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Social Analysis and Modeling for Python

P: n/a
I encourage feedback from all parties and especially those which would
like to be directly involved (I may include you in the grant proposal
and budget). Send me your comments!

------->

Project Objective

We seek to introduce the advantages of object-oriented programming to
the realm of social sciences. We believe the fields thereof (economics,
history, sociology, political science, etc.), have much to gain from
OOP’s ability to represent social constructs. Particularly, we have
found Python to be well suited to the rapid formulation of social models
due to its syntactic simplicity, outstanding support for object-oriented
programming, and comprehensive libraries. Unfortunately, most academics
in the aforementioned fields are unaware of the capabilities, let alone
applicability, of programmatic representation. Those who do are
typically put off by the inadequacy and complexity of more traditional
languages such as C and C++. We therefore propose to disseminate an
understanding among these fields of the ability to develop social models
and represent social constructs via the rapid modeling capabilities of
the Python language. We seek to demonstrate how Python presents to them
limited costs in production time via its language features, and to show
how social models can be mentally approached in such a way that there
exists a one-to-one correlation between their theoretical model and the
Python equivalent.

See the rest of the proposal at:
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~bgabriel/S..._in_Python.pdf
Jul 18 '05 #1
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5 Replies


P: n/a
In article <ma**************************************@python.o rg>,
Bishara Gabriel <bg******@cloudthunder.com> wrote:
I encourage feedback from all parties and especially those which would
like to be directly involved (I may include you in the grant proposal
and budget). Send me your comments!

------->

Project Objective

We seek to introduce the advantages of object-oriented programming to
the realm of social sciences. We believe the fields thereof (economics,
history, sociology, political science, etc.), have much to gain from
OOP’s ability to represent social constructs. Particularly, we have
found Python to be well suited to the rapid formulation of social models
due to its syntactic simplicity, outstanding support for object-oriented
programming, and comprehensive libraries. Unfortunately, most academics
in the aforementioned fields are unaware of the capabilities, let alone
applicability, of programmatic representation. Those who do are
typically put off by the inadequacy and complexity of more traditional
languages such as C and C++. We therefore propose to disseminate an
understanding among these fields of the ability to develop social models
and represent social constructs via the rapid modeling capabilities of
the Python language. We seek to demonstrate how Python presents to them
limited costs in production time via its language features, and to show
how social models can be mentally approached in such a way that there
exists a one-to-one correlation between their theoretical model and the
Python equivalent.

See the rest of the proposal at:
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~bgabriel/S..._in_Python.pdf


I'm a bit sour about this.

Academics are, of course, entirely justified when "put off by ... C
and C++." I also entirely agree that Python is a great vehicle for
all sorts of research. Moreover, the language of your charter is
no more stiff than my own writing sometimes become. For all these
reasons, your efforts have my sympathy.

It deeply concerns me, though, that you imagine you might "introduce
the advantages of object-oriented programming to the realm of social
sciences." A quarter of a century ago, Simula enthusiasts were
already demonstrating success at the same mission. This makes me
wonder if your project might do well to research its foundations
a few days more--or at least expressing them more judiciously.
Jul 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:37:08 -0400, Bishara Gabriel <bg******@cloudthunder.com> wrote:
I encourage feedback from all parties and especially those which would
like to be directly involved (I may include you in the grant proposal
and budget). Send me your comments!

------->

Project Objective

We seek to introduce the advantages of object-oriented programming to
the realm of social sciences. We believe the fields thereof (economics,
history, sociology, political science, etc.), have much to gain from
OOP’s ability to represent social constructs. Particularly, we have
found Python to be well suited to the rapid formulation of social models
due to its syntactic simplicity, outstanding support for object-oriented
programming, and comprehensive libraries. Unfortunately, most academics
in the aforementioned fields are unaware of the capabilities, let alone
applicability, of programmatic representation. Those who do are
typically put off by the inadequacy and complexity of more traditional
languages such as C and C++. We therefore propose to disseminate an
understanding among these fields of the ability to develop social models
and represent social constructs via the rapid modeling capabilities of
the Python language. We seek to demonstrate how Python presents to them
limited costs in production time via its language features, and to show
how social models can be mentally approached in such a way that there
exists a one-to-one correlation between their theoretical model and the
Python equivalent.

