Joshua M. Epstein

Joshua M. Epstein
Joshua M. Epstein

Professor of Epidemiology

Professional overview

Dr. Joshua M. Epstein’s research focuses on modeling complex social, economic, and biological systems using agent-based computational models and nonlinear dynamic systems.

Dr. Epstein has extensive experience in mathematical and computational modeling of biomedical and social dynamics at all scales - from local to national to planetary. He pioneered the technique of agent-based computational modeling and has applied it to problems in social, behavioral, and biomedical science by modeling economic dynamics, patterns of civil violence, the evolution of norms, the computational reconstruction of the ancient civilization of the Anasazi, and the epidemiology of the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, smallpox, HIV, and Ebola. To design evacuation and longer-term adaptation to climate change, he combined computational fluid dynamics (i.e. toxic plume dispersion) with human behavior to create a stunning 3D artificial Los Angeles. In response to Zika and in collaboration with colleagues and the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Epstein has developed an artificial New York City to be applied to urban health policy challenges. His work has had a profound influence on emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism, and the nascent field of disaster health, which is being developed under Presidential Directive (I-ISPD-21).

Dr. Epstein is the Director of the Agent-Based Modeling Lab, which works with large-scale epidemic models and cognitively plausible agents in order to produce a transformative synthesis for global public health modeling through the generative social science approach.

Previously, Dr. Epstein has worked at John Hopkins University, Princeton University, University of Pittsburgh, George Mason University, the Sante Fe Institute, and the Brookings Institution. He has also  authored and co-authored seminal books, including Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up; Generative Social Science: Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling; and Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science.

Education

BA, Independent Scholar with Thesis in Political Economy, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
PhD, Political Science (Specialization: Security Studies, Communist Studies, and Economics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Honors and awards

Honorary Doctorate of Science, Amherst College (2010)
Director’s Pioneer Award, National Institutes of Health (2008)
Rockefeller Foundation International Relations Fellowship (1984)
Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship (1983)
Ford Foundation Dual Expertise Fellowship in Soviet/East European Area Studies and International Security/Arms Control (1981)
Institute for the Study of World Politics Fellowship (1981)

Areas of research and study

Agent-Based Modeling
Applied Economics
Cost Analysis
Disaster Health
Epidemiology
Health Economics
Infectious Diseases
Mathematical and Computational Modeling
Modeling Social and Behavioral Dynamics
New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Public Health Systems
Urban Health
Urban Informatics
Urban Science

Publications

Publications

Controlling the Greenhouse Effect: Five Global Regimes Compared

Epstein, J., & Gupta, R.

Publication year

1990

Conventional Force Reductions: A Dynamic Assessment

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1990

The 3:1 Rule, the Adaptive Dynamic Model, and the Future of Security Studies

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1989

Journal title

International Security

Volume

13

Issue

4

Page(s)

90-127

Dynamic Analysis and the Conventional Balance in Europe

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1988

Journal title

International Security

Volume

12

Issue

4

Page(s)

154-65

Strategy and Force Planning: The Case of the Persian Gulf

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1987

Assessing the Military Balance: Defense Analysis and the Defense Debate

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1985

Journal title

The Brookings Review

Volume

3

Issue

3

Page(s)

16-20

The 1987 Defense Budget

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1985

The 1988 Defense Budget

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1985

The Calculus of Conventional War: Dynamic Analysis Without Lanchester Theory

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1985

Measuring Military Power

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1984

Horizontal Escalation: Sour Notes of a Recurrent Theme

Epstein, J. In The Use of Force.

Publication year

1983

Page(s)

541-552

On Conventional Deterrence in Europe: Questions of Soviet Confidence

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1982

Journal title

Orbis

Volume

26

Issue

1

Page(s)

71-86

Soviet Vulnerabilities in Iran and the RDF Deterrent

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1981

Journal title

International Security

Volume

6

Issue

2

Page(s)

126-59

The Extended Calculus of Spencer Brown and Related Areas of Logic and Mathematics

Epstein, J.

Publication year

1979

Contact

je65@nyu.edu +1 (212) 992-3702 715/719 Broadway New York, NY 10003