The Nova team just returned from two incredible weeks in South Africa, which included a week-long workshop with Richard Salter, Wayne Getz, and Nick Sippl-Swezey in Durban at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science hosted the Population Modeling Workshop at the Unite Building on Howard Campus. Attendees included 30 participants who were mostly postgraduate students and staff whose modeling research involved population, computer simulation studies, ecology, disease transmission, and many more areas in the modeling sciences.  The scientific coordination of the event was handled by Professor Henry Mwambi (Academic Leader of Research).

Workshop Mission

  • Review background material on population modeling and epidemiology.
  • Introduce Nova as a platform for computational models.
  • Encourage students and researchers to undertake research projects using Nova.

Five Themes of the Five Days

  1. Building dynamical systems models (ODEs) and deterministic simulation of population growth and interaction processes.
  2. Building agent based models (ABMs) and stochastic stimulation of population growth and interaction processes
  3. ODES and ABMs of epidemiological processes.
  4. ABMs on landscape (movement processes).
  5. ABMs on network (contact processes).


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Ms. Farzana Osman: “I think that Nova is a very handy and useful tool that makes programming/modeling of data more efficient.  The program itself is user friendly and I anticipate incorporating it into my workflow and future projects.”

Mr. Aayobami Akinyelu: “The Nova workshop has been very insightful. The facilitators were extremely helpful and were able to effectively inform and train the attendees. I hope that our School continue to provide this kind of research-improving avenues.”

Ms. Sue Price (PhD student): “I am very appreciative of being able to attend the Nova course. I have only learned one agent-based modeling and simulation platform so far. It was very useful to be able to learn another agent-based modeling platform, and a privilege to be able to learn it from the development team (a very rare occurrence).”

Mr. Ayodele Adebiyi: “The workshop was most impactful. It will greatly assist in our research activities.”