About


I’m an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh with a secondary appointment at the Department of Economics. I received my PhD in Social Science at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2010. Before Caltech I was a computer scientist at Adobe Systems, working on the PDF file technology.

My training comes from mathematical social science (experiments, theoretical models), however, the research I do is motivated by practical problems faced by organizations delivering human /social services. My work can be divided into three areas: prosocial behavior, information aggregation, and policy experiments in the social services sector.

The first area, prosocial behavior, investigates reputation concerns behind voluntary contribution of money and labor. The second area asks when and how a decision maker can aggregate dispersed information. One application investigates whether large scale mobile phone data can reveal changes at the ground level prior to political violence. The third area has thus far focused on financial behavior in homeless shelters, though I am also interested in jails.