I’m an Associate Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh, with appointments at the Intelligent Systems Program (SCI) and Department of Economics. I am an experimental economist studying prosocial behavior and services for marginalized populations (homeless shelters, reentry services). I work across disciplines, publishing in journals such as Management Science, Journal of Politics, Games and Economic Behavior, as well as in ACM conference proceedings. Many of my kindred spirits are in the interdisciplinary, multi-institution Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) research group, where I am active in. I am also on the Board of Reviewing Editors at PNAS Nexus. I got my PhD in Social Science at Caltech in 2010; before that I was a computer scientist at Adobe Systems and a math tutor for School on Wheels.

I founded the Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI) in Fall 2019. Early 2020 saw the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, and it became CAASI’s mission to invert the dynamics between communities and universities – creating a space in academia where the ultimate goal is not grants or papers but being useful to the community. In June 2020, we launched Grief to Action, an open working group where students, community members, staff and faculty can co-develop and incubate data projects to support local social justice movements. In Fall 2021, we launched two data platforms – the Allegheny County Policing Project (video, paper) and the community asset scavenger hunt 412Connect ( video, paper), which we are constantly refining. In Spring 2022, we co-developed PIA 2250 – a public interest technology / civic data class- with the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC). By Fall 2022, Grief to Action have channeled almost 200 volunteers and over seven Pitt capstone courses into these community collaborations, and for AY2/23, CAASI was selected as one of the top 10 finalist for institutionalization at Pitt in the Pitt Seed program. See news about CAASI here.

Update: Honored to receive the 2023 Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award!


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