IRMACS 2011 Thematic Year

Scientific Modelling at SFU

The objectives of the "IRMACS 2011 Thematic Year:  Scientific Modelling at SFU are to share with the SFU research community our experience with facilitating modelling groups at the Centre, to give an opportunity to various SFU modelling groups to showcase their research, to learn more about other groups that use modelling as part of their research approach, and, in general, to promote scientific modelling as a major research tool.

Spring & Fall 2011 - Monthly Modelling Showcases: an opportunity to present interdisciplinary modelling research to a broader audience

July 2011 - IRMACS Modelling Summer School - Topics will include:

A Fuzzy Cognitive Map Approach for Analyzing Impact of Social Aspects Contributing to Homelessness
SupervisorDr. Vahid DabbaghianModelling of Complex Social Systems (MoCSSy) Program, SFU      

Modelling evolutionary processes using Kernel density methods
SupervisorDr. Arne Mooers, Biodiversity Lab, SFU

August 10 - 12, 2011 - Geospatial Analysis and Modelling Workshop

Fall 2011 - IMC Colloquium Series - Overview of modelling including health, criminology, environment, and biology

Coast-to-Coast Seminar Series - Showcasing Health Modelling across Canada - Distributed via Access Grid

December 2, 2011 - Scientific Modelling at SFU - Open Forum on communication and collaboration between modelling groups, joint academic and scientific projects that will look at practice and policy

The IRMACS Centre is an interdisciplinary research institute that celebrates the collaborative research of all SFU faculty and invites everyone to participate.



Our 6th Anniversary Celebration


On Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th, 2011, the IRMACS Centre celebrated its 6th anniversary and launched its 2011 Thematic Year: Scientific Modelling at SFU.

IRMACS Day Program - April 7th:

11:30 - 12:00 - Welcome and introductions by Dr. Veselin Jungic, IRMACS Centre Deputy Director, Dr. Mario Pinto, SFU Vice President Research, Dr. Arne Mooers, Biology & IRMACS Management Committee and Ms. Pam Borghardt, IRMACS Centre Managing Director.

12:00 - 12:25 - Mr. Ali Khalili Araghi, winner of the Peter Borwein Annual Graduate Scholarship in Mathematics & Computational Modelling of Complex Systems

"Intelligent Decision Support for Marine Safety and Security Operations"

Abstract: With the increasing traffic in ports and its vulnerability to the illegal activities and threats, large volume surveillance has become a challenge. This problem is even more aggravated considering the fact that Canada has the largest coastline in the world and, consequently, managing the employment of resources under changing environment is an issue yet to be resolved. Therefore, an Intelligent Decision Support System for a Marine Security Operations Center (MSOC) is presented here. Considering the robustness and scalability of any such system, the goal is to improve coordination in emergency response services during critical situations, including detection and prevention of illegal activities. This can be done through system’s decentralized control structure, dynamic resource configuration management and task execution management under uncertainty. The proposed model is described in abstract functional and operational terms based on the Abstract State Machine (ASM) paradigm and the CoreASM open source tool environment for modeling dynamic properties of distributed mobile systems.

12:30 - 1:20 - Dr. Eric Winsberg, Philosopher of Science, University of South Florida

"Reflections on the Verification and Validation of Computer Simulations"

It is common practice in the simulation community to distinguish between verification and validation. Verification is said to be the process of determining the extent to which the solutions generated by the computer simulation model approximate the solutions to the original mathematical model equations. And validation is said to be the process of determining the extent to which a computer simulation model is an adequate representation of a target system. In this presentation I argue that this distinction is not as clean as it is often thought to be. I also argue that this has important implications for how we think about the epistemology of simulation, and the relationship between theories and the world.

1:30 - 2:30 - Poster Session/Lunch

2:30 - 4:00 - IRMACS Modelling Consortium Open House speakers include:

2:30 - 3:00 - Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Rutherford, Complex Systems Modelling Group

"Can Mathematical Modelling Make Better Public Policy?"

3:00 - 3:30 - Dr. Vahid Dabbaghian, Modelling of Complex Social Systems (MoCSSy) Program

"The Last Three Years in the MoCSSy Program"

3:30 - 4:00 - Dr. Krisztina Vasearhelyi, Interdisciplinary Modelling for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV (IMPACT-HIV)

"Modelling Treatment as Prevention - New Approaches to Combating the HIV Epidemic"

Program - April 8th:

10:30 - Welcome

10:45 - 1:00 MoCSSy Semester-end Presentations

10:45 - 11:15 - Azadeh Alimadad (Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU)

"Estimates of Cardiovascular Disease Reduction in Latin American Countries Following Gradual Reductions in Sodium Intake at the Population Level"

11:15 - 11:45 - Laurens Bakker (M.Sc. Candidate, School of Computing Science, SFU)

"Disconnecting the Dots: First Steps in Computational Topology for Simulation and Data Cleaning"

11:45 - 12:00 - Refreshment Break

12:00 - 12:30 - Vigay Mago (Post Doctoral Fellow, MoCSSy Program)

"Application of Fuzzy Cognitive Map for Understanding Behavior of Urban Transformations: Crime and Infectious Disease"

12:30 - 1:00 - Natalia Iwanski (Undergraduate Student, Department of Mathematics)

"A Simulation Model of an Offender's Journey to Crime" 

1:00 - 1:15 - MoCSSy Graduate Certificate Awards and Closing Remarks

1:15 - Refreshments in the IRMACS Atrium

1:30 - 2:30 - Dr. X. Sheldon Lin, Department of Statistics, University of Toronto

"Applications of Erlang Mixtures in Actuarial Science"

2:30 - 3:30 - Dr. Anna-Karin Tornberg, Courant Institute - PIMS-CSC Distinguished Lecture Series

"Efficient simulation of particulate Stokes flow based on boundary integral methods"

IRMACS Modelling Summer School

Scientific Modelling at SFU - IRMACS Thematic Year 2011

As part of the IRMACS Thematic Year: “Scientific Modelling at SFU”, the IRMACS Centre is pleased to announce the first IRMACS Modelling Summer School. The School will be held in the IRMACS Centre from July 4th - July 15th, 2011

The primary goal of this summer school is to introduce students to the advantages of uniting researchers from diverse fields in order to conduct scientific modeling using an interdisciplinary approach. The first week of the summer school will begin with a joint session during which all participants will be introduced to proposed problems. Participants will then be divided into two smaller groups led by group supervisors and mentors, who will guide them in working on the proposed problem for which they have been assigned. On the final day of the school, July 15th, each group will present their solutions to their problem.

Summer School Problems:

A Fuzzy Cognitive Map Approach for Analyzing Impact of Social Aspects Contributing to Homelessness
Supervisor: Dr. Vahid Dabbaghian, Modelling of Complex Social Systems (MoCSSy) Program, SFU      
Mentor: Dr. Vijay Kumar Mago, Research Associate, MoCSSy Program

Modelling evolutionary processes using Kernel density methods
Supervisor: Dr. Arne Mooers, Biodiversity Lab, SFU
Mentor: Mick Elliot, Ph.D. Student, Department of Biology, SFU  

For more information the IRMACS Thematic Year: “Scientific Modelling at SFU” go to: