Jeff Schank is interested in how complex group and social behaviors emerge from relatively simple rules of individual behavior. His work examines how these rules change in organisms as a consequence of development and social experience. To achieve these ends, he uses individual-based modeling as a tool for analyzing social behavior, discovering individual rules, and revealing how these rules change as a function of development and social experience. Dr. Schank is also interested in the implications of this view for the evolution of social behavior, and has general interests in historical and conceptual issues in the life sciences.
Paul is a doctoral candidate in Psychology (Psychobiology). He is interested in the interplay between environmental structure (including the social environment) and behavior, particularly with regard to evolutionary dynamics, perceptual biases, and decision heuristics. He is using agent-based models to develop insight into these and other complex processes. Some current projects involve research in human mate choice, evolutionary game theory, and spatial cognition. Before his return to academia, Paul lived New York, where he tried to set the record for most jobs and apartments per unit time. He is seven feet tall.
Matt is interested in processes underlying mental health disorders and the mechanism of non-pharmaceutical interventions in providing relief from clinical disorders. He received his B.S. in psychology with highest honors at UC Davis and is now working in the Schank Lab to develop models of human and animal behavior. His research work is focused on developing models of social and individual behavior and on correlating biocomputational models with observed social behavior. Matt is the lab’s point person for algorithms, code speed optimization, and hardware development. After escaping the IT world to study psychology, Matt once again frequently finds himself stuck in windowless rooms with stacks of humming computers. His height has recently been declassified after decades as a state secret.
Bert is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy. He is interested in how computation has shed light on conceptual issues in the past and how it can continue to advance current philosophical research in areas such as cognitive modeling, game theory, and social epistemology. He is currently formalizing philosophical claims about knowledge aggregation in terms of agent-based models in order to test the cogency of the relevant intuitions. He is a fan of the metric system and is 185 cm tall.