There is a wide range of academic events you can attend if you want to learn more about archaeological simulations, complexity science or network analysis. Here, we present a subjective and far from comprehensive but, we hope nevertheless, useful guide of where to rub elbows with other modellers.
The Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference (CAA) is probably the most important event for archaeological simulations. It runs annually and usually has 1-5 sessions dedicated entirely to complexity, modelling or networks as well as a workshop or two (check out last year’s line-up here) as well as some on more peripheral (for us) subjects (GIS, stats, databases etc). CAA gives a large number of generous student bursaries every year but for those who cannot make it to the international meetings, there is also national chapters, in the UK, Greece, Australia, Germany and many more (you can find the full list here). The next two international meetings are scheduled for Pisa, Italy (2015) and Oslo, Norway (2016).
Although, archaeological modellers do not have a regular event to meet at there are usually at least a few sessions dedicated to computational modelling at large, general archaeological conferences, such as the SAAs, UISPP, EAA etc.
General Complexity Conference
Occasionally, the grand complexity conferences host a session or a satellite event on archaeological simulations. The European Conference on Complex Systems (ECCS) had a Complex Systems in Prehistoric Research session last year, while this year European Social Simulation Association Annual Meeting (ESSA) will be accompanied by a satellite event: Simulating the Past to Understand Human History (SPUHH). You can get more details on the latter here. It’s worth keeping an eye on other general complexity conferences (such as ALife or the IEEE events) as relevant sessions pop out from time to time.
Summer Schools and Courses
The Santa Fe Complex Systems Summer School is the most prestigious training grounds for complexity scientists. Closer to home (i.e. archaeology), ESSA organises the annual Summer School in Social Simulation. Technische Universitat Dresden organises an annual Introductory Course to Individual and Agent-based Modelling in NetLogo. Finally, for those who struggle to get some travel money from their departments and for everyone else who want to learn more about complexity science and modelling without leaving the comfort of their home, the online platform Coursera runs a free module ‘Model Thinking’. You can read about its contents here.