In addition to his academic appointment in the Department of Psychology, Jeffrey Schank directs the Agent-Based Models Lab, which uses agent-based models to understand the behavior of individuals and populations in social and evolutionary settings.
Professor Schank is interested in how complex group and social behaviors emerge from relatively simple rules of individual behavior. His work examines how these rules change in organisms as a consequence of development and social experience. To achieve these ends, he uses individual-based modeling as a tool for analyzing social behavior, discovering individual rules, and revealing how these rules change as a function of development and social experience. Professor Schank is also interested in the implications of this view for the evolution of social behavior and has general interests in historical and conceptual issues in the life sciences.