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Center for Advanced Modeling

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About CAM

Our Interests

The Center is directed by Professor of Emergency Medicine Joshua M. Epstein, Ph.D.

Shown also is Dr. Gabor Kelen, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine where CAM is based. The full-time members of the Center are innovative modelers all of whom are collaborative and heterodox in their outlook, but possessed of deep scientific backgrounds in such home fields as Ecology and Evolutionary Behavior, Cognitive Decision Science, Epidemiology, Behavioral Economics, Engineering Systems, Computer Science, Psychology, Biology, Political Science, and GeoSimulation.

Kelen Epstein Gabe Kelen, M.D., Director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine (left) and Joshua Epstein, Ph.D., Director of CAM, founded the center to lead the science of advanced modeling.
Faculty and staff at CAM CAM’s faculty and staff work and collaborate in the center’s new modern offices.

We are actively modeling the transmission dynamics of global pandemic influenza, the evolution of antibiotic resistance, the spread of violence, the use of large social media data bases for public health surveillance, the economics of religion, the spatial dynamics of cities, patient flow in clinical settings, computational phylogenetic forecasting, and the myriad challenges of catastrophic event preparedness, among many other topics, theoretical and applied.

Our Affiliates

To ensure that CAM encompasses the entire university, Epstein holds Joint Appointments in the Departments of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Economics, International Health, Environmental Health Sciences, Biostatistics, and the Institute for Computational Medicine. The Chairs of these Departments are also internal (Hopkins) members of CAM, along with numerous faculty from the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Engineering, and Arts and Sciences. CAM also enjoys a close reciprocal relationship with the Johns Hopkins Systems Science Institute. We also draw external members from other universities worldwide including Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford, and research Institutes including the Santa Fe Institute (where Epstein is an External professor), ETH Zurich, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, the Center for Computational Engineering at The University of Tennessee, The Pittsburgh Center for Super-Computing Applications, and the Public Health Dynamics Lab at the University of Pittsburgh (where Epstein is adjunct professor). View Our Affiliates

Our Signature Method: Agent-Based Computational Modeling.

The Center commands virtually every modeling technique in contemporary applied science. But its signature method is agent-based computational modeling. Epstein is a recognized pioneer in this field, who has just completed the third in a Trilogy of books on the topic. The latest is entitled, Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science, and is forthcoming form Princeton University Press (2013).


The Princeton Press book introduces a new theoretical entity, Agent_Zero. This software individual, or “agent,” is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an unprecedented range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics.

Our Funding

Epstein’s Agent_Zero research and its ongoing extensions are funded by an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. Other important sources of support and collaboration include the NIH Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), the PACER (Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response) DHS Academic Center of Excellence, and the viral evolutionary forecasting project, PROPHECY, with Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics laboratory, funded by DARPA. View Our Funding