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· One min read

Girls' Day is an annual event during which school-aged girls can attend various activities focused on introducing them to different professions and fields in academia and industry. A special emphasis is placed on historically male-dominated domains such as computer science, engineering, and craft professions. For more information (in German), please see the Girls' Day 2023 website.

In 2023, Girls' Day takes place on April 25th, and the MARS Group is excited to contribute by offering an interactive workshop to eight girls between the ages 1214. The workshop will cover topics such as:

  • Discussing artificial intelligence (AI) in sustainability
  • Discovering the world with geoinformatics
  • Capturing human behavior in agent-based models
  • Understanding infection outbreaks with epidemiology

We look forward to welcoming "our" girls and hope for interesting discussions and learnings!

MARS Group Girls' Day 2023 Announcement

· One min read

The Savanna Science Network Meeting (SSNM) is an annual one-week international conference in the Kruger National Park (KNP) of South Africa. Researchers from fields like ecology, geology gather to share recent project ideas, research findings, success stories and challenges with their peers. More recently, fields like computer science, machine learning, and data science are also heavily represented at the SSNM as the need for computational and data-driven modeling becomes increasingly clear.

The SSNM 2023 takes place from March 5th10th. For the MARS Group, it has become an annual tradition to attend and contribute. This year, we will share our progress and initial results from an agent-based traffic model for the KNP. The model spans the entire road network of the KNP and models daily routines of commuters, visitors, and Open Safari Vehicle (OSV) drivers. We hope that the model will be a valuable tool for SANParks management as they decide how to manage traffic flow and density in their national parks to reduce traffic jams and improve the visitor experience.

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The MARS Group is delighted to welcome Dr. Rebecca Sarku to the team! Rebecca is a postdoc researcher from Ghana with a background in geography and resource management. She joined the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) Hamburg via a prestigious scholarship awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. Her current research is focused on how artificial intelligence (specifically agent-based modelling) can be used to make grain and crop farming in West Africa more sustainable in the face of climate change.

An interview with Rebecca was published in German on the HAW website and can be read here.

· One min read

The MARS Group held yet another interdisciplinary short course on agent-based modelling. This time, the focus was on the use of agent-based modelling to address social-ecological problems and research questions. The five-day course was held in Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from September 12–16, 2022.

Twelve participants from various disciplinary backgrounds within the social and ecological sciences attended the short course. Most of them were PhD candidates or postdocs who wanted to explore the possibility of integrating agent-based modelling into their research. The short course included the following topics, among others:

  • Multi-agent modelling and simulation using MARS
  • Formulating and sharpening a research question
  • Developing conceptual models to base an implementation on
  • Working with temporal and spatial data
  • Visualizing and analyzing simulation results

We look forward to further collaborations with the attendees and to holding more short courses in the future!

· One min read

The ESIDA kickoff meeting finally took place. With a delay of more than one year, nine ESIDA team members from Germany (University of Applied Sciences (HAW) Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), University of Hamburg (UHH), and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)) made their way to the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) to present first results and discuss next steps.

This image shows a participatory mapping with the PhD candidates Ummul-Khair Mustafa (center) and Luba Pascoe (right) from the NM-AIST, both of whom work with the MARS Group and the MARS framework as part of their research work.

· One min read

How can we understand climate change better and find ways to respond to its impact? The Scientific Congress for High School Students is involved in research on all matters related to climate change. This year, the Klimakongress 2022 was hosted at the Technical University of Hamburg (TUH).

With more than 600 students, faculty members, and guests from the Hamburg metropolitan area, the event was a true success and gave an insightful glimpse into the possible responses to climate change from the scientific community.

The MARS Group was also represented at the event and held a workshop on agent-based modelling for traffic simulations as part of the presentation of the Computer Science for Future (CS4F) initiative.

For more information, please visit the Klimakongress website here.