William Rand

Assistant Professor & Director, Center for Complexity in Business

3457 Van Munching Hall
(301) 405-7229
Ph.D., University of Michigan

William Rand examines the use of computational modeling techniques, like agent-based modeling, geographic information systems, social network analysis, and machine learning, to help understand and analyze complex systems, such as the diffusion of innovation, organizational learning, and economic markets. He serves as the Director of the Center for Complexity in Business, the first academic research center focused solely on the application of complex systems techniques to business applications and management science. He also has an appointment with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, and affiliate appointments with the Departments of Decision, Operations & Information Technology and Computer Science. 

He received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 2005 where he worked on the application of evolutionary computation techniques to dynamic environments, and was a regular member of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, where he built a large-scale agent-based model of suburban sprawl. Before coming to Maryland, he was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University in the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), where he worked with the NetLogo development team studying agent-based modeling, evolutionary computation and network science.

Over the course of his research experience, he has used computer models to help understand a large variety of complex systems, such as the evolution of cooperation, suburban sprawl, traffic patterns, financial systems, land-use and land-change in urban systems, and many other phenomena. He has recently received research awards from Google / WPP, the National Science Foundation and the Marketing Science Institute.

Selected Grants and Awards

National Science Foundation, "Diffusion and Ranking in Social Media: A Computational Examination of the Role of Influence and Authority", Grant #1018361, 2010-2013

Google and WPP Marketing Research Award, "Media, Aggregators and the Link Economy: An Analytical and Empirical Examination of the Future of Content", 2010 

Selected Publications

All of Prof. Rand's recent publications are available on the the CCB's SSRN Repository.

Rand, William and Roland T. Rust, (2011) "Agent-Based Modeling in Marketing: Guidelines for Rigor,"International Journal of Research in Marketing, Accepted for Publication.  Pre-print available.

Stonedahl, Forrest, William Rand, and Uri Wilensky (2010), "Evolving Viral Marketing Strategies," Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO), July 7-11, Portland, OR, USA

Wang, Jun, and Gregory Dam, Sule Yildirim, William Rand, Uri Wilensky and James C. Houk (2008), "Reciprocity Between the Cerebellum and the Cerebral Cortex: Nonlinear Dynamics in Microscopic Modules," Complexity, (cover article), 14(2): 29-45.