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Model Thinking, University of Michigan

4.8
1,153 ratings
246 reviews

About this Course

We live in a complex world with diverse people, firms, and governments whose behaviors aggregate to produce novel, unexpected phenomena. We see political uprisings, market crashes, and a never ending array of social trends. How do we make sense of it? Models. Evidence shows that people who think with models consistently outperform those who don't. And, moreover people who think with lots of models outperform people who use only one. Why do models make us better thinkers? Models help us to better organize information - to make sense of that fire hose or hairball of data (choose your metaphor) available on the Internet. Models improve our abilities to make accurate forecasts. They help us make better decisions and adopt more effective strategies. They even can improve our ability to design institutions and procedures. In this class, I present a starter kit of models: I start with models of tipping points. I move on to cover models explain the wisdom of crowds, models that show why some countries are rich and some are poor, and models that help unpack the strategic decisions of firm and politicians. The models covered in this class provide a foundation for future social science classes, whether they be in economics, political science, business, or sociology. Mastering this material will give you a huge leg up in advanced courses. They also help you in life. Here's how the course will work. For each model, I present a short, easily digestible overview lecture. Then, I'll dig deeper. I'll go into the technical details of the model. Those technical lectures won't require calculus but be prepared for some algebra. For all the lectures, I'll offer some questions and we'll have quizzes and even a final exam. If you decide to do the deep dive, and take all the quizzes and the exam, you'll receive a Course Certificate. If you just decide to follow along for the introductory lectures to gain some exposure that's fine too. It's all free. And it's all here to help make you a better thinker!...

Top reviews

By YK

Apr 07, 2018

The course presents a multitude of models that enable us to analyze human and systems behavior and interactions. By making implicit assumptions explicit we can understand real world processes better.

By GK

Feb 25, 2017

Great content and lectures, that possibly provides new dimensions to look/explain the situation in context, I guess I will comeback for references to continue with this journey in to 'Model Thinking'

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238 Reviews

By Mike Y Wang

Dec 02, 2018

Taking this course has really broadened my mind to see how models help to explain situations in the real world, but I don't expect to be able to remember ALL of the models as there are simply too many to choose from! I really enjoyed how the professor eases into each week, gives examples, adds in-video questions to test if you're still awake, and finally ties the lecture off with a "Thank You" ... it really puts a nice touch into an otherwise long and potentially dry course. I'd have liked to see some in-lecture polls, and peer assignments after each mid-term.

By liry

Nov 16, 2018

Great

By Dan Frost

Nov 02, 2018

I still refer back to this. Invaluable. Brilliant.

By Дышко Варвара Антоновна

Oct 30, 2018

Top

By Pedro Elías Sánchez Ortiz

Oct 19, 2018

Excellent!

By Brad Peng

Oct 15, 2018

Great course! I love it so much. thanks for all the hard work done by the team.

By Ameri

Sep 21, 2018

All the way 5! I am a last year Ph.D. candidate and this is one of the best courses I have ever had in my whole life! The instructor is amazing! I highly recommend.

By Leon Wang

Sep 13, 2018

This course can enrich one's pluralistic thinking and grant us a wide range of tools in perceiving the world and phenomenons associated with it. Please access to and read through all materials given in the syllabus to make full use of this course.

By Derek Riechers

Sep 02, 2018

I learned a variety of models that are applicable to work and real-world situational problems.

By Hongru Du

Aug 31, 2018

Very interesting course, after learning these method, it helps me to view the world different.