Integrating social and natural science to study coupled human-natural systems, and particularly the interactions of society with the physical environment under conditions of environmental stress.
Andrew J. Collins, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Old Dominion University in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering. He has a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of Southampton, and his undergraduate degree in Mathematics was from the University of Oxford. He has published over 80 peer-review articles. He has been the Principal Investigator on projects funded to the amount of approximately $7 million. Dr. Collins has developed several research simulations including an award-winning investigation into the foreclosure contagion that incorporated social networks.
Research Assistant Professor at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center at Old Dominion University. I work in the Storymodelers research group at VMASC where we use computational modeling approaches to try to understand complex social issues. Our main project is currently focused on modeling the dynamics of how host communities respond to the rapid influx of forced migrants.
I graduated Bachelor and Master studies at the University of Warsaw, obtaining the diploma in biology at College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MISMaP). After graduation I worked as a freelancer in data science and statistics, then worked for 2 years as a data scientist in an IT startup and now I am working as a statistician in The Polish National Information Processing Institute (OPI PIB) in a group analysing condition of science and higher education in Poland. My interests: agent based modelling, evolutionary ecology, statistics, data science, sociology of science.
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.
Water scarcity generated by climate change and mismanagement, affects individual at microlevel and the society and the system at a more general level. The research focuses on irrigation system and their robustness and adaptation capacity to uncertainty. In particular it investigates the evolution of farmers interactions and the effectiveness of policies by means of dynamic game theory and incorporate the results into an Agent Based Model to explore farmers emergent behaviors and the role of an agency in defining policies. Early knowledge of individual decision makers could help the agency to design more acceptable solutions.
Social scientist based in Milan, Italy. Post-doctoral researcher in Sociology at the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Milan (Italy), member of the Behave Lab. Adjunct professor of Social Network Analysis at the Graduate School in Social and Political Sciences of the University of Milan.
An ambitious and driven individual with knowledge and project experience in computer networks and security (BEng (Hons)), along with a masters degree at a top 10 UK university in the domain of IT, management and organizational change with a distinction, and is currently working as a Ph.D. Research fellow in Denmark.
Current Ph.D. Project - Work Improvisation, looking into more flexible and plastic management through cognition.
Recruitment & Selection
Two themes unite my research: a commitment to methodological creativity and innovation as expressed in my work with computational social sciences, and an interest in the political economy of “globalization,” particularly its implications for the ontological claims of international relations theory.
I have demonstrated how the methods of computational social sciences can model bargaining and social choice problems for which traditional game theory has found only indeterminate and multiple equilibria. My June 2008 article in International Studies Quarterly (“Coordination in Large Numbers,” vol. 52, no. 2) illustrates that, contrary to the expectation of collective action theory, large groups may enjoy informational advantages that allow players with incomplete information to solve difficult three-choice coordination games. I extend this analysis in my 2009 paper at the International Studies Association annual convention, in which I apply ideas from evolutionary game theory to model learning processes among players faced with coordination and commitment problems. Currently I am extending this research to include social network theory as a means of modeling explicitly the patterns of interaction in large-n (i.e. greater than two) player coordination and cooperation games. I argue in my paper at the 2009 American Political Science Association annual convention that computational social science—the synthesis of agent-based modeling, social network analysis and evolutionary game theory—empowers scholars to analyze a broad range of previously indeterminate bargaining problems. I also argue this synthesis gives researchers purchase on two of the central debates in international political economy scholarship. By modeling explicitly processes of preference formation, computational social science moves beyond the rational actor model and endogenizes the processes of learning that constructivists have identified as essential to understanding change in the international system. This focus on the micro foundations of international political economy in turn allows researchers to understand how social structural features emerge and constrain actor choices. Computational social science thus allows IPE to formalize and generalize our understandings of mutual constitution and systemic change, an observation that explains the paradoxical interest of constructivists like Ian Lustick and Matthew Hoffmann in the formal methods of computational social science. Currently I am writing a manuscript that develops these ideas and applies them to several challenges of globalization: developing institutions to manage common pool resources; reforming capital adequacy standards for banks; and understanding cascading failures in global networks.
While computational social science increasingly informs my research, I have also contributed to debates about the epistemological claims of computational social science. My chapter with James N. Rosenau in Complexity in World Politics (ed. by Neil E. Harrison, SUNY Press 2006) argues that agent-based modeling suffers from underdeveloped and hidden epistemological and ontological commitments. On a more light-hearted note, my article in PS: Political Science and Politics (“Clocks, Not Dartboards,” vol. 39, no. 3, July 2006) discusses problems with pseudo-random number generators and illustrates how they can surprise unsuspecting teachers and researchers.
I am interested in questions of method, and in the application of computational social models to a wide variety of national security questions (such as counterterrorism and counterinsurgency) as well as decision-making around complex natural resources such as water. My methods interest center on the use of qualitative social theory to inform the structure of computational social models, and the ways in which such models handle qualitative data. This raises questions around the nature of data and the ways in which computational social models convey information to decision-makers.