Agent-based models of viral co-infection: This project is part of an NIH grant that funds the new Center for Modeling Complex Interactions at the University of Idaho. It combines work on opinion dynamics with issues regarding health.
Evolution of complex signals (with James Foster, U.Idaho): Signaling is ubiquitous in nature, often spanning multiple levels of organization. In some cases we observe the emergence of complex signals - human languages are a paradigm example. In this research we are looking at how complex signals could have evolved. Our approach makes use of signaling games in an agent-based modeling framework. This research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from game theory, biology, philosophy, and computer science. This project has been funded by NSF through the BEACON organization.
Opinion dynamics Our beliefs, attitudes, and opinions are heavily influenced by the interactions we have with others. It is important to understand how our interactions influence our beliefs and the population-level effects that emerge. For example, one way to understand how a subpopulation holds apparently "irrational" beliefs is to understand how groups unintentionally reinforce them. This project involves several collaborations, including Steve Krone (Math, U.Idaho), Robert Heckendorn (CS, U.Idaho), and Rebecca Tyson (Math, UBC). It also informs the above project on agent-based models of viral co-infection.