The CMSS was fortunate to have visitors Nimrod Talmon & Piotr Faliszewski present seminars over the last few days. Recordings from both seminars are now available on the CMSS YouTube channel.

# Seminar: 2015-03-03 P. Faliszewski

# Seminar: 2015-02-24 N.Talmon

# NWU Computational Social Sciences Summit

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwerstern University, Evanston, Illinois are hosting the 2015 Computational Social Sciences Summit, from May 15-17th. See the conference webpage for more information.

# Seminar 2015-01-16 K. Sorokin

Speaker: Konstantin Sorokin

Affiliation: Higher School of Economics (Moscow)

Title: Candidate utility invariance under stochastic voting

Date: Friday, 16 Jan 2015

Time: 3:00 pm

Location: Room 412, Science Centre (303)

Previous work by the authors (Zakharov, 2012, Sorokin and Zakharov, 2014) demonstrated

that the shape of the functions that translate vote shares into payoffs does have an effect on

the equilibrium actions of candidates in two-candidate voting games with a finite number of

stochastic voters. In particular, we have shown that the „mean voter theorem‰ that predicts

candidates choosing identical policy positions in fact holds only for a small set of candidate

utility functions (a set that includes both winner-take-all and proportional utility).

In this work, we take our research one step further. First, we show that, as the number of

voters becomes large, the outcome of an electoral competition game is invariant with respect

to the candidate utility functions. Second, we show that this invariance holds only if the votes

are cast independently. If there is, say, a common shock to the utilities that all voters receive, then candidate payoffs will affect the equilibrium even in the limiting games when the number of voters is infinite.

Everyone welcome!

# Summer workshop roundup

We managed to get video recordings of almost all of the presentations. These are available to view on the CMSS YouTube channel or via the CMSS Google plus page.

We also have a video of the Seelye public lecture by Matt Jackson.

In the week before the workshop, Matt Jackson was interviewed by Katherine Ryan on Nine to Noon. You can listen to, or download, the interview from Radio New Zealand National website.

# Final call for participation: CMSS Summer Workshop

9th & 10th December 2014, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Attendance at the workshop is free of charge and includes the workshop dinner. Yet, as places are limited, we require registration via the workshop webpage.

The deadline for registration is 17th October.

This year’s theme is diffusion in social networks, but submissions on any aspect of mathematical social science or complex networks are welcome.

Keynote presentations are:

* Matt Jackson (Stanford University) – Identifying Central Individuals in Networks and Diffusion Processes

* Damon Centola (University of Pennsylvania) – The Origins of Social Order: New Theory and Experiments

Financial assistance for travel costs is available for students wishing to attend the workshop. Please contact Dion O’Neale (d.oneale@auckland.ac.nz) for more information.

For more information about the workshop, please see the website listed above or contact one of the organisers:

Patrick Girard (Philosophy) p.girard@auckland.ac.nz

Dion O’Neale (Physics) d.oneale@auckland.ac.nz

Mark C. Wilson (Computer Science) mc.wilson@auckland.ac.nz

# COMPASS Seminar: M. Wilson/V. Pavlov

Title:

Overview of the Centre for Mathematical Social Sciences

Speaker:

Mark Wilson, Computer Science and Centre for Mathematical Social Sciences (accompanied by Valery Pavlov)

Abstract:

The Centre for Mathematical Social Sciences at the University of Auckland is sometimes confused with COMPASS by outsiders. Although our structure, research methods and levels of funding have been quite different, it does seem that more collaboration could be explored.

I will give a quick overview of CMSS and discuss a few current research projects.

Date, Time, Venue: Friday September 12, 1-2, COMPASS meeting room (second floor, Fale Pacifika building)

# Seminar: 2014-08-27 N. Anchugina

Speaker: Nina Anchugina

Affiliation: PhD student, Department of Mathematics

Title: Evaluating Long-Term Investment Projects: What Should The Discounting Method Be?

Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014

Time: 4:00 pm

Location: CAG17/114-G17 (Commerce A)

Increasingly today there is a necessity to evaluate projects, policies and activities, whose consequences will be spread over a long period of time.

Projects are usually analysed by converting the future values into present values by attaching some weight to each period; this procedure is known as discounting. Several methods of discounting have been developed but a universal one does not exist. The choice of discounting method, however, may be vital for deciding whether a certain project should be implemented or not. The question is: Which method of discounting should be used when evaluating long-term public projects?

In this talk we will firstly consider two main types of discounting, namely exponential and hyperbolic discounting, their functional forms, properties and implications. I will provide an example which illustrates how the choice of discounting method appears to be crucial for making a decision. Secondly, we will analyse an appropriate social discount function for a public project implied by an aggregation of the individual discount functions. Finally, we will investigate the situation when there is an uncertainty about discount rates for exponential discounting, which is a common case for long-term projects. I will also present some new results on the choice of a discount rate of the hyperbolic discounting when there is uncertainty about future rates .

# Seminar: 2014-08-20 G. Zakeri

Speaker: Golbon Zakeri

Affiliation: UoA Engineering Science

Title: Electricity market modelling, economics and analytics

Date: Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014

Time: 4:00 pm

Location: CAG17/114-G17 (Commerce A)

Over the past 2 decades there has been a major shift to meet the electricity needs of various countries and jurisdictions through markets. We will start by describing issues common to the vast majority of electricity systems and reasons that rationalised the move to electricity markets in developed countries. We will then discuss issues that arise from a transition to an electricity market with a particular focus on the NZ electricity market. This is a rich source of mathematical modelling, economics and analytics problems. We will lay out some of the more interesting problems that we have tackled and go in more depth to explore consequences of the introduction of renewables and our proposed solutions.

This talk is targeted towards members with varied backgrounds.

Everyone welcome!