Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2020

Science, Technology, and Policy Master Information
Social Sciences
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
860-0005-01LColloquium Science, Technology, and Policy (FS) Information Restricted registration - show details
Only for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc.
O1 credit2KT. Bernauer, T. Schmidt
AbstractPresentations by invited guest speakers from academia and practice/policy. Students are assigned to play a leading role in the discussion and write a report on the respective event.
ObjectivePresentations by invited guest speakers from academia and practice/policy. Students are assigned to play a leading role in the discussion and write a report on the respective event.
ContentSee program on the ISTP website: http://www.istp.ethz.ch/events/colloquium.html
860-0001-00LPublic Institutions and Policy-Making Processes Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 25.

Priority for MSc Science, Technology, and Policy.
O3 credits2.8GT. Bernauer, S. Bechtold, F. Schimmelfennig
AbstractStudents acquire the contextual knowledge for analyzing public policies. They learn why and how public policies and laws are developed, designed, and implemented at national and international levels, and what challenges arise in this regard.
ObjectivePublic policies result from decision-making processes that take place within formal institutions of the state (parliament, government, public administration, courts). That is, policies are shaped by the characteristics of decision-making processes and the characteristics of public institutions and related actors (e.g. interest groups). In this course, students acquire the contextual knowledge for analyzing public policies. They learn why and how public policies and laws are developed, designed, and implemented at national and international levels, and what challenges arise in this regard. The course is organized in three modules. The first module (Stefan Bechtold) examines basic concepts and the role of law, law-making, and law enforcement in modern societies. The second module (Thomas Bernauer) deals with the functioning of legislatures, governments, and interest groups. The third module (Frank Schimmelfennig) focuses on the European Union and international organisations.
ContentPublic policies result from decision-making processes that take place within formal institutions of the state (parliament, government, public administration, courts). That is, policies are shaped by the characteristics of decision-making processes and the characteristics of public institutions and related actors (e.g. interest groups). In this course, students acquire the contextual knowledge for analyzing public policies. They learn why and how public policies and laws are developed, designed, and implemented at national and international levels, and what challenges arise in this regard. The course is organized in three modules. The first module (Stefan Bechtold) examines basic concepts and the role of law, law-making, and law enforcement in modern societies. The second module (Thomas Bernauer) deals with the functioning of legislatures, governments, and interest groups. The third module (Frank Schimmelfennig) focuses on the European Union and international organisations.
Lecture notesReading materials will be distributed electronically to the students when the semester starts.
LiteratureBaylis, John, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens (2014): The Globalization of World Politics. An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Caramani, Daniele (ed.) (2014): Comparative Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gilardi, Fabrizio (2012): Transnational Diffusion: Norms, Ideas, and Policies, in Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse and Beth Simmons, Handbook of International Relations, 2nd Edition, London: Sage, pp. 453-477.

Hage, Jaap and Bram Akkermans (eds.) (2nd edition 2017): Introduction to Law, Heidelberg: Springer.

Jolls, Christine (2013): Product Warnings, Debiasing, and Free Speech: The Case of Tobacco Regulation, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 169: 53-78.

Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2011): The Politics of European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lessig, Lawrence (2006): Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0, New York: Basic Books. Available at http://codev2.cc/download+remix/Lessig-Codev2.pdf.

Schimmelfennig, Frank and Ulrich Sedelmeier (2004): Governance by Conditionality: EU Rule Transfer to the Candidate Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, in: Journal of European Public Policy 11(4): 669-687.

Shipan, Charles V. and Craig Volden (2012): Policy Diffusion: Seven Lessons for Scholars and Practitioners. Public Administration Review 72(6): 788-796.

Sunstein, Cass R. (2014): The Limits of Quantification, California Law Review 102: 1369-1422.

