Raffaele Vardavas

raffaele vardavas, v0079
Mathematician; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


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


Raffaele Vardavas is a mathematician at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. His expertise is primarily in constructing and analyzing epidemic models for the spreading of infectious disease using both deterministic and stochastic methods and using both population-level and agent-based models. Vardavas is especially interested in problems in socio-economic dynamical systems that involve a contagion process, social networks, criticality, and agents that have adaptable behavior and tendency to "free-ride."

Prior to joining RAND, he was a post-doctorate researcher at UCLA in the applied mathematics and bio-math departments. At RAND he has worked on quantitative modeling projects. Some examples are: modeling smallpox outbreaks and control options via both a differential equation model and a micro-simulation model; modeling the dynamic interplay between influenza vaccination behavior, seasonal influenza epidemiology and the role of social networks via an agent-based model; an evolutionary economic agent-based model of climate change and the role of lobbying; COMPARE micro-simulation model that has been used to evaluate proposed changes to U.S. health care system; modeling HIV transmission for the U.S. to inform optimal test-and-treat strategies via a differential equations model; modeling yearly health and cost burden of illicit drugs in the U.S.; and constructing a micro-simulation for alcohol consumption and its health and social outcomes. He is currently working on developing an agent-based model for income tax evasion. Vardavas received his Ph.D. 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


  • 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