PPOL225 Skill Inventory

How the Skills-Wiki Works

What to Bring and What You Can Expect to Take Away


  1. Basic algebra/geometry: simplifying equations, solving for unknowns, equation for lines, graphing inequalities
  2. Probability
  3. Beginner level familiarity with Excel and Word
  4. A sense of policy science and policy problems


  1. Mental flexibility associated with model thinking
  2. High level Excel skills, word processing skills for visualization/presentation
  3. Step-wise refinement approach to problem solving
  4. Repertoire of 5-7 fundamental models from among diagrams, decision trees, stock and flow/causal loop, linear programming, difference equations, Markov processes, peer/neighbor effect models, diffusion, cellular automata, cost benefit analysis.
  5. Cognitive tool kit that includes back-of-the-envelope calculations, sensitivity analysis, systems thinking, probabilistic thinking.

What is a Model? What is Simulation?


Word Skills

Flow Chart Skills

Decision Trees

* choice/chance

  • exhaustive/mutually exclusive
  • folding-back
  • imperfect tests
  • risk-aversion
  • the value of information
  • utility theory

Charts, Tables, and Diagrams

CBA Cost-Benefit Analysis

Discounting Skills List

Randomness and Monte Carlo Simulation

Stock & Flow Models

Project Management

Markov Models

Last was mm06

Queuing Models

Back of the Envelope Skills

Other Models

Linear Programming

Agent Models

Difference Equations