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein (2003): Libertarian Paternalism. American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 93: 175-179.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis is a Master level course. The course is capped at 25 students, with ISTP Master students having priority.
860-0042-00LStatistics 2 Restricted registration - show details
Only for MSc Science, Technology and Policy
O4 credits2GK. Harttgen, I. Günther
AbstractThis course introduces students to key statistical methods for analyzing social science data with a special emphasis on causal inference and policy evaluation.
ObjectiveStudents
- have a sound understanding of standard regression techniques
- know strategies to test causal hypotheses using regression analysis and/or experimental methods
- are able to formulate and implement a regression model for a particular policy question and a particular type of data
- are able to critically interpret results of applied statistics, in particular, regarding causal inference
- are able to critically read and assess published studies on policy evaluation
- are able to use the statistical software Stata for data analysis
ContentThe topics covered in the first part of the course are a revision and linear regression and non-linear regression techniques such as probit and logit regression analysis. The second part of the course focuses on causal inference and introduces methods such as panel data analysis, difference-in-difference methods, instrumental variable estimation, regression discontinuity design, and randomized controlled trials used for policy evaluation. The course shows how the various methods differ in terms of the required identifying assumptions to infer causality as well as the data needs.

Students will apply the methods from the lectures by solving bi-weekly assignments using statistical software and data sets provided by the instructors. These data sets will cover topics at the interface of policy, technology and society. Solving the assignments contributes to the final grade with a weight of 30%.
860-0032-00LPrinciples of Macroeconomics Restricted registration - show details
Prerequisite: An introductory course in Economics is required to sign up for this course.

Number of participants is limited to 20

STP students have priority
O3 credits2VS. Sarferaz
AbstractThis course examines the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, such as gross domestic product, unemployment and inflation rates. It tries to answer questions like: How can we explain fluctuations of national economic activity? What can economic policy do against unemployment and inflation?
ObjectiveThis lecture will introduce the fundamentals of macroeconomic theory and explain their relevance to every-day economic problems.
ContentThis course helps you understand the world in which you live. There are many questions about the macroeconomy that might spark your curiosity. Why are living standards so meagre in many African countries? Why do some countries have high rates of inflation while others have stable prices? Why have some European countries adopted a common currency? These are just a few of the questions that this course will help you answer. Furthermore, this course will give you a better understanding of the potential and limits of economic policy. As a voter, you help choose the policies that guide the allocation of society's resources. When deciding which policies to support, you may find yourself asking various questions about economics. What are the burdens associated with alternative forms of taxation? What are the effects of free trade with other countries? How does the government budget deficit affect the economy? These and similar questions are always on the minds of policy makers.
860-0033-00LBig Data for Public Policy Restricted registration - show details
Only for MSc STP, MSc CIS, PhD students D-GESS and D-MTEC.
STP students have priority.
O3 credits2GE. Ash, M. Guillot
AbstractThis course provides an introduction to big data methods for public policy analysis. Students will put these techniques to work on a course project using real-world data, to be designed and implemented in consultation with the instructors.
Objective
ContentMany policy problems involve prediction. For example, a budget office might want to predict the number of applications for benefits payments next month, based on labor market conditions this month. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the "big data" techniques for making such predictions. These techniques include:

-- procuring big datasets, especially through web scraping or API interfaces, including social media data;
-- pre-processing and dimension reduction of massive datasets for tractable computation;
-- machine learning for predicting outcomes, including how to select and tune the model, evaluate model performance using held-out test data, and report results;
-- interpreting machine learning model predictions to understand what is going on inside the black box;
-- data visualization including interactive web apps.

