Rahmat Beheshti - Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University



Hi there -- thanks for stopping by.

My name is Rahmat (pronounce), and I’m a postdoctoral trainee/researcher in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I also have a joint appointment with the Applied Math and Statistics Department at Johns Hopkins. I have a PhD in Computer Science and a Master in Artificial Intelligence. I have been working in the area of Computational Epidemiology and Health Data Analytics for the past decade. Specifically, I have worked extensively on two major Public Health epidemics: Smoking and Obesity, which are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. I have focused on very different aspects of these two, including the role of social norms and social networks, the effects of economic constraints and lately their biological and neural roots.


Education and CV

At Johns Hopkins, I'm working with Tim Moran, Tak Igusa and Yanxun Xu. I have also worked with Tom Glass (retired) and Jesse Jones-Smith (moved to UW). I did my PhD in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida with Gita Sukthankar, and finished my master in Artifical Intelligence with Nasser Mozayani at Iran University of Science and Technology. I got my bachelor in Computer Software Engineering from Kharazmi University.


Research Theme

As humans’ health behaviors are essentially very complex, I have used various techniques from the area of Complex Systems in my research. Specifically, I have frequently used methods based on Agent-based Systems including Agent-Based Modeling and Multi-agent Systems. I also have several papers in which I propose new algorithms to improve the functionality or extend the application of agent-based systems. One unique aspect of my work has been my attempt to make my simulated agents (representing individuals) as realistic as possible, especially by designing “intelligent” agents that behave similarly to actual circumstances.

Below you see my presentation at Virginia Tech Carilion discussing the projects that I have been working on during my PhD and postdoc.


PhD Dissertation

Modeling Social Norms in Real-world Agent-based Simulations

Briefing of my PhD dissertatoin in AI Matters, a newsletter of the ACM Special Interest Group in Artificial Intelligence (SIGAI).


Coursera Course

Our course titled Systems Science and Obesity is now available on Coursera. Please check it out online.



Program Committee: AAAI-14, AAMAS-16, 17 & 18, IJCAI-15 & 17 Conferences
Ad Hoc Reviewer: Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, Journal of Nutrition, Journal of AI and Society, Journal of Physical Activity & Health

Program committee members in top tier CS conferences, generally review 6-10 full papers in each round.


Favorite Quotes

- "I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code."
- "Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful."
- "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."