JAnstee (WMF), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

We are hiring one Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) to work on a two-year research project to model and simulate attacks on various supply chains. Specifically, the student will employ data- and theory-driven modeling of malicious actors who aim to disrupt supply chain networks. The student will work directly with me and periodically interact with project stakeholders. There will be many opportunities to publish research papers, engage with an interdisciplinary team of scholars, and attend academic conferences.

A successful applicant should/will be a graduate student in the Computational Social Science program and work in the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University. The other investigators who work in this project are Drs. Sean Luke, Carlotta Domeniconi, and Andrew Crooks.

Expected qualifications:

  • Experience in agent-based modeling, preferably in MASON (Java-based open-source framework).
  • Implementing social science theories of human behavior in code
  • Experience in machine learning

The position is expected to start in the Fall 2021 semester.

The compensation of the position is based on College of Science rates for GRAs including tuition, employment in summers, and student health care coverage. Extension of the position is subject to funding and student performance.

How to Apply:
Send your CV and a paragraph in the form of a cover letter describing your research interests to Dr. Hamdi Kavak (hkavak@gmu.edu).

George Mason University is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason’s diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create.

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

I am honored to announce that the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS) contacted me to notify the delivery of the Young Simulation Award. According to SCS, “[t]his award honors outstanding scientist and engineers under 35 year old who, early in their careers, demonstrated excellence and show potential for leadership at the frontiers of modeling and simulation.” I sincerely thank the SCS award committee for considering me for this prestigious award. Last but not least, I would like to thank my mentors who helped me become who I am today.

YSS Award

I am excited to announce that we are hiring 6 undergraduate and 2 graduate students to work with us for 11 weeks as part of the GMU Summer Team Impact Project (2021). In this period, we will investigate the inclusion of the spatial and temporal variation of human behavior in the spread of COVID-19. Students with a background in one of the following topics are encouraged to apply:

  • Data management & processing (especially geographic data)
  • Data mining and machine learning
  • Agent-based modeling
  • Knowledge and interest in respiratory disease dynamics or behavioral psychology

Duration and Compensation:
Students are expected to treat this opportunity as a full-time job for the period of May 31 to August 13, 2021. Undergraduate students will be paid a $4,000 stipend and graduate students will be paid $6,000 across five pay periods in the summer (payment occurs every two weeks).

How to Apply:
Students must submit a cover letter and resume as part of their application. Undergraduate students should apply via the Handshake platform (search for Job ID # 4429299) by March 18, 2021. Graduate students can directly send their application package to Dr. Hamdi Kavak.

Project mentors: Drs. Hamdi Kavak, Taylor Anderson, Andreas Zufle, and Amira Roess

STIP-2021 position

ANNSIM2021 - CfP

ANNSIM (Annual Modeling and Simulation Conference) is the new flagship conference of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS). The new conference is a merger of two previous SCS conferences, namely, SpringSim and SummerSim, and combines many tracks from both conferences. ANNSIM comes with a new track named “Emerging Topics” to solicit studies from recently emerging areas. For this year, the focus of the emerging topics is on pandemic modeling. The complete list of tracks are as follows:

  • AI and Simulation (AIS)
  • Annual Simulation Symposium (ANSS)
  • Communications and Network Simulation (CNS)
  • Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)
  • Emerging Topic – Aspects of Pandemic Modeling (ET-APM)
  • High Performance Computing and Simulation (HPC)
  • Humans, Societies and Artificial Agents (HSAA)
  • M&S Based Systems Engineering (MSBSE)
  • M&S for Smart Energy Systems (MSSES)
  • Modeling and Simulation in Cyber Security (MSCS)
  • Modeling and Simulation in Medicine (MSM)
  • Theory and Foundations for Modeling and Simulation (TMS)

It is still not too late to submit your paper to ANNSIM. The deadline to submit full papers is March 22, 2021. Note that accepted full papers will be submitted to the ACM and IEEE libraries for archival. Visit the conference web page for more information about submission and tracks.

Based on existing plans, the event will be held hybrid at George Mason University. However, this plan is subject to change if circumstances do not allow in-person part of the conference.


