Andrew Crooks is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between the Computational Social Science Program within the Department of Computational and Data Sciences and the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science, which are part of the College of Science at George Mason University. His areas of expertise specifically relate to integrating agent-based modeling (ABM) and geographic information systems (GIS) to explore human behavior. Moreover, his research focuses on exploring and understanding the natural and socio-economic environments specifically urban areas using GIS, spatial analysis, social network analysis (SNA), Web 2.0 technologies and ABM methodologies.
GIS, Agent-based modeling, social network analysis
I obtained a PhD in database information theory from the University of the West of Scotland in 2015, and have been a researcher at the James Hutton Institute ever since. My areas of research are agent-based-modelling (ABM), data curation, effective use of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and semantic information representation and extraction using formal structures such as computerised ontologies, relational databases and any other structured or semi-structured data representations. I primarily deal with social and agricultural models and was originally taken on in the role of knowledge engineer in order to create the ontology for the H2020 project, Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability (GLAMURS). Subsequent work, for the Scottish Government has involved the use of IaaS, more commonly referred to as the “cloud” to create rapidly deployable and cheap alternatives to in-house high-performance computing for both ABM and Geographical Information System models.
It is the mixture of skills and interests involving modelling, data organisation and computing infrastructure expertise that I believe will be highly apposite in the duties associated with being a member of the CoMSES executive. Moreover, prior to joining academia, I spent about 25 years as a developer in commercial IT, in the agricultural, entertainment and banking sectors, and feel that such practical experience can only benefit the CoMSES network.
Down Networks is a real time, progressively agile non profit startup whose goals are to fund its research via pragmatically aggressive altruistic entrepreneurial pursuits informed by proprietary in-house techniques, open source technology and refined scientific methodology.
I am a data scientist employing a variety of ecoinformatic tools to understand and improve the sustainability of complex social-ecological systems. I am also working to apply Science and Technology Studies to my modeling processes in order to make social-ecological system management more just. I prefer to work collaboratively with communities on modeling, both teaching mapping and modeling skills as well as analyzing and synthesizing community-held data as appropriate. At the same time, I look for ways to create space for qualitative and other forms of knowledge to reside alongside quantitative analysis. Recent projects include: 1) studying Californian forest dynamics using Bayesian statistical models and object-based image analysis (datasets included forest inventories and historical aerial photographs); 2) indigenous mapping and community-based modeling of agro-pastoral systems in rural Zimbabwe (methods included GPS/GIS, agent-based modeling and social network analysis).
My profound interest in networks convinced me to work in these subjects and start my master project on an application of social network analysis for detecting organized fraud in Automobile insurance, which helps to flag groups of fraudsters. The key point of this project is simply to find fraudulent rings, while the most of traditional methods have only taken opportunistic fraud into consideration. My duty in research is to design an algorithm for identifying cyclic components, then to be compared with theoretical ones. This project showed me how networks are used in the analysis of relations.
One of my research areas is agent-based modelling of land change in Brazil. I have worked with ABM in frontier areas of the Brazilian Amazon. I am also part of the team that develops TerraME, an OSS toolkit for ABM in cellular spaces.
Without Central Control is self organization possible?
Considering the seemingly preplanned, densely aggregated communities of the prehistoric Puebloan Southwest, is it possible that without centralized authority (control), that patches of low-density communities dispersed in a bounded landscape could quickly self-organize and construct preplanned, highly organized, prehistoric villages/towns?
Name: Dr. Julia Kasmire
Position: Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Where: UK Data Services and Cathie Marsh Institute at the University of Manchester.
2004 - BA in Linguistics from the University of California in Santa Cruz, including college honours, departmental honours and one year of study at the University of Barcelona.
2008 - MSc in the Evolution of Language and Cognition from the University of Edinburgh, with a thesis on the effects of various common simulated population features used when modelling language learning agents.
2015 - PhD from Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at the Delft University of Technology under the supervision of Prof. dr. ig. Margot Wijnen, Prof. dr. ig. Gerard P.J. Dijkema, and Dr. ig. Igor Nikolic. My PhD thesis and propositions can be found online, as are my publications and PhD research projects (most of which addressed how to study transitions to sustainability in the Dutch horticultural sector from a computational social science and complex adaptive systems perspective).
Many of the NetLogo models I that built or used can be found here on my CoMSES/OpenABM pages.
My ResearchGate profile and my Academia.org profile provide additional context and outputs of my work, including some data sets, analytical resources and research skills endorsements.
My LinkedIn profile contains additional insights into my education and experience as well as skills and knowledge endorsements.
I try to use Twitter to share what is happening with my research and to keep abreast of interesting discussions on complexity, chaos, artificial intelligence, evolution and some other research topics of interest.
You can find my SCOPUS profile and my ORCID profile as well.
Complex adaptive systems, sustainability, evolution, computational social science, data science, empirical computer science, industrial regeneration, artificial intelligence