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My research interests include policy informatics and decision making, modeling in policy analysis and management decisions, public health management and policy, and the role of public value in policy development. I am particularly interested in less mainstream approaches to modeling that account for learning, feedback, and other systems dynamics. I include Bayesian inference, agent-based models, and behavioral assumptions in both my research and teaching.
In my dissertation research, I conceptualize state Medicaid programs as complex adaptive systems characterized by diverse actors, behaviors, relationships, and objectives. These systems reproduce themselves through both strategic and emergent mechanisms of program management. I focus on the mechanism by which citizens are sorted into or out of the system: program enrollment. Using Bayesian regression and agent-based models, I explore the role of administrative practices (such as presumptive eligibility and longer continuous eligibility periods) in increasing enrollment of eligible citizens into Medicaid programs.
My broad research interests are in human-environmental interactions and land-use change. Specifically, I am interested in how people make land-use decisions, how those decisions modify the functioning of natural systems, and how those modifications feedback on human well-being, livelihoods, and subsequent land-use decisions. All of my research begins with a complex systems background with the aim of understanding the dynamics of human-environment interactions and their consequences for environmental and economic sustainability. Agent-based modeling is my primary tool of choice to understand human-environment interactions, but I also frequently use other land change modeling approaches (e.g., cellular automata, system dynamics, econometrics), spatial statistics, and GIS. I also have expertise in synthesis methods (e.g., meta-analysis) for bringing together leveraging disparate forms of social and environmental data to understand how specific cases (i.e., local) of land-use change contribute to and/or differ from broader-scale (i.e. regional or global) patterns of human-environment interactions and land change outcomes.
I have a strong background in building and incorporating agent-based simulations for learning. Throughout my graduate career, I have worked at the Center for Connected Learning and Computer Based Modeling (CCL), developing modeling and simulation tools for learning. In particular, we develop NetLogo, the gold standard agent-based modeling environment for learners around the world. In my dissertation work, I marry biology and computer science to teach the emergent principles of ant colonies foraging for food and expanding. The work builds on more than a decade of experience in ABM. I now work at the Center for the Science and the Schools as an Assistant Professor. We delivered a curriculum to teach about COVID-19, where I incorporated ABMs into the curriculum.
You can keep up with my work at my webpage: https://kitcmartin.com
Studying the negative externalities of networks, and the ways in which those negatives feedback and support the continuities.
The big picture question driving my research is how do complex systems of interactions among individuals / agents result in emergent properties and how do those emergent properties feedback to affect individual / agent decisions. I have explored this big picture question in a number of different contexts including the evolution of cooperation, suburban sprawl, traffic patterns, financial systems, land-use and land-change in urban systems, and most recently social media. For all of these explorations, I employ the tools of complex systems, most importantly agent-based modeling.
My current research focus is on understanding the dynamics of social media, examining how concepts like information, authority, influence and trust diffuse in these new media formats. This allows us to ask questions such as who do users trust to provide them with the information that they want? Which entities have the greatest influence on social media users? How do fads and fashions arise in social media? What happens when time is critical to the diffusion process such as an in a natural disaster? I have employed agent-based modeling, machine learning, geographic information systems, and network analysis to understand and start to answer these questions.
The goal of my research program is to improve our understanding about highly integrated natural and human processes. Within the context of Land-System Science, I seek to understand how natural and human systems interact through feedback mechanisms and affect land management choices among humans and ecosystem (e.g., carbon storage) and biophysical processes (e.g., erosion) in natural systems. One component of this program involves finding novel methods for data collection (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicles) that can be used to calibrate and validate models of natural systems at the resolution of decision makers. Another component of this program involves the design and construction of agent-based models to formalize our understanding of human decisions and their interaction with their environment in computer code. The most exciting, and remaining part, is coupling these two components together so that we may not only quantify the impact of representing their coupling, but more importantly to assess the impacts of changing climate, technology, and policy on human well-being, patterns of land use and land management, and ecological and biophysical aspects of our environment.
To achieve this overarching goal, my students and I conduct fieldwork that involves the use of state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in combination with ground-based light detection and ranging (LiDAR) equipment, RTK global positioning system (GPS) receivers, weather and soil sensors, and a host of different types of manual measurements. We bring these data together to make methodological advancements and benchmark novel equipment to justify its use in the calibration and validation of models of natural and human processes. By conducting fieldwork at high spatial resolutions (e.g., parcel level) we are able to couple our representation of natural system processes at the scale at which human actors make decisions and improve our understanding about how they react to changes and affect our environment.
land use; land management; agricultural systems; ecosystem function; carbon; remote sensing; field measurements; unmanned aerial vehicle; human decision-making; erosion, hydrological, and agent-based modelling