See the rest of the proposal at:
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~bgabriel/S..._in_Python.pdf


I am sure Python can be a great tool, but why no citations re existing
"social models" that you mention? If you propose to "... show
how social models can be mentally approached in such a way that there
exists a one-to-one correlation between their theoretical model and the
Python equivalent," ISTM your proposal would sound more concrete if you
pointed to a specific "theoretical model" as your choice for a
how-to-do-it-with-Python demonstration.

Also citations of related work, and why your project adds value (besides
advertising our favorite language ;-)

Regards,
Bengt Richter
Jul 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
Marxian class analysis is particularly suited to this demonstration but
in our demonstration model we will operate from multiple theoretical
constructs, displaying the power of our method. The intent is to show
how Python is well suited to social analysis and not the other way
around. I hope this is clear.

What particular realms are you referring to when you speak of adding value?

Your feedback is much appreciated, thank you.

Sincerely,
Bishara Gabriel
I am sure Python can be a great tool, but why no citations re existing
"social models" that you mention? If you propose to "... show
how social models can be mentally approached in such a way that there
exists a one-to-one correlation between their theoretical model and the
Python equivalent," ISTM your proposal would sound more concrete if you
pointed to a specific "theoretical model" as your choice for a
how-to-do-it-with-Python demonstration.

Also citations of related work, and why your project adds value (besides
advertising our favorite language ;-)

Regards,
Bengt Richter


Jul 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
The value we will add is embodied in the materials we will produce, the
tools we will create, and the simulation we will construct. The
simulation will be two layers: The underlying library or "simulation
toolkit", and the graphical frontend to utilize that toolkit. The
toolkit is the core and the graphical frontend is a demonstration of how
one may utilize that core. The tools we create serve to form the
framework which aids academics in social scientific exploration. This
is value.
.
.
"add value" is a fixed phrase in many engineering, business,
and academic (among other) circles. When, for example,
children combine sugar, ice, lemon juice, and water, in a
particular pleasing combination, and offer it for sale on a
wearying day, we recognize their achievement as creation of
"lemonade". They do not merely transfer raw materials to
their customers; they provide a product which transcends its
constituents. We say they have "added value" to the base
commodities, rather than mechanically moving them through
space and/or time.

Analogously, I echo Bengt's challenge to you to make explicit
the value you intend to add: what hope is there that your
project will be more than a mere formal manipulation of its
constituents--sociologic theory and Python technique? Will
you accomplish anything--will you add value--beyond what
any attentive student given the instructions to apply Python
to sociology might do?

I don't know what
Marxian class analysis is particularly suited
to this demonstration but in our demonstration
model we will operate from multiple theoretical
constructs, displaying the power of our method.
The intent is to show how Python is well suited
to social analysis and not the other way around.
means. I recognize that it might fit several situations. I
sincerely don't know which you intend.

I myself once had a strong theoretical, and even dialectical,
bent. Through the years, I've nearly monotonically gravitated
toward the concrete. I recommend it to you. Demonstrate how
your theory or approach solves *one* specific problem. With
that in hand, your readers will be much, MUCH readier to
apprehend the generalizations you appear to have in mind.


Jul 18 '05 #5

P: n/a
In article <ma**************************************@python.o rg>,
Bishara Gabriel <bg******@cloudthunder.com> wrote:
Marxian class analysis is particularly suited to this demonstration but
in our demonstration model we will operate from multiple theoretical
constructs, displaying the power of our method. The intent is to show
how Python is well suited to social analysis and not the other way
around. I hope this is clear.

What particular realms are you referring to when you speak of adding value?

Jul 18 '05 #6

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