This course introduces students to theorising and modelling. It is relevant for a wide range of other courses offered at UCM. The course aims to familiarise students with model systems within the disciplines of Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Modelling is essential for all research, irrespective of concentration or discipline. Models allow us to approach complex questions systematically, for instance, by predicting weather conditions, the patterns of bird flight formations or the results of presidential elections. Such questions are present everywhere, and it is through modelling that we can try to find some answers. Modelling helps us to break down what we are studying into variables, understand relations or correlations between them and even predict the future. The course starts with an introduction to models, followed by several case studies illustrating their usefulness in various contexts. The course fosters a thorough understanding of natural, social, and cultural phenomena by exposing students to models used in academia and everyday thinking. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to apply models to specific situations and examples from their daily life. The final report allows students to use the knowledge gained in the course to analyse a case study of their interest. The lectures help students gain a broad understanding of different modelling techniques. A special workshop helps to trigger interests, thoughts and ideas and find ways of translating them into a structured academic poster.
By the end of this course, students • will recognise scientific models and modelling techniques in various disciplines • will report on the use of various models in different academic fields • will apply the acquired knowledge of scientific models and modelling techniques by modelling natural, social, and cultural phenomena • will have acquired competencies for learning/working in a group • will be able to cooperate in the creation of a group product • will be able to evaluate the process of their group work actively