Dr. Hovmand is the founding director of the Social System Design Lab (SSDLab) at the Brown School of Social Work. The mission of the SSDLab is to advance the science and field of system dynamics practice in human services including social work, education, health, and public health.
Dr. Hovmand holds degrees in electrical engineering, mathematics, and social work. His research focuses on how organizations and communities can successfully implement and sustain innovations to improve outcomes with application areas in mental health services, community responses to domestic violence, health services, obesity prevention, and natural resources. To advance this research, he develops and draws on methods from electrical engineering and computer science, specifically system dynamics computer modeling and simulation, and participatory methods such as group model building.
Other interests include ordinary language philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, epistemology of social science, and feminist theory. He advises students interested in learning and applying system dynamics and systems thinking, and co-teaches a joint social work-engineering course with Dr. O’Sullivan, “A System Dynamics Approach to Designing Sustainable Social Policies and Programs.”
He is co-founder and chair of the diversity committee for the System Dynamics Society and a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, System Dynamics Society, Society for Social Work Research, and Society for Community Research and Action.