Engineering Experts

Rob Axtell

Department Chair
Department of Computational Social Science
George Mason University
United States Virgin Islands


Rob Axtell earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree at Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied computing, social science, and public policy. His teaching and research involves computational and mathematical modeling of social and economic processes. Specifically, he works at the intersection of multi-agent systems computer science and the social sciences, building so-called agent-based models for a variety of market and non-market phenomena.

Research Interest

His research has been published in the leading scientific journals, including Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, and reprised in Nature, and has appeared in top disciplinary journals (e.g., American Economic Review, Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Economic Journal), in general interest journals (e.g., PLOS One) and in specialty journals (e.g., Journal of Regulatory Economics, Technology Forecasting and Social Change.) His research has been supported by American philanthropies (e.g., John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Institute for New Economic Thinking) and government organizations (e.g., National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Small Business Administration, Office of Naval Research, Environmental Protection Agency). Stories about his research have appeared in major magazines (e.g., Economist, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, New Yorker, Discover, Wired, New Scientist, Technology Review, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Science News, Chronicle of Higher Education, Byte, Le Temps Strategique) and newspapers (e.g., Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, Financial Times). He is co-author of Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up (MIT Press) with J.M. Epstein, widely cited as an example of how to apply modern computing to the analysis of social and economic phenomena.

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