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The RAND Corporation is a global policy think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces. The organization has since expanded to working with other governments and commercial organizations.

RAND has approximately 1600 employees based at six locations: in the U.S. — Santa Monica, California (headquarters), Washington, D.C. (currently located in Arlington, Virginia) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (adjacent to Carnegie Mellon University); in Europe — Leiden, Netherlands, Berlin, Germany and Cambridge, United Kingdom. In 2003, it opened the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute in Doha.

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RAND is also the home to the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, one of the original graduate programs in public policy and the first to offer a Ph.D.. The program is unique in that students work alongside RAND analysts on real-world problems. The campus is at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters. It is the world's largest Ph.D.-granting program in policy analysis.

It is widely assumed that the corporation's name is an acronym of the phrase "Research ANd Development".

Project RAND[edit | edit source]

RAND was set up in 1946 by the United States Army Air Forces as Project RAND, under contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in May 1946 they released the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship. In May 1948, Project RAND was separated from Douglas and became an independent non-profit organization.

Mission statement[edit | edit source]

RAND was incorporated as a non-profit organization to "further promote scientific, educational, and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare and security of the United States of America." Its self-declared mission is "to help improve policy and decision making through research and analysis", using its "core values of quality and objectivity."

Achievements and expertise[edit | edit source]

The achievements of RAND stem from its development of systems analysis. Important contributions are claimed in space systems and the United States' space program, in computing and in artificial intelligence. RAND researchers developed many of the principles that were used to build the Internet. Numerous analytical techniques were invented at RAND, including dynamic programming, game theory, the Delphi method, linear programming, systems analysis, and exploratory modeling. RAND also pioneered the development and use of wargaming.

Current areas of expertise, including that of RAND's education-related division — the Institute on Education and Training — are: child policy, civil and criminal justice, education, environment and energy, health, international policy, labor markets, national security, population and regional studies, science and technology, social welfare, terrorism, and transportation.

RAND oversaw one of the largest and most important studies of health insurance. The RAND Health Insurance Experiment, funded by the then-U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, established an insurance corporation to compare demand for health services with their cost to the patient.

According to the 2004 annual report, "about one-half of RAND's research involves national security issues."

Trivia[edit | edit source]

U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay quipped that RAND meant "Research And No Development".

The film Dr. Strangelove made a jab at RAND, with the title character mentioning a study conducted by the "BLAND Corporation."

While the RAND Corporation has produced many notable publications, its best-selling book is A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates.

Notable RAND participants[edit | edit source]

Criticisms of RAND[edit | edit source]

The RAND Corporation has been associated with militarism and the military-industrial complex by some individuals. Many of the conspiracy theories in which RAND plays a part are based on assumptions which are hard to verify because of the lack of detail on RAND's highly classified work for defense and intelligence agencies. Some RAND participants who have gone on to large roles in the military-industrial complex are often believed to have had a role in shaping RAND research. See Antimilitarism.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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