Students will put these techniques to work on a course project using real-world data, to be designed and implemented in consultation with the instructors.
Minor in Natural Sciences and Engineering (ONLY for Regulations 2019)
Urbanization and Planning
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
102-0838-00LWater Supply, Sanitation and Waste Infrastructure and Services in Developing CountriesW3 credits2GC. Zurbrügg
AbstractIntroduction to water supply, excreta, wastewater and solid waste management in developing countries. Highlights links between infrastructure, services and health, resource conservation and environmental protection. New concepts and approaches for sustainable sanitation infrastructure and services for developing countries - especially poor urban areas.
ObjectiveStudents receive an introduction to issues of water supply, excreta, waste water and solid waste management in developing countries. They understand the connections between water, wastewater and waste management, health, resource conservation and environmental protection. Besides, they learn how water supply, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure and services can be combined and improved, in order to achieve the development policy goals in terms of disease prevention, resource conservation, and environmental protection.
ContentOverview of the global health situation, water supply, and liquid and solid waste management situation in developing countries. Technical and scientific fundamentals of water supply, sanitation and solid waste management. Material flows in water supply, sanitation and waste management. New concepts and approaches for sustainable sanitation infrastructure and services for developing countries - especially poor urban areas. Exercises: students will work in groups on a case study and develop improvement options for water, sanitation and waste management.
Lecture notesCourse notes and further reading will be made available on the ETHZ Moodle portal.
LiteratureThe selected literature references will be made available on Moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents will work in groups on a case study and develop improvement options for water, sanitation and waste management. The case study work will be marked (1/3 of final grade). Written Semesterendprüfung of 90 min (counts for 2/3 of final grade)
103-0517-00LUrban and Spatial EconomicsW3 credits2VR. H. van Nieuwkoop
AbstractThis course explores the economic factors which influence location decisions of households and firms, and it explores theories of how these decisions induce the formation of cities. The course will cover the neoclassical models of land use, concepts from the new economic geography, zoning, and transportation and traffic congestion.
ObjectiveThe objective of the course is to provide graduate students with an understanding of the economic factors which give rise to urban spatial structure and the models which have been employed to study these processes. The course aims to help students develop an appreciation for the use of economic models in both positive and normative frameworks. We will assess both the history of thought regarding the role of markets in creating urban development, and we will read about modern theories of externalities and economic factors which induce agglomeration. The final section of the course will focus on transportation problems in urban areas and the use of economic models to assess public policy measures to deal with congestion and associated externalities.
ContentOutline of Lectures

Topic 1: Why do cities exist?
Topic 2: The Basic Muth-Mills model
Topic 3: The New Economic Geography
Topic 4: Business demand for land and Von Thünen's model)
Topic 5: Urban spatial structure
Topic 6: Land use control
Topic 7: City size and city growth
Topic 8: Traffic externalities and congestion
Topic 9: Public transport
Topic 10: The housing crisis
LiteratureTextbook

o Urban Economics by Arthur O'Sullivan, McGraw-Hill.

Ancillary Texts

o Lectures on Urban Economics, K. Brückner, 2011, The MIT Press

o Cities, agglomeration and spatial equilibrium by E. L. Glaeser, 2008, Oxford University Press.

o A Companion to Urban Economics, Richard Arnott and Daniel McMillen (eds.), Blackwell, 2006.

o The new introduction to geographical economics, Steven Brakman, Harry Garretsen and Charles van Marrewijk, Cambridge.

o Urban transport economics, by K. A. Small and E. Verhoef, Routledge.
103-0448-01LTransformation of Urban Landscapes
Only for masters students, otherwise a special permit of the lecturer is necessary.
W3 credits2GJ. Van Wezemael, A. Gonzalez
AbstractThe lecture course addresses the transformation of urban landscapes towards sustainable inward development. The course reconnects two largely separated complexity approaches in «spatial planning» and «urban sciences» as a basic framework to look at a number of spatial systems considering economic, political, and cultural factors. Focus lies on participation and interaction of students in groups.
Objective- Understand cities as complex adaptive systems
- Understand planning in a complex context and planning competitions as decision-making
- Seeing cities through big data and understand (Urban) Governance as self-organization
- Learn Design-Thinking methods for solving problems of inward development
- Practice presentation skills
- Practice argumentation and reflection skills by writing critiques
- Practice writing skills in a small project
- Practice teamwork
ContentStarting point and red thread of the lecture course is the transformation of urban landscapes as we can see for example across the Swiss Mittelland - but in fact also globally. The lecture course presents a theoretical foundation to see cities as complex systems. On this basis it addresses practical questions as well as the complex interplay of economic, political or spatial systems.

While cities and their planning were always complex the new era of globalization exposed and brought to the fore this complexity. It created a situation that the complexity of cities can no longer be ignored. The reason behind this is the networking of hitherto rather isolated places and systems across scales on the basis of Information and Communication Technologies. «Parts» of the world still look pretty much the same but we have networked them and made them strongly interdependent. This networking fuels processes of self-organization. In this view regions emerge from a multitude of relational networks of varying geographical reach and they display intrinsic timescales at which problems develop. In such a context, an increasing number of planning problems remain unaffected by either «command-and-control» approaches or instruments of spatial development that are one-sidedly infrastructure- or land-use orientated. In fact, they urge for novel, more open and more bottom-up assembling modes of governance and a «smart» focus on how space is actually used. Thus, in order to be effective, spatial planning and governance must be reconceptualised based on a complexity understanding of cities and regions, considering self-organizing and participatory approaches and the increasingly available wealth of data.
LiteratureA reader with original papers will be provided via the ILIAS system.
Prerequisites / NoticeOnly for masters students, otherwise a special permit of the lecturer is necessary.
101-0481-00LReadings in Transport PolicyW3 credits2GK. W. Axhausen
AbstractThis course will explore the issues and constraints of transport policy through the joint readings of a set of relevant papers.

