Oleg Smirnov

Current classes

Classes for Winter 2021

About me

I have diverse teaching and research interests and believe that a key ingredient to success is to follow one’s passion. My passion is computational modeling or seeing the world through the prism of mathematics and computer code. I believe that developing programming skills and the ability to think like a modeler is useful for students of different ages (from elementary school to Ph.D. level). At the present time and foreseeable future, such skills can contribute to a variety of careers: from art, music, and humanities to biochemistry, finance, and space exploration. Using computational thinking, I published my work in general science journals such as Nature, various disciplinary journals in sociology, economics, and political science as well as specialized interdisciplinary journals such as the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation and Climatic Change. From my teaching experience, I found a hands-on interactive approach to be most effective in cultivating students’ enthusiasm and motivation to learn more rigorous material. Younger students may further benefit from a more playful approach to science and programming. I have a Masters in Economics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Oregon. Currently, I am an associate professor of political science at Stony Brook University, where I have been teaching graduate-level courses on game theory and computational modeling, among others.

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