SCS faculty members Carl Simon, Bobbi Low and Rick Riolo were selected for funding in the second round of the MCubed initiative. MCubed is a new seed funding program at the University of Michigan to stimulate and support innovative research. The Simon-Low-Riolo project or "cube" is called "Complex Systems Approaches to Comparing and Contrasting Life Histories of Rhesuses and Humans." The project description below is from the MCubed web site.
Cube proposed by: Carl Simon
Unit: LSA: Natural Sciences
About this project: In order to understand diversity within primate species and commonalities across species, we will construct and analyze models of the life histories of rhesus monkeys and humans, both using classical life history techniques (Leslie matrices, life history tables) and more recent complex systems techniques (networks, dynamical systems, agent-based models). These models will explore causes and effects of varying parental, nepotistic, and social scenarios and different environments, backgrounds, and social structures.
We will parameterize our models with data from rhesus monkeys (Steve Suomi’s NIH-sponsored Virginia facility) and humans (Bobbi Low’s life history work). As outcomes, we plan to understand better determinants of diverse behaviors within species and commonalities across species, the effects of various model structures on disease transmission, stress, success in tasks, and changes in social structures. In a sense, the monkey models will act like toy models for understanding human life histories.