - Simulation for Policy Analysis and Design

Instructor: George P. Richardson

Office: Milne 318
Phone: 442-3859 (office, seldom there); 475-1417 (home); 364-6334 (mobile)
Office hours: Tu, Wed, 9:30-12:00
Web page:

This course is a continuation of PAD 624, Simulating Dynamic Systems; good understandings and skills from 624 are prerequisite for 724. The purpose of the course is to develop professional-level skills in system dynamics modeling for theory building and policy analysis and design.

The course is divided into roughly three major sections:

For details see the attached syllabus.

Written work: The written work in the course is of two kinds: exercises and project reports.

Exercises: Relatively short, focused, skill-development tasks. The syllabus contains five exercises. It is acceptable (even encouraged) to do these exercises collaboratively, working in pairs, provided each participant emerges independently capable and wise.

Project: Each student will select a modeling project to carry out throughout the term. A project proposal is due at the second meeting of the course, and I expect students will discuss their choices with me outside of class prior to that date. The projects in this course are an ideal medium in which to explore ideas leading to a masters essay, a paper of publishable length and quality, a conference paper, a publication, or a dissertation.

Classwork: Classes will be devoted to presentations and discussions of modeling techniques and related material from system dynamics modeling literature, and seminar presentations and discussions of the exercises and projects. I hope to devote no more than two hours of each class, on the average, to presenting new material, and to spend at least one hour of each class talking about the work being pursued outside of class.

Reading: See syllabus.

Grading: 40% exercises, 60% project, plus instructor judgment.

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