Advancing Wellbeing Seminar Series: Dean Eckles

October 6, 2015


MIT Media Lab, E15-359


Compared with many other industries, including health care, the Internet industry has distinct advantages in how organizations can use data to make decisions. This makes it an appealing setting for: (a) learning about human behavior and (b) rapidly iterating on tools and methods. Dean will present a little of each, focusing in the first case on peer effects -- how people's behaviors are affected by those of their peers—and in the second case on tools (some open-source) for designing, deploying, and analyzing field experiments. This will include topics in social influence, causal inference, design of experiments, and contextual bandit problems. This covers joint work, especially with Eytan Bakshy, Michael Bernstein, Maurits Kaptein, Brian Karrer, and Johan Ugander.


Dean Eckles is a social scientist, statistician, and assistant professor in the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was previously a member of the Core Data Science team at Facebook. He studies how interactive technologies affect human behavior by mediating, amplifying, and directing social influence—and the statistical methods to study these processes. Dean’s current work uses large field experiments and observational studies. His research appears in peer reviewed proceedings and journals in computer science, marketing, and statistics. Dean holds degrees from Stanford University in philosophy (BA), cognitive science (BS, MS), and statistics (MS), and communication (PhD).

Host/Chair: Agnis Stibe

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