The class will meet every three weeks to discuss the texts.
ObjectiveFamiliarize the students with issues of transport policy making and the conflicts arising.

Train the ability to read critically and to summarize his/her understanding for him/herself and others through a review paper, paper abstracts and a paper review.
051-0162-00LLandscape Architecture II Information
Only for Architecture BSc, Programme Regulations 2011.
W1 credit2VC. Girot
AbstractThe lecture series gives an introduction to the field of contemporary landscape architecture. The course
provides a perspective on forthcoming landscape architecture in terms of the aspects site, soil, water and
vegetation.
ObjectiveOverview to contemporary and forthcoming tasks of landscape architecture. A critical reflection of the
present design practice and discussion of new approaches in landscape architecture.
ContentThe lecture series "Theory and Design in Contemporary Landscape Architecture" (Landscape Architecure
II) follows the lecture series "History and Theory of Garden Design and Landscape Architecture"
(Landscape Architecure I). Rather than concentrating only on questions of style, the series will also tackle
issues such as revitalisation, sustainability etc. The lectures review design approaches that critically
reflect our inherited perception of nature. The themes of site, soil, water and vegetation provide some
useful aspects for the design practice.
Lecture notesNo script. Handouts and learning material will be provided.
LiteratureA reading list will be provided for the exams.
Prerequisites / NoticeGeneral Information for the final exam:

Bachelor students: The content of the lectures as well as texts and exam-relevant literature provided by the Chair make up the basis for preparing for the exam. The lecture series is conceived as a yearlong course. Since the written session examination tests knowledge from both semesters. It is necessary to attend the lectures throughout the course of the year.
The test themes will be announced at the end of the semester. The Chair will provide literature and texts available for download as pdfs. These allow a more in-depth understanding of the lecture material.

Transfer students or students of other departments: Students attending one semester may opt to take only the oral end-of-semester examination. Test-relevant literature will also be made available for download for this purpose. The students are requested to get in touch by email with the Chair.
103-0330-00LLandscape Aesthetics Information W2 credits2GR. Rodewald
AbstractLandscape aesthetics - Theory and practice of the sensuous cognition of landscape qualities.The lecture comprises short excursions as well as theoretical and practical applications of landscape quality and their development goals.
ObjectiveBecoming familiar with the concepts of landscape aesthetics and obtaining an overview of the im-portance, methods and applicability of aesthetical landscape valuation and development.
ContentAesthetic qualities of landscapes are difficult to measure. However, they play a big role in evaluating landscape change. In recent years there has been a growing interest in theoretical and practical sen-sory methods that enable the assessment and understanding of landscape perception. Practical analyses of landscapes and their development requires knowledge of the concepts of "beauty" and "aesthetic cognition and evaluation".
LiteratureBourassa, S.C. 1991. The aesthetics of landscape, London
Nohl. W. 2015. Landschaftsästhetik heute. Auf dem Wege zu einer Landschaftsästhetik des guten Lebens. Ausgewählte Aufsätze aus vier Jahrzehnten, München
Rodewald, R., Gantenbein, K. 2016. Arkadien. Landschaften poetisch gestalten, Zürich
Welsch, W. 2016. Ästhetische Welterfahrung. Zeitgenössische Kunst zwischen Natur und Kultur, Paderborn.
Wöbse, H. H. 2002. Landschaftsästhetik, Stuttgart
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture of Bourassa The aesthetics of landscape, 1991, will be expected.
102-0338-01LWaste Management and Circular EconomyW3 credits2GM. Haupt, U. Baier
AbstractUnderstanding the fundamental concepts of advanced waste management and circular economy and, in more detail, on biological processes for waste treatment. Application of concepts on various waste streams, including household and industrial waste streams. Insights into environmental aspects of different waste treatment technologies and waste economy.
ObjectiveThe purpose of this course is to study the fundamental concepts of waste management in Switzerland and globally and learn about new concepts such as Circular Economy. In-depth knowledge on biological processes for waste treatments should be acquired and applied in case studies. Based on this course, you should be able to understand national waste management strategies and related treatment technologies. Treatment plants and valorization concepts for biomass and organic waste should be understood. Furthermore, future designs of waste treatment processes can be evaluated using basic process understanding and knowledge obtained from the current literature.
ContentNational waste management
Waste as a resource
Circular Economy
Assessment tools for waste management strategies
Plastic recycling
Thermal waste treatment
Emerging technologies
Organic Wastes in Switzerland
Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas
Composting process technologies
Organic Waste Hygiene
Product Quality & Use
Waste Economy and environmental aspects
Lecture notesHandouts
Exercises based on literature
LiteratureDeublein, D. and Steinhauser, A. (2011): Biogas from Waste and Renewable Resources: An Introduction. 2nd Edition, Wiley VCH, Weinheim. --> One of the leading books on the subject of anaerobic digestion and biogas, covering all aspects from biochemical and microbial basics to planning and running of biogas plants as well as different technology concepts and biogas upgrade & utilization. We will be using selected chapters only in this course.

