Raffaele Vardavas

Photo of Raffaele Vardavas
Mathematician; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.Sci. and Ph.D. in physics, Imperial College London

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Raffaele Vardavas is a senior-level mathematician at the RAND Corporation and a Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty member. His expertise is primarily in constructing and analyzing epidemic models for spreading infectious disease using both deterministic and stochastic methods and using both population-level and agent-based models. He is especially interested in socioeconomic dynamical systems involving a contagion process, social networks, criticality, and entities with adaptable behavior. He has been PI on NSF-funded grants, NIH-funded R21, and R01 grants, and has served on review panels for influenza and COVID-19 related R01 and center grant proposals for NIAID. He has been part of a technical advisory group on integrated Epidemiological and Economic models of COVID-19 for the WHO. Vardavas holds a Ph.D. and M.Sci. in Physics from Imperial College London.

Recent Projects

  • Modeling the Coupled Dynamics of Influenza Transmission and Vaccination
  • Agent-Based Model of the Role of Perceptions in Income Tax Evasion
  • International Alcohol Policy Model
  • Microsimulation of Obesity Policies
  • Market Creation as a Policy Tool for Transformational Change




  • A healthcare worker holds syringes with COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination center, in El Paso, Texas, May 6, 2021, photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    Will the United States Declare Freedom from COVID-19 Too Soon?

    RAND analyzed what could happen with COVID-19 deaths in the United States if restrictions all go away on July 4. Fully reopening the economy before Biden's vaccination target was met doubled the average number of COVID-19 deaths between Independence Day and the end of the year.

    May 21, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Health insurance form with model of COVID-19 virus and pen, photo by ajaykampani/Getty Images

    COVID-19 Could Become a Widespread Preexisting Condition in a Post-ACA World

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is far from perfect, but its protections are particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the ACA is struck down, then protections for preexisting conditions will go with it. Policymakers should consider the potential implications for millions of COVID-19 survivors.

    Nov 4, 2020 The Hill

  • People have lunch at a restaurant that reopened with plastic barriers and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Bangkok, Thailand, May 8, 2020, photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

    Modeling the Future of COVID-19: Q&A with RAND Experts

    The phrase “flatten the curve” familiarized Americans with epidemiological models used to estimate virus transmission, cases, and potential deaths from COVID-19. But new models are needed as the country enters a different stage of the crisis.

    May 26, 2020

  • Crowds gather at Buffalo Bayou Park as social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 are relaxed in Houston, Texas, May 4, 2020, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

    Relaxing COVID-19 Restrictions Presents Stark Health and Economic Choices

    RAND's new COVID-19 interventions impact tool uses epidemiological and economic models and continually refreshed data to estimate what could happen as restrictions are eased. The tool won't make the choices confronting state leaders less painful. But it can provide clear, evidence-based estimates of the health and economic trade-offs.

    May 18, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • CDC staff support the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) response in the their Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, Georgia, March 10, 2020, photo by James Gathany/CDC/Reuters

    Estimates of COVID-19's Fatality Rate Might Change. And Then Change Again.

    With infections of the new coronavirus confirmed in countries around the world, people are following the daily tally of COVID-19 cases, wondering exactly how lethal this new disease is. The truth is, it's hard to know.

    Mar 11, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Financial video game

    Let's (Not) Play Games with Dodd-Frank

    Dodd-Frank, the 2010 financial reform law, is now itself the target of reform. Those involved with the overhaul could draw inspiration from an unlikely source: video games. A simulation game could help predict the effects of changes to regulations—and avoid high-stakes missteps.

    May 4, 2017 The Hill