Gavin S. Hartnett

Gavin S. Hartnett
Information Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


B.Sc. in physics and mathematics, Syracuse University; M.A. and Ph.D. in physics, University of California, Santa Barbara


Gavin S. Hartnett is a physical scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. A theoretical physicist by training, Hartnett conducts policy-oriented research into a wide range of topics, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing. He is particularly interested in the effect of new and emerging technologies on society, as well as in the application of rigorous analytical methods to address difficult policy questions.

Prior to joining RAND, Hartnett studied black holes in string theory as a postdoc at the Southampton Theory Astrophysics and Gravitation (STAG) Research Centre in the UK, and before that he was a PhD student at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His research focused on the existence and stability of black holes, and in using properties of black holes to understand phenomena in strongly coupled gauge theories through the gauge/gravity correspondence. As an undergraduate at Syracuse University, he researched gravitational waves as part of the LIGO collaboration, the expansion of the early universe, as well as topological defects in liquid crystals.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

AI/ML Lablet Co-lead in the PRGS Tech and Narrative Lab

Selected Publications

GS Hartnett, E Parker, TR Gulden, R Vardavas, D Kravitz, "Modelling the impact of social distancing and targeted vaccination on the spread of COVID-19 through a real city-scale contact network," Journal of complex networks, 2021

TR Gulden, GS Hartnett, R Vardavas, D Kravitz, Protecting the most vulnerable by vaccinating the most active, RAND (PE-A1000), 2021

Gavin S. Hartnett, Edward Paker, Edward Geist, "Replica Symmetry Breaking in Bipartite Spin Glasses and Neural Networks," Physical Review E, 98(2), 2018

Vitor Cardoso, Oscar J. C. Dias, Gavin S. Hartnett, Matthew Middleton, Paolo Pani, Jorge E. Santos, "Constraining the mass of dark photons and axion-like particles through black-hole superradiance,", 2018

Oscar J.C. Dias, Gavin S. Hartnett, Benjamin E. Niehoff, Jorge E. Santos, "Mass-deformed M2 branes in Stenzel space," Journal of High Energy Physics, 105, 2017

Gavin S. Hartnett, "Localised Anti-Branes in Flux Backgrounds," Journal of High Energy Physics, 7, 2015

Oscar J.C. Dias, Gavin S. Hartnett, Jorge E. Santos, "Quasinormal modes of asymptotically flat rotating black holes," Class.Quant.Grav., 31(24), 2014

Gavin S. Hartnett, Andrew J. Lohn, and Alexander P. Sedlack, "Adversarial Examples for Cost-Sensitive Classifiers,", 2019

Honors & Awards

  • Syracuse University Scholar
  • Barry Goldwater Scholarship