Bromage Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, is renown for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation. Currently, he holds appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to his work at the University of Michigan, Axelrod taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1968 to 1974. He holds a BA in mathematics, which he acquired in 1964 from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in political science, which he earned in 1969 from Yale. .
Among his current research interests are: complexity theory (especially agent-based modeling) and international security. Among the numerous honors and awards that Axelrod accumulated throughout the length of his career are: a membership in the National Academy of Sciences, a five year MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences for an outstanding contribution to science, and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War.
Axelrod's publications include works like Harnessing Complexity (with Michael D. Cohen), Conflict of Interest, The Structure of Decision, The Evolution of Cooperation and The Complexity of Cooperation. His works focus on questions of how patterns of social behavior emerge and draw on the current research in a wide range of disciplines, including biology, psychology, and computer science. Thus far, his research has been cited in over three thousand articles. For example, a discussion about the "Prisoner's Dilemma- would be incomplete without taking into account the theories established by Axelrod in The Evolution of Cooperation.
The prisoner's dilemma is a modeling tool that helps us to understand the behavior of entities in various situations and scenarios.