I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratory for Innovation Science, a joint venture between Harvard's Business, Medical, and Engineering schools and headed by Karim Lakhani. I received my PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago, where I worked with James Evans to apply new computational social science techniques to study the evaluation and diffusion of scientific knowledge.
My research investigates how people create, share, and evalute new ideas, and how these processes are affected by organizational and cultural factors. I am particularly interested in how organizations evaluate and select among competing ideas and projects. Using computational and field experimental methods to examine real evaluation processes in science, I study how the socio-cultural context in which evaluations are made can bias outcomes, steering them towards particular winners and losers. My goals are not only to understand how bias can enter seemingly meritocratic evaluations, but to identify and test how strategic organizational design can improve decisions.
My other work investigates the knowledge creation online. In particular, I study how collaboration in crowd-sourcing communities is affected by a particularly salient fault-line: political ideology. Lastly, I am interested in knowledge diffusion: how the flow of knowledge between communities of experts and other audiences can be stimulated or stymied by organizational factors.
Methodologically, I specialize in computational analysis of textual and interactional data, micro-targeted surveys, and field experiments. I apply these tools to data and field settings provided by partners like Harvard Medical School, Elsevier, Public Library of Science, and Wikipedia. My research appears in journals including Nature Human Behavior, Research Policy, Sociological Science, and Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and has been covered by MIT Technology Review and the Washington Post.
See the Projects page for more details.