As a Program Associate in the Research Competitiveness Program, I work on a diverse portfolio of science and technology based development projects. These projects frequently involve managing peer-review processes for grant competitions and other research and development activities as well as producing their associated progress reports. Projects are often associated with the regional and national development plans of various governments and institutions both domestic and international.
My research centers on isolating how and to what extent political institutions themselves shape policy. I use computational modeling (agent-based and simulation) to gain theoretical leverage on the issue. This approach allows me to place groups of actors with given preferences into different institutional settings in order to gauge the effect of the rules of the game on political outcomes. Most of my research examines the ways in which legislative processes affect issues of political economy, such as income redistribution.
I am currently head of the Junior Research Group POLISES which uses agent-based models to study intended and unintended effects of global policy instruments on the social-ecological resilience of smallholders. In this project, we focus on the impact of policies targeting climate risk in two common property regimes of pastoralists in Africa (Morocco and Kenya/Ethiopia).
On a conceptual level, I work in an international team of modellers, psychologists and natural scientists on adequate representations of human behaviour in agent-based models. Furthermore, I am interested in how to describe models in an appropriate and standardised manner to increase their comprehensibility and comparison.
I am a computational archaeologist interested in how individuals and groups respond to both large scale processes such as climate change and local processes such as violence and wealth inequality. I am currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University.
My dissertation research focuses on experimenting with paleoecological data (e.g., pollen) to assess whether or not different approaches are feasible for paleoclimatic field reconstructions. In addition, I will also use pollen data to generate vegetation (biome) reconstructions. By using tree-ring and pollen data, we can gain a better understanding of the paleoclimate and the spatial distribution of vegetation communities and how those changed over time. These data can be used to better understand changes in demography and how people responded to environmental change.
In Summer 2019, I attended the Santa Fe Institute‘s Complex Systems Summer School, where I got to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary international scientific community. For one of my projects, I got to merry my love of Sci-fi with complexity and agent-based modeling. Sci-fi agent-based modeling is an anthology and we wanted to build a community of collaborators for exploring sci-fi worlds. We also have an Instagram page (@Scifiabm).
Dr. Morteza Mahmoudzadeh is an assitant professor at the University of Azad at Tabriz in the Department of Managent and the director of the Policy Modeling Research Lab. Dr. Mahmoudzadeh did a degree in Software Engineering and a PhD in System Sciences. Dr. Mahmoudzadeh currently works on different regional and national wide projects about modeling sustaiblity and resilience of industrial ecosystems, innovation networks and socio-environmental systems. He also works on hybrid models of opinion dynamics and agent based models specifically in the field of modeling customers behavior and developing managerial tools for strategic marketing policy testing. His team at Policy Modeling Research Lab. currently work on developing a web based tool with python for systems modeling using system dynamics, Messa framework for agent-based modeling and Social Networks Analysis.
Modeling Complex systems, Simulation: System Dynamics, Agent Based and Discrete Event
System and Complexity Theory
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.
With my research, I aim to improve scientific understanding of the role interactions among cognitive, behavioral, social, and demographic processes play in human adaptation to social-ecological change. Currently, I hold a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability and an Instructor position at Portland State University’s Systems Science Program. I have a Ph.D. in Systems Science (2018) from Portland State University, and an M.A. in Economics (2007) and a B.S. in Management (1999) from Boston University.
Cognitive Social Science, Social-Ecological Systems, Multi-Agent Modeling, Complex Adaptive Systems
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?
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).
I studied Molecular Biology and Genetics at Istanbul Technical University. During my undergraduate studies I became interested in the field of Ecology and Evolution and did internships on animal behaviour in Switzerland and Ireland. I then went on to pursue a 2-year research Master’s in Evolutionary Biology (MEME) funded by the European Union. I worked on projects using computer simulations to investigate evolution of social complexity and human cooperation. I also did behavioural economics experiments on how children learn social norms by copying others. After my Master’s, I pursued my dream of doing fieldwork and investigating human societies. I did my PhD at UCL, researching cultural evolution and behavioural adaptations in Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the Congo. During my PhD, I was part of an inter-disciplinary Hunter-Gatherer Resilience team funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I obtained a postdoctoral research fellowship from British Academy after my PhD. I am currently working as a British Academy research fellow and lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology and Evolutionary Medicine at UCL.