Past Member

Yan Leng

Research Affiliate
  • Human Dynamics

 I am a Ph.D. candidate at Human Dynamics Laboratory at MIT Media Lab, under Professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland. I hold a dual MS in Computer Science and Transportation Engineering from MIT and a dual BS in Transportation Engineering and Computational Mathematics from Beijing Jiaotong University.

I am a computational social scientist and network scientist using large-scale data sets, network theory, and machine learning techniques to understand human behavior over social networks. Motivated by the intricate linkage between individuals' characteristics, actions, and their networks, my projects thus far have tackled this area from four directions:

  1. I developed frameworks to learn hidden network connections based on individuals’ decisions.
  2. I empirically investigated and theoretically modeled how social influence spread over networks.
  3. I studied how to leverage influential nodes for selective network interventions.
  4. I developed methods to incorporate network and other complex data structures for inference problems on networks, i.e., preference inference and counterfactual predictions.