Modeling Religion Project - Specialized Consultants

Our Specialized Consultants are in the two major fields represented within MRP: Modeling and Simulation and the Scientific Study of Religion.

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Specialized Consultants in Modeling & Simulation

Gnana Barathy

Gnana Barathy, PhD

Researcher, Project Manager, and Consultant, Ackoff Center for Advancement of Systems Approaches (ACASA), Department of Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Gnana Barathy is a Researcher, Project Manager and Consultant at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). His areas of research broadly include risk management, analytics, and modeling and simulation, particularly of social systems. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and National Institute of Technology (formerly Regional Engineering College), Trichy, India. He also holds Project Management Professional certification and is a full member of Institution of Engineers Australia (MIEAust). For more information about Dr. Barathy, see here.

Nigel Gilbert

Nigel Gilbert, PhD

Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey

Dr. Nigel Gilbert read for a first degree in Engineering, intending to go into the computer industry. However, he was lured into sociology and obtained his doctorate on the sociology of scientific knowledge from the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Michael Mulkay. His research and teaching interests have reflected his continuing interest in both sociology and computer science (and engineering more widely). His main research interests are processual theories of social phenomena, the development of computational sociology and the methodology of computer simulation, especially agent-based modelling. He is Director of the Centre for Research in Social Simulation. He is also Director of the University's Institute of Advanced Studies and responsible for its development as a leading centre for intellectual interchange. He is the author or editor of several textbooks on sociological methods of research and statistics and editor of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. For more information about Dr. Gilbert, see here.

Heber Herencia-Zapana

Heber Herencia-Zapana, PhD

Research Scientist, National Institute of Aerospace

Dr. Heber Herencia-Zapana works as a research scientist for the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, VA. He has a strong background in formal methods and logic, and is fluent in mathematical model theory. He is well aware of VMASC’s work on establishing theoretic foundations for interoperability based on model theoretic principles. Find out more about Dr. Herencia-Zapana here.

Ken Kahn

Ken Kahn, PhD

Senior Researcher, Learning Technologies Group, Computing Services, University of Oxford

Ken Kahn has been a senior researcher at the University of Oxford since 2006. He is leading the Modelling4All project that combines ideas of accessible agent-based modelling within a web 2.0 community. It builds upon the prior Constructing2Learn Project. He did research in technology enhanced leaning at the London Knowledge Lab and the Institute of Education from 1998 to 2014 where he participated in four large EU research projects, a BBC project, and two UK projects. He is the designer and developer of ToonTalk a programming system for children that provides concrete analogs of advanced computational abstractions with a video game look and feel. Recently he has begun to create ToonTalk Reborn an open-source web-based rethinking of ToonTalk. For more information about Dr. Kahn, see here.

Andreas Polk

Andreas Tolk, PhD

Computer Science Principal, Simulation Engineering Department, The MITRE Corporation

Dr. Tolk received his Ph.D. in Computer Science (1995) and has a M.S. in Computer Science (1988) from the University of the Federal Armed Forces, Germany. His research focuses on model-based systems engineering, which includes research on modeling and simulation interoperability challenges, in particular in the context of complex systems and system of systems. For more information about Dr. Tolk, see here.

Levent Yilmaz

Levent Yilmaz, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, joint appointment in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Auburn University

Dr. Levent Yilmaz is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering and holds a joint appointment with the Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn University. He received his MS and PhD degrees from Virginia Tech. His research interests are in Modeling and Computer Simulation, Agent-Directed Simulation, Complex Adaptive Systems. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Simulation: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International and is the founding organizer and General Chair of the annual Agent-Directed Simulation conference series. For more information about Dr. Yilmaz, see here.


Specialized Consultants in the Scientific Study of Religion

Jerome Busemeyer

Jerome R. Busemeyer, PhD

Provost Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University

Dr. Busemeyer is an expert in dynamic, emotional, and cognitive models of judgment and decision making; neural network models of function learning, interpolation, and extrapolation; methodology for comparing and testing complex models of behavior; and measurement theory with error contaminated data. He runs the Judgment and Decision Research Lab (see here). For more information about Dr. Busemeyer, see here.

Cristine Legare

Cristine Legare, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Legare is the director of the Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab. Her training and research reflect her commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to the study of cognitive development. Dr. Legare studies the intersection of several topics in the field of cognitive development: causal reasoning, social learning, and the development of scientific and supernatural belief systems. Her approach is to integrate theory and research from cognitive psychology and anthropology to examine basic cognitive processes in particular content areas and cultural contexts. She has done extensive field work in southern Africa, and is currently doing research in Brazil, China, and Vanuatu (a Melanesian archipelago), using both experimental and ethnographic methods. For more information about Dr. Legare, see here.

Robert McCauley

Robert McCauley, PhD

William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor; Director, Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, Department of Philosophy, Emory University

Dr. McCauley is expert in philosophy of science (especially philosophy of psychology), cognitive science of religion, and naturalized epistemology. He is author of Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture (Cambridge 1990) and Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms (Cambridge 2002), both with E. Thomas Lawson. He is also author of Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not (Oxford, 2011). For more information about Dr. McCauley, see here.

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Richard Sosis, PhD

James Barnett Professor of Humanistic Anthropology, Director, Evolution, Cognition, and Culture Program, Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut

Dr. Sosis’s past and current research focuses on human sociality and cooperation. Under the umbrella of human behavioral ecology, his work on the "puzzle of cooperation" has been interdisciplinary, including perspectives from psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, sociology, and his primary area of training, anthropology. His current work explores the relationship between religion, trust, and intra-group cooperation. Other research interests include optimal foraging theory, costly signaling, and the evolution of religion and morality. His primary fieldwork has been conducted on Ifaluk Atoll of the Federated States of Micronesia and Israeli communes known as kibbutzim. He has also pursued ethno-historical research on nineteenth-century utopian communal societies and conducted economic experiments with various non-student populations in Israel and the United States. For more information about Dr. Sosis, see here.