I completed a joint Ph.D. program with the departments of Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI in April of 2012.

I also earned a certificate in complex systems from the Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) in 2008.

Before coming to UM I completed a Master of Science degree in mathematics at Northeastern University in Boston.

I hold two bachelor degrees, both received from the University of Florida in 1999. A Bachelor of Science in Economics from the College of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

From February 2010 until July 2011 I was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto (which included co-teaching a first-year MBA core course). Careful readers will realize that I completed a postdoc before finishing my PhD -- that's not common, but that's the opportunity I had. I also spent six months at Sandia Labs as a post-doctoral researcher before my current job. I am currently a research scientist at the Riken Brain Science Institute in the Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development.

In addition, I hold a positions as an adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte's Department of Software and Information Systems and an affiliate researcher in the Department of General Economics of Gent University in Belgium.

For more details please refer to my resume


My primary field of inquiry is the highly interdisciplinary field of complex adaptive systems with special foci on methodology, philosophy, and social science.

Within methodology I am particular interested in agent-based modeling, network theory, non-standard data analysis, and data visualization/interaction. My current main project includes data fusion of multi-modal inputs, adaptive coarse-graining, phase space representation as a Markov model, and various measures of robustness, tipping, and behavioral patterns in large-scale time-series data.

The ideas of emergence and complexity themselves are philosophical topics, and I work on them through studies of causation, ontology, epistemology, and the philosophy of information.

My work in social science often ties back into work in methodology and/or philosophy. For example, my work on polarization identified multiple distinct concepts of polarization, devised formal measures for them, and then applied them to social opinion and political data. Other work extends structural balance to transtemporal networks to analyze alliances in online games. These online games provide a wealth of data for studies in political economy including hedonic pricing theory, gravity modeling, and endogenous market dynamics.

You can find out more about my research from my ComplexityBlog.


I've separated my papers into two sections: one for technical papers in methodology, mathematics, or anything else with equations and one for everything else (which for me is usually philosophy papers). I present them with their abstracts and any other pertinent information. Most of these were written for classes -occasionally worked afterwards but typically not. Others are larger projects, pedagogical works, or polished notes. Works in progress, short papers, and sketches of ideas are all published on my research blog site.

Selected Publications:

Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, William J. Berger, Graham Sack, Steven Fisher, and Carissa Flocken. "Understanding Polarization: Meanings, Measures, and Model Evaluation" Philosophy of Science Volume 84, Issue 1 (2017).

Aaron Bramson and Benjamin Vandermarliere. "Benchmarking Measures of Network Influence" Scientific Reports 6, 34052; (2016).

Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Steven Fisher, William Berger, Graham Sack, and Carissa Flocken. "Disambiguation of Social Polarization Concepts and Measures" Mathematical Sociology Volume 40, Issue 2, pp. 80-111 (2016).

Aaron Bramson and Benjamin Vandermarliere. "Dynamical Properties of Interaction Data" Journal of Complex Networks Volume 4, Issue 1, pp. 87-114 (2015).

Jiin Jung and Aaron Bramson. "An Agent Based Model of Indirect Minority Influence on Social Change" Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, eds. H. Sayama, et al. MIT Press pp. 400-407 (2014).

M. D. Ryall and A. L. Bramson. Influence and Intervention: Causal Modeling for Business Analysis. Routledge Press (October, 2013).

Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Steven Fisher, Aaron Bramson, William J. Berger, Christopher Reade, Carissa Flocken, and Adam Sales. "Scientific Networks on Data Landscapes: Question Diculty, Epistemic Success, and Convergence" Episteme Volume 10, 4 (October 2013).

Jenna Bednar, Aaron Bramson, Andrea Jones-Rooy, and Scott Page. "Emergent cultural signatures and persistent diversity" Rationality and Society, Volume 22(4). (November 2010).

Dissertation: Aaron Bramson. "Evolution of Prosocial Behavior through Preferential Detachment and its Implications for Morality". December 6, 2011 Summary: This work focused on the evolution of prosociality (e.g. cooperation, coordination, contribution) through a mechanism I call "preferential detachment" and its implications on moral experience. The project included elements from game theory and institutional design, implemented through a dynamic networked agent-based model analyzed with nonparametric statistics, a Markov model of the same phenomenon, and a philosophical chapter that builds on research from animal and human psychology, biological evolution, and neurology.
Full Text:  40MB PDF document

Presentation Materials

If you are looking for the slides to my ICPSR summer program in complex systems agent-based modeling workshop slides, then they are here. Slides from some of my other academic presentations are available here for your review and reuse...or for nostalgia purposes.

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