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Models of good and evil |  Is |  02 06 2022 |  13:00

Models of good and evil | Is | 02 06 2022 | 13:00

“The core of our work is to recreate the world on the computer, with all its causes and contradictions. We believe there is no such thing as a good model, just as few bad ones as possible,” says simulation researcher Niki Popper, whose book I Just Simulate! It will be released on June 13th. In it, he and author Ursel Nenzig provide insight into the world of simulation research.

Popper’s research results have become known to a large audience through his analyzes during the coronavirus pandemic. The population model developed in 2010 formed the basis for computer simulations, which greatly contributed to better assessing the course of the epidemic. “My team and I have been able to draw on many years of experience modeling health data: we programmed a model to protect against pneumococcal vaccination and computed models for the spread of influenza,” Nikki Popper comments on the starting position for March 2020. in adapting the model to the coronavirus. In 2021, Nikki Popper was voted Austrian of the Year in the “Search” category.

In an interview with Elizabeth Charang, simulation researcher explains why we can’t describe reality exactly and what can be derived from a complex population model. “We asked ourselves: Which people live and where? How do they move? How do they interact? And in the next step: What else is involved? How does Medicare work, for example? How is energy provided? How is mobility? Just a fact, how do people communicate – even A few years ago we had no opportunity to build such a model because the necessary data was not there.”

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Writers: Nikki Popper: I’m just a simulator! Recorded by Ursel Nenzig. Amalthea Verlag, June 2022