- Alternate meanings: See RAND (disambiguation)
The RAND Corporation is an American think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the U.S. military. The organization has since expanded to working with other governments and commercial organizations. RAND has around 1100 employees based at four sites: Santa Monica (California), Arlington (Virginia), Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and Leiden (The Netherlands). The corporation's name is a contraction of the phrase "Research ANd Development". (Gen. Curtis LeMay quipped that RAND meant "Research And No Development".)
RAND was set up in 1945 by the USAAF as Project RAND, under contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in 1945 they released the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship. In May 1948, Project RAND was separated from Douglas and became an independent organization.
RAND was incorporated as a nonprofit organization to "further promote scientific, educational, and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare and security of the United States of America."
Achievements and Expertise
The achievements of RAND stem from its development of systems analysis. Important contributions are claimed in space systems and America's space program, in computing and in artificial intelligence. RAND researchers developed many of the principles that were used to build the Internet.
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 1994 annual report "two-thirds of Rand's research involves national security issues."
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.
Notable RAND participants
- James Q. Wilson (board of directors)
- A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates (published by RAND)
- An article about RAND (http://www.sourcewatch.org/wiki.phtml?title=RAND_Corporation) at SourceWatch
- Council for Aid to Education (a RAND Subsidiary) (http://www.cae.org/)
- Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School (http://www.prgs.edu/)
- Paul Baran's research at RAND (http://www.rand.org/publications/RM/baran.list.html) on packet switching
- RAND website (http://www.rand.org)