David G. Rand is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, as well as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Mathematical Biology at Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. David studies human cooperation from an evolutionary game theoretic perspective. His research integrates theoretical and empirical approaches, conducting behavioral experiments inspired by evolutionary models, and developing models based on experimental data.
After earning a B.A. in Computer Biology from Cornell University summa cum laude in 2004, David worked as a mathematical modeler at the biotechnology start-up company Gene Network Sciences, and then received a Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School's Department of Systems Biology in 2009. Thus he brings a biological perspective and toolkit to the study of human behavior.
David works extensively with Berkman Co-director Yochai Benkler. Their work has thus far focused on solving collective action problems, and the role that solidarity and group identity play in promoting cooperation. For more, see a recent publication in PNAS studying in-group bias among Democrats during the 2008 election. David also studies reward and punishment in cooperative settings, and the dangers associated with escalation as opposed to reciprocation.
Together with Yochai, David runs the Berkman Center Cooperation Group's weekly seminar, Mondays from 4pm-6pm @ 23 Everett St. These weekly meetings explore cooperation from many different angles, and include participants from law, economics, computer science, psychology, sociology, and evolutionary biology.