COVID CRISIS LAB-DONDENA Seminar - Joshua Epstein

Joshua Epstein

Link zoom 



Joshua Epstein, “Toward Cognitive Epidemiology” 



Classical mathematical epidemiology excludes behavioral adaptation, which has shaped pandemics from the 1918 Flu, to COVID. Endogenous multiple waves in particular are mathematically precluded by the classical differential equations. In Epstein’s Coupled Contagion framework, the disease and fear of the disease are both contagious and interact to produce endogenous waves. In Triple Contagion: A Two Fears Epidemic Model, there is also fear of the vaccine, resulting in richer dynamics, where waves grow in amplitude. An Agent_Zero version with fear, distrust of government, and psychic numbing produces spatio-temporal wave dynamics. Applications to financial panics and crashes are discussed.


Joshua M. Epstein is Professor of Epidemiology and Affiliated Faculty at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Politics. He is founding Director of the NYU Agent-Based Modeling Laboratory and External Faculty Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. He was Professor and founding Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, with Joint appointments in Economics and Applied Mathematics. Earlier, he was Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. He models complex social dynamics using mathematical and computational methods, notably the method of Agent-Based Modeling in which he is a recognized pioneer. For this innovation, he was awarded the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Amherst College, and other distinctions. Epstein’s seven books include Nonlinear Dynamics, Mathematical Biology, and Social Science (Wiley); Generative Social Science (Princeton; Agent_Zero (Princeton), and with Robert Axtell, Growing Artificial Societies (MIT). Epstein holds a BA from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from MIT.


For further information on the talk, please contact

Full talk
Remote video URL
Toward Cognitive Epidemiology