Michael Schnabel

headshot of Michael Schnabel

Michael Schnabel

Research Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy


Areas of Expertise

  • Quantitative modeling of opinion formation
  • Group decision making
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Quantum-like methods (quantum cognition and quantum games) to describe seemingly irrational aspects in human behaviour
  • Machine learning
  • Network inference and graphical models
  • Evolutionary game theory


  • Ph.D., Physics & Neuroscience, Göttingen University & Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany
  • Diploma, Theoretical Physics, Regensburg University, Regensburg, Germany
  • •Undergraduate Studies in Physics, Frankfurt University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Michael Schnabel is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. He applies methods and ideas from statistical physics and neuroscience to model collective decision-making and information processing in social systems. His current research topics include opinion formation, deliberative democracy, and cognitive models of decision-making. His Mershon work includes support with the Quantum Social Science Bootcamp, organized in conjunction with Alex Wendt and Joyce Wang. 

Michael received his PhD in physics from Goettingen University in Germany. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was a research scholar at Northwestern University where he worked in the areas of systems biology and complex networks.