Lohri, C.R., S. Diener, I. Zabaleta, A. Mertenat, and C. Zurbrügg. 2017. Treatment technologies for urban solid biowaste to create value products: a review with focus on low- and middle-income settings. Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology 16(1): 81–130.

Haupt, M., C. Vadenbo, and S. Hellweg. 2017. Do We Have the Right Performance Indicators for the Circular Economy?: Insight into the Swiss Waste Management System. Journal of Industrial Ecology 21(3): 615–627.

Schweizerische Qualitätsrichtlinie 2010 der Branche für Kompost und Gärgut: Link

More information about biowaste treatment in Switzerland (www.cvis.ch) and Europe (www.compostnetwork.info and www.ecn-qas.eu)
Prerequisites / NoticeThere will be complementary exercises going along with some of the lectures, which focus on real life aspects of waste management. Some of the exercises will be solved during lessons whereas others will have to be dealt with as homework.
To pass the course and to achieve credits it is required to pass the examination successfully (Mark 4 or higher). The written examination covers all topics of the course and is based on handouts and on selected literature
Energy and Mobility
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
151-0226-00LEnergy and Transport FuturesW4 credits3GK. Boulouchos, P. J. de Haan van der Weg, G. Georges
AbstractThe course teaches to view local energy solutions as part of the larger energy system. Because it powers all sectors, local changes can have consequences reaching well beyond one sector. While we explore all sectors, we put a particular emphasis on mobility and its unique challenges. We not only cover engineering aspects, but also policymaking and behavioral economics.
ObjectiveThe main objectives of this lecture are:
(i) Systemic view on the Energy Sytem with emphasis on Transport Applications
(ii) Students can assess the reduction of energy demand (or greenhouse gas emissions) of sectoral solutions.
(iii) Students understand the advantages and disadvantages of technology options in mobility
(iv) Students know policy tools to affect change in mobility, and understand the rebound effect.
ContentThe course describes the role of energy system plays for the well-being of modern societies, and drafts a future energy system based on renewable energy sources, able to meet the demands of the sectors building, industry and transport. The projected Swiss energy system is used as an example. Students learn how all sectoral solutions feedback on the whole system and how sector coupling could lead to optimal transformation paths. The course then focuses on the history, status quo and technical potentials of the transport sector. Policy mixes to reduce energy demand and CO2 emissions from transport are introduced. Both direct and indirect effects of different policy types are discussed. Concepts from behavioral economics (car purchase behavior and rebound effects) are presented.

