Ecological Modeling

Ecological Modeling (FOR 8515)

David Larsen  
Spring Semester, Even Years



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Course Topics


Approach to Science

  • Exploring how you conceptualize problems.
  • Formal theories of scientific thought.
    • Induction.
    • Falsificationism.
    • Research Programs.
    • Kuhn's Paradigms.
    • Rationalism and relativism
    • Objectivism
    • Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge.
    • Realism.
  • Identifying the relationship of these theories to the students approach to science.
  • Understanding the limitation imposed by our method of thought.
Exploration of the concept of a model.
  • Exploring types of models.
    • Word Models.
    • Physical Models.
    • Picture Models.
    • Flowcharts.
    • Graphs.
    • Mathematical Models.
    • Computer Simulation Models.
  • Exploring topics of interest to the class
    • Common ways of describing these relationships.
    • How to select a priori relationships.
    • How to link these in a framework.
  • Methods of parameterization of models.
    • Theoretical.
    • Statistical.
    • Iterative.
  • Method of "validating" models.
  • Issues of presentation of results.
Model Building Exercise
  • Common functions used in modeling
  • Each student will formulate and build a computer version of a model of a relationship of interest to the student.


Created by David R. Larsen December 15, 2009
Last Updated: December 15, 2009