Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Faculty

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) honor guards at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 28, 2019, photo by Parker Song/Reuters

    Getting to Know the Competition

    Americans are facing a new reality in global great power relations that will define the trajectory of U.S. foreign policy for the foreseeable future. Prof. Cortez Cooper argues that understanding China's threat perceptions, while remaining clear-eyed regarding differences in objectives, is essential to developing strategies to deter conflict.

  • Used Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) containers and syringes sit in a case, after paramedics revived a man in his 40s, who was found unresponsive, after overdosing on opioids in Salem, Massachusetts, August 9, 2017, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    (Grey's) Anatomy of an Opioid Crisis

    More than 130 Americans die every day after overdosing on opioids. So when one of the most popular shows on network television made opioid misuse a major plotline, alum Bradley Stein (cohort '97) and Prof. Sarah MacCarthy paid especially rapt attention to how the show would present this public health crisis. How closely would it mirror reality? Pretty closely, for the narrow slice of the opioid crisis it addressed.

  • A medical bill showing balance due, photo by DNY59/Getty Images

    Addressing Surprise Medical Bills Without Raising the Cost of Health Care

    Patients who try to stay within their insurers' networks can be hit with surprise bills when they unknowingly receive care from out-of-network physicians. Erin Duffy (cohort '15) and Profs. Chapin White and Mark Friedberg ask how much a physician should be paid for providing a service that is critical but rendered without the patient's ready ability to choose an in-network provider.

  • Five glasses of water, with dirty water in the center, photo by hdere/Getty Images

    How to Ensure Quality Drinking Water Service for All? One Option Is Fewer Utilities.

    Mar 26, 2019

    David Catt, Michelle E. Miro, et al.

    California's Human Right to Water Bill declares that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.” Student David Catt and professors Miriam Marlier and Michelle Miro say one clear barrier to reaching this target is the sheer number of small water utilities that pose service sustainability and public health risks to their customers.

  • Department of Water and Power employees assess the damage from a broken 30-inch water main on Sunset Boulevard, next to the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, July 30, 2014, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Lessening Leakages: How Water Systems Can Learn From Smart Electric Grids

    Mar 22, 2019

    Jalal Awan, Michelle E. Miro, et al.

    As drought and population growth place increasing pressure on water supply, the need to save and efficiently manage Southern California's water resources becomes increasingly critical. Student Jalal Awan (cohort 17) and professors Miriam Marlier and Michelle Miro suggest that a single information and communication technology platform could go a long way toward moving water utilities from reactive to proactive maintenance practices.

  • Oil barrel leaking oil grass, photo by RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images

    Increasing Groundwater Reliance in L.A. County Means Dealing with Extensive Contamination

    Advances in the information available on groundwater quality and contamination could help community water systems avoid health hazards and better ensure a safe drinking water supply, write Alexandra Huttinger (cohort '17) and professors Michelle Miro and Miriam Marlier.

  • Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D rendering, image by sdecoret/Adobe Stock

    The Promise and Perils of AI: Q&A with Douglas Yeung

    Feb 27, 2019

    Prof. Douglas Yeung, a social psychologist at RAND, discusses how any technology reflects the values, norms, and biases of its creators. Bias in artificial intelligence could have unintended consequences. He also warns that cyber attackers could deliberately introduce bias into AI systems.

  • Young Asian woman looking at an eye scanner image, photo by Photographer is my life/Getty Images

    Biology, in the Language of the People

    Feb 21, 2019

    Timothy Marler, Dona Odell

    As technology and the ability to gather ever-growing amounts of data move further into the realms of biology and human performance, Prof. Tim Marler writes, communication and transparency become increasingly important. Scientists should consider whether they are using the words, examples, and models that connect with a broad audience most effectively.

  • President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 12, 2018, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Engagement with North Korea: Small Steps May Matter More Than Big Ones

    Kim Jong-Un has said he wants North Korea to become a normal country. Heejin Kim (cohort '18) and Prof. Rafiq Dossani say that agreeing to a series of short-term measures could reveal his truthfulness as much as large measures could. This could also pave the way to eventually achieving the larger goals.

  • Artificial eye looking through greenery

    Does the United States Face an AI Ethics Gap?

    Jan 11, 2019

    Benjamin Boudreaux

    The view that the United States is in an artificial intelligence (AI) arms race suggests an AI ethics gap. Prof. Benjamin Boudreaux says the U.S. may face a higher ethical hurdle than its adversaries when developing and deploying AI in military contexts. But, he adds, the gap could be a source of U.S. strength in building international partnerships.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018

    Data Breaches Could Cause Users to Opt Out of Sharing Personal Data. Then What?

    As tech-based systems have become all but indispensable, many institutions might assume user data will be reliable, meaningful and, most of all, plentiful. Prof. Doug Yeung asks, what if this data became unreliable, meaningless, or even scarce?

  • A guide explains the interior of a home designed by students of Middlebury College competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, September 26, 2011

    Can Innovative Financing by the Public and Private Sectors Build on Momentum in Energy Efficiency Improvements for Affordable Multifamily Housing?