Preliminary schedule:
Block 1. Energy technologies and policies.
Climate, Environment, Security of Supply.Technology options and policies in power generation, building and industrial sectors .
Block 2. Transport technologies.
Technology options in mobility and their physical aspects
Block 3. Transport policies
Regulation, policy tools and technological potential to affect change in mobility
Block 4. Energy and Transport Futures
Closing loop across all sectors. Sector-coupling.
Lecture notest.b.d.
Literaturet.b.d.
363-0514-00LEnergy Economics and Policy
It is recommended for students to have taken a course in introductory microeconomics. If not, they should be familiar with microeconomics as in, for example,"Microeconomics" by Mankiw & Taylor and the appendices 4 and 7 of the book "Microeconomics" by Pindyck & Rubinfeld.
W3 credits2GM. Filippini
AbstractAn introduction to energy economics and policy that covers the following topics: energy demand, economics of energy efficiency, investments and cost analysis, energy markets (fossil fuels,electricity and renewable energy sources), market failures and behavioral anomalies, market-based and non-market based energy policy instruments and regulation of energy industries.
ObjectiveThe students will develop the understanding of economic principles and tools necessary to analyze energy issues and to formulate energy policy instruments. Emphasis will be put on empirical analysis of energy demand and supply, market failures, behavioral anomalies, energy policy instruments, investments in power plants and in energy efficiency technologies and the reform of the electric power sector.
ContentThe course provides an introduction to energy economics principles and policy applications. The first part of the course will introduce the microeconomic foundation of energy demand and supply as well as market failures and behavioral anomalies. In a second part, we introduce the concept of investment analysis (such as the NPV), in the context of energy efficient investments. In the last part, we use the previously introduced concepts to analyze energy policies: from a government perspective, we discuss the mechanisms and implications of market oriented and non-market oriented policy instruments as well as the regulation of energy industries.

Throughout the entire class, we combine the course material with insights from current research in energy economics. This combination will enable students to understand standard scientific literature in the field of energy economics. Moreover, the class aims to show students how to put real life situations in the energy sector in the context of insights from energy economics.

During the first part of the course a set of environmental and resource economics tools will be given to students through lectures. The applied nature of the course is achieved by discussing several papers in a seminar. To this respect, students are required to work in groups in order to prepare a presentation of a paper.

The evaluation policy is designed to verify the knowledge acquired by students during the course. For this purpose, a short group presentation will be graded. At the end of the course there will be a written exam covering the topics of the course. The final grade is obtained by averaging the presentation (20%) and the final exam (80%).
Prerequisites / NoticeIt is recommended for students to have taken a course in introductory microeconomics. If not, they should be familiar with microeconomics as in, for example, "Microeconomics" by Mankiw & Taylor and the appendices 4 and 7 of the book "Microeconomics" by Pindyck & Rubinfeld.
363-0543-00LAgent-Based Modelling of Social Systems Information W3 credits2V + 1UF. Schweitzer
AbstractAgent-based modeling is introduced as a bottom-up approach to understand the complex dynamics of social systems. The course is based on formal models of agents and their interactions. Computer simulations using Python allow the quantitative analysis of a wide range of social phenomena, e.g. cooperation and competition, opinion dynamics, spatial interactions and behaviour in social networks.
ObjectiveA successful participant of this course is able to
- understand the rationale of agent-based models of social systems
- understand the relation between rules implemented at the individual level and the emerging behavior at the global level
- learn to choose appropriate model classes to characterize different social systems
- grasp the influence of agent heterogeneity on the model output
- efficiently implement agent-based models using Python and visualize the output
ContentThis full-featured course on agent-based modeling (ABM) allows participants with no prior expertise to understand concepts, methods and tools of ABM, to apply them in their master or doctoral thesis. We focus on a formal description of agents and their interactions, to allow for a suitable implementation in computer simulations. Given certain rules for the agents, we are interested to model their collective dynamics on the systemic level.

Agent-based modeling is introduced as a bottom-up approach to understand the complex dynamics of social systems.
Agents represent the basic constituents of such systems. The are described by internal states or degrees of freedom (opinions, strategies, etc.), the ability to perceive and change their environment, and the ability to interact with other agents. Their individual (microscopic) actions and interactions with other agents, result in macroscopic (collective, system) dynamics with emergent properties, which we want to understand and to analyze.

The course is structured in three main parts. The first two parts introduce two main agent concepts - Boolean agents and Brownian agents, which differ in how the internal dynamics of agents is represented. Boolean agents are characterized by binary internal states, e.g. yes/no opinion, while Brownian agents can have a continuous spectrum of internal states, e.g. preferences and attitudes. The last part introduces models in which agents interact in physical space, e.g. migrate or move collectively.

