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My current interest lies in what I might call “economic” games, the games that economists and psychologists have been using to understand why we behave the way we do. More and more I hear questions about human behaviour, why is this crazy trend taking off? what accounts for that reaction? why do we seem unwilling to pursue that option? why do we do what we do? George Williams, a co-worker for many years, was an early advocate of “evolutionary medicine,” using the ideas of evolution to get a better handle on disease, and of course that’s a huge field today. Ever since Dawkin’s “memes,” cultural evolution has seen the same kind of progression and now has a vibrant literature, both academic and popular. For me, games such as prisoner’s dilemma, the trust game and the ultimatum game are mathematical ways of getting into this set of ideas. This is harder stuff than what I used to work on. Humans are hard to figure out.

We have an active BioMath group at Queen's presided over by my colleagues Troy Day (Mathematics), Felicia Magpantay (Mathematics), Bill Nelson (Biology) and me, with a number of graduate students and postdocs.

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