    Nearly one in three American households in 2015 reported difficulty paying their energy bills or sustaining adequate home heating and cooling. Student Lisa Jonsson (cohort '14) and Prof. Aimee Curtright find that emerging models of energy services and financing show promise and could identify creative ways to increase access to funding that could preserve and improve home affordability for millions of Americans.

  • World map with electronic circuits

    When Cyber Attacks Occur, Who Should Investigate?

    Data breaches and cyberattacks cross geopolitical boundaries, targeting individuals, corporations and governments. Professors John Davis, Ben Boudreaux, and Jair Aguirre argue that creating a global body with a narrow focus on investigating and assigning responsibility for cyberattacks could be the first step to creating a digital world with accountability.

  • A doctor talks to a girl whose arm is in a sling

    A Threat to Immigrant Health Care with Potential Consequences for All

    The proposed changes to the “public charge” rule could jeopardize decades of progress towards improved health care access and health for immigrants and U.S. citizens. Prof. Kathryn Pitkin Derose says negative effects may include worse health outcomes, increased use of emergency rooms, and increased prevalence of communicable diseases.

  • Bird scooters outside a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, July 23, 2018

    A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Unleashed in Santa Monica last September, Bird and its competitors are now in more than 30 American cities—and are being met with new regulations and increased law enforcement. Student Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Prof. Rob Lempert write that, if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

  • Face detection and recognition

    Keeping Artificial Intelligence Accountable to Humans

    Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are often only as intelligent—and as fair—as the data used to train them. Prof. Osonde Osoba explains that, for AI that can free humans from bias instead of reinforcing bias, experts and regulators will need to think more deeply not only about what AI can do, but what it should do—and then teach it how.

  • Health care spending, money, medication, stethoscope

    Understanding the Impact of the Elimination of the Individual Mandate Penalty

    Starting in 2019, the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty will be eliminated, effectively ending the law's requirement that most people have health insurance. Profs. Christine Eibner and Sarah Nowak write that, while declines in coverage and increases in premiums are likely, the magnitudes of these effects are highly uncertain.

  • A desk with 3D printing technology on top

    Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. But the growing opposition to them shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable, write student Luke Irwin (cohort '16) and professors Troy Smith and Trevor Johnston. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

  • Eco-friendly law and eco balance concept

    Suggestions to Help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

    Jul 19, 2018

    Benjamin M. Miller

    The EPA's interest in including a systematic retrospective review element in new regulation has the potential to provide a transparent and well-structured method for assessing which decisions worked well and which didn't, writes Prof. Benjamin Miller. If successful, it could serve as a role model for other regulatory agencies.

  • Lawmakers from India's main opposition Congress party and the Janata Dal (Secular) protest against India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B.S. Yeddyurappa's swearing-in as Chief Minister of the southern state of Karnataka, in Bengaluru, India, May 17, 2018

    Politics in India—Not Business as Usual

    Jun 19, 2018

    Rafiq Dossani

    India's ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has suffered recent, self-inflicted electoral setbacks, writes Prof. Rafiq Dossani. But it is still the best-organized and richest political party in the country. Can opposing alliances defeat the BJP?

  • Students march as part of a national school walkout on March 14, 2018 to honor the 17 students and staff members killed on February 14 in Parkland, Florida

    From Florida's Farm Fields, Lessons for #MeToo and Other Movements

    Organizers who want to bring about social change would do well to look to Florida farmworkers, writes Dean Susan Marquis. Those farmworkers took on the low wages, physical abuse, and vulnerability that have long characterized agricultural labor in the United States—and won, changing the culture for the better.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) and North Korean official Kim Yong Chol (left) meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, May 26, 2018

    North Korea Is Not Like Libya

    Jun 1, 2018

    Karl P. Mueller

    The prospect of a U.S.-North Korea summit has led to analogies between the present case and that of Libya, which abandoned its longstanding quest to develop nuclear weapons in 2003. But Prof. Karl Mueller says a better precedent would be the 2015 deal that froze Iran's nuclear weapons program.

  • Business people in an elevator

    How to Increase Participation in Workplace Health and Wellbeing Initiatives

    Many employers are actively looking at ways to improve health and wellbeing in their workplaces. Prof. Chris van Stolk writes that increasing employee participation in health and wellness programs requires strategies to address health risks, engagement with staff, and buy-in and support from management.

  • Osonde Osoba in a RAND panel discussion in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 20, 2018

    The Human Side of Artificial Intelligence: Q&A with Prof. Osonde Osoba

    May 1, 2018

    Prof. Osonde Osoba has been exploring AI since age 15. He says it's less about the intelligence and more about being able to capture how humans think. He is developing AI to improve planning and is also studying fairness in algorithmic decisionmaking in insurance pricing and criminal justice.

  • U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 5, 2018

    Gaza on the Brink

    The combined risk of violence and pandemic in Gaza makes this small coastal enclave a ticking time bomb, writes Prof. Shira Efron (alum, cohort '11). While neither Israel nor the U.S. has the solutions to all of Gaza's water and health woes, the United States' decision to withhold funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency could only make things worse.