Throughout the course, we will discuss a wide variety of application areas, such as:
- opinion dynamics and social influence,
- cooperation and competition,
- online social networks,
- systemic risk
- emotional influence and communication
- swarming behavior
- spatial competition

While the lectures focus on the theoretical foundations of agent-based modeling, weekly exercise classes provide practical skills. Using the Python programming language, the participants implement agent-based models in guided and in self-chosen projects, which they present and jointly discuss.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides will be available on the Moodle platform, for registered students only.
LiteratureSee handouts. Specific literature is provided for download, for registered students only.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants of the course should have some background in mathematics and an interest in formal modeling and in computer simulations, and should be motivated to learn about social systems from a quantitative perspective.

Prior knowledge of Python is not necessary.

Self-study tasks are provided as home work for small teams (2-4 members).
Weekly exercises (45 min) are used to discuss the solutions and guide the students.

The examination will account for 70% of the grade and will be conducted electronically. The "closed book" rule applies: no books, no summaries, no lecture materials. The exam questions and answers will be only in English. The use of a paper-based dictionary is permitted.
The group project to be handed in at the beginning of July will count 30% to the final grade.
364-0576-00LAdvanced Sustainability Economics Information
PhD course, open for MSc students
W3 credits3GL. Bretschger
AbstractThe course covers current resource and sustainability economics, including ethical foundations of sustainability, intertemporal optimisation in capital-resource economies, sustainable use of non-renewable and renewable resources, pollution dynamics, population growth, and sectoral heterogeneity. A final part is on empirical contributions, e.g. the resource curse, energy prices, and the EKC.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of the current issues and economic methods in sustainability research; ability to solve typical problems like the calculation of the growth rate under environmental restriction with the help of appropriate model equations.
103-0448-01LTransformation of Urban Landscapes
Only for masters students, otherwise a special permit of the lecturer is necessary.
W3 credits2GJ. Van Wezemael, A. Gonzalez
AbstractThe lecture course addresses the transformation of urban landscapes towards sustainable inward development. The course reconnects two largely separated complexity approaches in «spatial planning» and «urban sciences» as a basic framework to look at a number of spatial systems considering economic, political, and cultural factors. Focus lies on participation and interaction of students in groups.
Objective- Understand cities as complex adaptive systems
- Understand planning in a complex context and planning competitions as decision-making
- Seeing cities through big data and understand (Urban) Governance as self-organization
- Learn Design-Thinking methods for solving problems of inward development
- Practice presentation skills
- Practice argumentation and reflection skills by writing critiques
- Practice writing skills in a small project
- Practice teamwork
ContentStarting point and red thread of the lecture course is the transformation of urban landscapes as we can see for example across the Swiss Mittelland - but in fact also globally. The lecture course presents a theoretical foundation to see cities as complex systems. On this basis it addresses practical questions as well as the complex interplay of economic, political or spatial systems.

