Escape From Model Land: The Dangers Of Over-Confidence In Mathematical Models And How To Avoid It

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Mathematical models help us understand and predict the future evolution of complex systems like the covid-19 pandemic, aspects of the economy, or the earth's climate. But there are dangers of becoming trapped in Model Land: over-confidence in modelled outputs typically leads to underestimation of real-world risk. I will discuss two possible quantitative escape routes from Model Land and reflect on the necessary nuances of implementing these strategies for real-world prediction questions.


Dr Erica Thompson works on Ethics of Modelling and Simulation at LSE's new Data Science Institute and is also a Fellow of the London Mathematical Laboratory. With a background in mathematics and physics, she is engaged in fundamental research about the applicability of modelling and simulation methods to real-life prediction questions including applications in climate change, pandemics, economics and anticipation of humanitarian crises.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

10:00 - 10:45 BST


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  • Erica Thompson.JPG
    Dr Erica Thompson
    Senior Policy Fellow in Ethics of Modelling and Simulation
    LSE Data Science Institute
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group