Workshop “The Experimental Side of Modeling”


Click here for the program of the second workshop, scheduled for March 30-31, 2010
          The literature on the role of theoretical models as mediators between theories and phenomena has recently undergone an exponential growth. Too often, however, it simply takes the 'target system' of the theoretical model as given, ignoring the experimental activity involved in the modeling process.

         In practice, experimentation provides the conditions of possibility for empirical modeling. First, the phenomenon that is meant to be theoretically represented is typically not clearly identified or well defined at the outset. Modeling is also elucidating what is to be modeled and this is done through experimentation. The selection of certain measurable parameters as significant, of certain measurement results as what has to be accounted for, defines what is then, retrospectively, classified as the target phenomenon.

         Second, experiments yield data that are collected, sifted, and combined to construct data models, and it is with these data models that theoretical models are required to be in accord. But what counts as a 'good' data model of the phenomenon?
         The focus for this workshop is this stage in scientific inquiry where the activities of model construction and experimenting go hand in hand.
The videos of the sessions use QuickTime to play. QuickTime Player comes with a Mac; there is a free download site for PC.
You can set this as default plug-in player, or else use it separately as follows:
1. Right click on one of the links and select "copy link location"
2. Open QuickTime Player > File > Open Url
3. In the Open URL dialogue box, paste the link location, and click OK.
video and web credit:
Nick Alvarez and Peter Tiziani

                           FRIDAY MARCH 20th
10:00 - 10:45         Joseph Rouse [Wesleyan University] “Articulating the World: Toward a New Scientific Image”

11-11:20 Mieke Boon [University of Twente (Netherlands)]
12:00 - 12:20 Bas van Fraassen [San Francisco State University]
2:00 - 2:45         Karen Barad [University of California, Santa Cruz] "Theorizing, Modeling, and Experimenting as Entangled Practices"
3:00 - 3:20 Isabelle Peschard [San Francisco State University]
4:00 - 4:20 Paul Teller [University of California, Davis]
                           SATURDAY MARCH 21st

10 - 10:45         Nancy Cartwright [London School of Economics and University of California, San Diego]
                        “How do we know what a thought experiment teaches? Models, Fables and Parables”
11:00-11:20 David Stump[University of San Francisco]
12:00 - 12:20 Bas van Fraassen [San Francisco State University]
2:00 - 2:45        Michael Weisberg [University of Pennsylvania] “Models for Modeling”
3:00-3:20 Rasmus Winther [University of California, Santa Cruz]
4:00-4:20 Martin Thomson-Jones [Oberlin College]