SBIR Phase I: An Agent-Based Geosimulation Toolkit for Social Sciences Education

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0637256
Agency Tracking Number: 0637256
Amount: $99,419.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
Amber Waves Software
10 N BAUSMAN DR, Suite 440, Lancaster, PA, 17603
DUNS: 834886335
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard Senft
 PhD
 (717) 293-9953
 rsenft@amberwaves.com
Business Contact
 Richard Senft
Title: PhD
Phone: (717) 293-9953
Email: rsenft@amberwaves.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I research project merges two powerful computer technologies: geographic information systems (GIS) and agent-based models (ABMs) to provide an agent-based geo-simulation toolkit that will help learners understand the complex causes of today's social issues. GIS has long been used in geography curricula to teach about current geographic technology. ABMs model the complex social dynamics that emerge from the interactions of autonomous, yet interdependent individual actors, or 'agents'. The resulting synergy of these technologies will enable students to explore hypotheses about how spatial systems operate and to understand real world social issues. The research project will build upon an existing ABM of residential dynamics in U.S. cities to create an agent-based geo-simulation toolkit for classroom and computer laboratory use. The results of this research will be an agent-based geo-simulation toolkit that will help students explore and understand critical social issues in U.S. cities. Using an emphasis on experimentation, the geo-simulation toolkit will help students in the social sciences and geography gain an intuitive grasp of the scientific method as they work with the model. One of the most important aspects of the proposed work is that simulation modeling will help students clarify concepts and hypothesized processes in social systems. The new technology will represent a step forward in the use of geo-simulation in teaching environments and will have a large impact in the classroom.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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