While cities and their planning were always complex the new era of globalization exposed and brought to the fore this complexity. It created a situation that the complexity of cities can no longer be ignored. The reason behind this is the networking of hitherto rather isolated places and systems across scales on the basis of Information and Communication Technologies. «Parts» of the world still look pretty much the same but we have networked them and made them strongly interdependent. This networking fuels processes of self-organization. In this view regions emerge from a multitude of relational networks of varying geographical reach and they display intrinsic timescales at which problems develop. In such a context, an increasing number of planning problems remain unaffected by either «command-and-control» approaches or instruments of spatial development that are one-sidedly infrastructure- or land-use orientated. In fact, they urge for novel, more open and more bottom-up assembling modes of governance and a «smart» focus on how space is actually used. Thus, in order to be effective, spatial planning and governance must be reconceptualised based on a complexity understanding of cities and regions, considering self-organizing and participatory approaches and the increasingly available wealth of data.
LiteratureA reader with original papers will be provided via the ILIAS system.
Prerequisites / NoticeOnly for masters students, otherwise a special permit of the lecturer is necessary.
151-0228-00LManagement of Air Transport (Aviation II)W4 credits3GP. Wild
AbstractProviding an overview in management, planning, processes and operations in air transport, the lecture shall enable students to operate and lead a unit within that industry. In addition, the modules provide a good understanding for other transport modes and are a sort of "Mini MBA" (topics see below). Ideally, students complete first "Basics in Air Transport" yet there is no requirement for it.
ObjectiveAfter completion of the course, they shall be familiar with tasks, processes and interactions and have the ability to understand implications of developments in the airlines industry and its environment. This shall enable them to work within the air transport industry.
ContentWeekly: 1h independent preparation; 2h lectures and 1 h training with an expert in the respective field
Overall concept: This lecture build on the content of the lecture "Basics in Air Transport" (101-0499-00L) and provides deeper insights into the airline industry.
Content: Strategy, Alliances & Joint Ventures, Negotiations with Stakeholder, Environmental Protection, Safety & Risk Management, Airline Economics, Network Management, Revenue Management & Pricing, Sales & Distribution, Airline Marketing, Scheduling & Slot Management, Fleet Management & Leasing, Continuing Airworthiness Management, Supply Chain Management, Operational Steering
Lecture notesNo offical lecture notes. Lecturers' slides will be made available
LiteratureLiterature will be provided by the lecturers respective there will be additional Information upon registration
151-0206-00LEnergy Systems and Power EngineeringW4 credits2V + 2UR. S. Abhari, A. Steinfeld
AbstractIntroductory first course for the specialization in ENERGY. The course provides an overall view of the energy field and pertinent global problems, reviews some of the thermodynamic basics in energy conversion, and presents the state-of-the-art technology for power generation and fuel processing.
ObjectiveIntroductory first course for the specialization in ENERGY. The course provides an overall view of the energy field and pertinent global problems, reviews some of the thermodynamic basics in energy conversion, and presents the state-of-the-art technology for power generation and fuel processing.
ContentWorld primary energy resources and use: fossil fuels, renewable energies, nuclear energy; present situation, trends, and future developments. Sustainable energy system and environmental impact of energy conversion and use: energy, economy and society. Electric power and the electricity economy worldwide and in Switzerland; production, consumption, alternatives. The electric power distribution system. Renewable energy and power: available techniques and their potential. Cost of electricity. Conventional power plants and their cycles; state-of-the -art and advanced cycles. Combined cycles and cogeneration; environmental benefits. Solar thermal power generation and solar photovoltaics. Hydrogen as energy carrier. Fuel cells: characteristics, fuel reforming and combined cycles. Nuclear power plant technology.
Lecture notesVorlesungsunterlagen werden verteilt
529-0191-01LElectrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage TechnologiesW4 credits3GL. Gubler, E. Fabbri, J. Herranz Salañer
AbstractThe course provides an introduction to the principles and applications of electrochemical energy conversion (e.g. fuel cells) and storage (e.g. batteries) technologies in the broader context of a renewable energy system.
ObjectiveStudents will discover the importance of electrochemical energy conversion and storage in energy systems of today and the future, specifically in the framework of renewable energy scenarios. Basics and key features of electrochemical devices will be discussed, and applications in the context of the overall energy system will be highlighted with focus on future mobility technologies and grid-scale energy storage. Finally, the role of (electro)chemical processes in power-to-X and deep decarbonization concepts will be elaborated.
ContentOverview of energy utilization: past, present and future, globally and locally; today’s and future challenges for the energy system; climate changes; renewable energy scenarios; introduction to electrochemistry; electrochemical devices, basics and their applications: batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, flow batteries, supercapacitors, chemical energy carriers: hydrogen & synthetic natural gas; electromobility; grid-scale energy storage, power-to-gas, power-to-X and deep decarbonization, techno-economics and life cycle analysis.
Lecture notesall lecture materials will be available for download on the course website.
Literature- M. Sterner, I. Stadler (Eds.): Handbook of Energy Storage (Springer, 2019).
- C.H. Hamann, A. Hamnett, W. Vielstich; Electrochemistry, Wiley-VCH (2007).
- T.F. Fuller, J.N. Harb: Electrochemical Engineering, Wiley (2018)
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic physical chemistry background required, prior knowledge of electrochemistry basics desired.
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