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Public Health Dynamics Seminars Archive

December 10, 2013: Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science

Joshua M. Epstein, Ph.D.

Professor of Emergency Medicine
Director, Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins University

Author of "Agent Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science"

Presenting as a Distinguished Speaker

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
3:00 – 4:00 PM
The New Pitt Public Health Auditorium (G23)

Certified for Grand Rounds credits

Reception to follow

View recorded seminar

 

Abstract:

Under his NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, Epstein created a new theoretical entity: "Agent_Zero." This software individual, or "agent," is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an unprecedented range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics. "Agent_Zero" is a departure in what it includes (e.g., a new synthesis of neurally grounded internal modules), what it eschews (e.g., standard behavioral imitation), the phenomena it generates (from vaccine refusal to violence to financial panic), and the modeling arsenal it offers the scientific community. Epstein’s book is entitled Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science and is forthcoming from Princeton University Press (2013). The book’s Princeton University Press Web Site will also offer a huge library of Interactive Applets, and Source Code to the scientific community.  Epstein will discuss his plans to deepen and scale up Agent Zero at his Center for Advanced Modeling at Johns Hopkins, and with the Pittsburgh MIDAS Center.

 

About the Speaker:

J EpsteinJoshua M. Epstein, Ph.D., is Professor of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, with Joint Appointments in the Departments of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Economics, International Health, Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, and the Institute for Computational Medicine. He is Director of the JHU Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences. He is an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. Earlier, Epstein was Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and Director of the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics at the Brookings Institution. He is a pioneer in agent-based computational modeling of biomedical and social dynamics. He has authored or co-authored several books including Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up, with Robert Axtell (MIT Press/Brookings Institution); Nonlinear Dynamics, Mathematical Biology, and Social Science (Addison-Wesley), and Generative Social Science: Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling (Princeton University Press). Epstein holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst, a Ph.D. from MIT, and has taught at Princeton, and lectured worldwide. In 2008, he received an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, and in 2010 an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Amherst College.

  

 

 

 

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