Robert Axtell

   I work at the intersection of the computational, social, behavioral, and economic sciences. I work on public policy issues when the underlying science is reasonably well understood.

    I chair the Department of Computational Social Science at George Mason University, part of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. I am Co-Director of the new Computational Public Policy Lab at Mason. I have been External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute for many years. During the 2013-14 academic year I was Visiting Professor of Complexity Economics at the University of Oxford (Mathematical Institute, Oxford Martin School, and Hertford College).

    Before coming to Mason I was Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies and Governance Studies Programs at the Brookings Institution after first being a Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program. At Brookings my colleagues and I created the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics.

    While at Brookings I taught microeconomics and agent-based computing at Johns Hopkins (Department of Economics), Georgetown (Department of Computer Science), the New School for Social Research (Faculty of Economics), and as the Mellon Distinguished Visiting Professor at Middlebury College. At Mason each Spring I teach CSS 610: Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation. (If you are a graduate student working with agents in your thesis research I am very happy to learn what you are doing. Typically I only serve on thesis committees of students who have taken some of the CSS 600/605/610 sequence.)

    My research has appeared in general interest journals like Science, PNAS, and PLOS One, in disciplinary journals like the American Economic Review, Economic Journal, and Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, and in computer science conference proceedings like Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. This work has been reprised in Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, Discover, Science News, Technology Review, and Wired, in many major newspapers (e.g., Washington Post) and magazines (e.g., Atlantic Monthly), on radio, in books, online, and in an art museum. This work has been supported by a variety of public and private sponsors including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).

    My book with J.M. Epstein, Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up, (MIT Press) is an early statement of the feasibility of doing social science with software agents.

    I hold an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Detroit where I was an Insignis Scholar. I grew up in upstate New York and attended Warsaw Central School.

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