George Mason University
Rob Axtell is credited with developing the first large scale agent-based computational model, the Sugarscape, which he and Joshua Epstein used to explore the role of social phenomenon such as seasonal migrations, pollution, sexual reproduction, combat, and transmission of disease and even culture. His current teaching and research involves computational and mathematical modeling of social and economic processes. Specifically, he works at the intersection of multi-agent systems computer science and the social sciences, building so-called agent-based models of a variety of market and non-market phenomena.
For nearly 15 years he was Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, and Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution (Washington, D.C.) where he helped found the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics (CSED) there. During this time he taught courses on his research as Mellon Distinguished Visiting Professor at Middlebury College (2004), Visiting Professor of Economics of the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research (2003), Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University (2002) and Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins (1998-2000). Upon moving to George Mason University in 2006 he helped found the Department of Computational Social Science in 2007, the first department of its kind in the world, and has served as Department Chair since 2008.
Plenary Address: The Dynamics of the US Private Sector: A Model of 6 Million Firms and 120 Million Employees (Axtell Plenary)