JSMF Post-doctoral Fellow at the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University
Babak employs concepts from sociology, behavioral ecoNomics, and network science to study human behavior and interaction theoretically and experimentally. Broadly, he studies the linkages and mutual influences of two categories of entities. The first one subsumes social structure, social context, and culture. The second one encompasses perceptions, preferences, behaviors, and interactions. A central strand of his research revolves around human cooperation. It attends to questions such as how altruism, prosociality, and trust, can be promoted to outweigh egoism, what factors strengthen or impair trust, and what is the interplay between social networks and individual cooperative attitudes. Babak received his PhD from the department of electrical and computer engineering at McGill university, after receiving an MSc in physics from Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He worked on the mathematics and statistical physics of networks---e.g., evolution of the structure of complex networks (social, biological, and techNological), and diffusion of information, influence, and pathogens on social networks. After his PhD, he received an MA in Sociology from McGill. His main focus was quantitative methods and computational social sciences (linking machine learning and data science to sociology). His other interests in sociology are social theory and social psychology. On the methodological side, his main interest is causal inference, particularly for networked data.