I wanted to start sharing my yearly academic summary for a long time. This is obviously an overdue blog post as we are already in the third month of the new year, but I wanted to start this tradition and continue in the following years. This past year will be a good base comparison point for me moving forward. I have to mention that I got this idea following Aaron Clauset’s blog. In fact, I am using some of his items directly but created different grouping and added some work/life balance measures.

1. Publications

  • Peer-reviewed papers published: 4
  • Co-authored w/ students: 1 (high school)
  • Book chapters (published or accepted): 0
  • Other publications: 3
  • Papers currently under review: 2
  • Papers near completion: 4
  • Rejections: 0
  • New citations: 103

2. Projects and grant proposals

  • Oldest project I still intend to finish: from 2018
  • Oldest project completed this year: from 2014
  • Fields covered: Modeling and Simulation, Data Science, Computational Social Science
  • Number of new collaborators: 7
  • Oldest collaborator: from 2011
  • External grant proposals submitted (as PI, co-PI, or senior personnel): 6 (totaling $3,296,258)
  • Number on which I was PI: 2
  • Proposals rejected: 2
  • New grants funded: 1
  • Proposals pending: 3
  • New proposals in the works: 2
  • Internal grants received (as PI or co-PI): 1 ($45,000)

3. Service

  • Conferences/workshops (co-)organized: 2
  • Conferences/workshops attended: 2
  • Conference/workshop program committees: 2 new, 6 continuing
  • Journals reviewed first time: 4
  • Total papers reviewed: 4 for journals, 9 for conferences
  • Number of GMU’s graduate program applications reviewed: 92
  • Referee requests declined: don’t know maybe 10
  • Number of grant review panels I sat on: 0
  • Awards received: 1 here

4. Advising

  • Students advised: (6 Ph.D., 0 MS, 2 BS, 4 HS)
  • Students graduated: 2 Ph.D.
  • Thesis/dissertation committees: 6
  • Number of recommendation letters written: 13

5. Teaching

  • Number of courses taught: (1 new, 2 existing)
  • Students enrolled in said courses: 54
  • Average teaching evaluation score: 4.92 / 5

6. Communication

  • Sent: 10 (≈ 13 / day)
  • Received: 12,076 ( ≈ 33 / day)
  • Unread emails now: 7


  • Workspaces: 4
  • Messages sent: 8844 Homepage
  • Unique visitors: 761 for 6 months
  • Page hits overall: 7970 for 6 months


  • Number of accounts: 1
  • Total followers: 312
  • Total following: 253
  • Number of original tweets: 40
  • Number of retweets: 64
  • Number of likes: 900+ based on a sample
  • Most popular tweet: 6 retweets, 17 likes here

7. How I spent my time (ranking from highest to lowest)

  • Teaching (mainly content development)
  • Meetings of all kinds
  • Writing (mainly proposal and paper)
  • Communication (mainly email responses)
  • Content reviewing of all kinds
  • Housekeeping (planning, logging what I did)
  • Brainstorming
  • Technical stuff (coding etc.)

8. Work/life balance (based on Fitbit and Toggl data)

  • Number of weeks that I worked over 40 hours (excluding coffee breaks etc): 9
  • Number of weekends I worked: 45
  • Family travel: 2 (COVID hit us)
  • Number of weeks that I exercised at least 4 days: 26 (mainly walking)
  • Average daily sleep: 5 hours 48 minutes
  • Daily sleep records: 2 hours 1 minute (lowest) - 8 hours 40 minutes (highest)
  • Fraction of times slept after midnight: 0.91
  • Fraction of times slept over 8 hours/day: 0.02 (only 7 days)
  • Month that I slept least on average: January (5 hours 26 minutes/day)
  • Month that I slept most: November (6 hours 11 minutes/day)
  • Number of movies watched: ≈20
  • Number of TV shows watched: 1
  • Non-technical books read: 1
  • Steps this year: 2,812,108 (≈ 7,683/day)
  • Total step distance: 2018.81 miles (average of 5.5/day)