Sharad Goel Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Research Interests »

I work in the general area of computational social science, an emerging discipline at the intersection of computer science, statistics, and the social sciences. I am particularly interested in large-scale empirical analyzes that address questions motivated by sociology, economics and political science. I blog about these topics with Daniel Reeves at

I hold a PhD in Applied Mathematics and a Masters in Computer Science from Cornell, and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. Following postdoctoral positions in the math departments at Stanford and the University of Southern California, I joined the Microeconomics and Social Systems group at Yahoo! Research. I am currently a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research – New York City.

Selected Publications & Preprints »
  1. Ideological Segregation and the Effects of Social Media on News Consumption
    With Seth Flaxman and Justin Rao. Under review.

  2. Forecasting Elections with Non-Representative Polls
    With Wei Wang, David Rothschild, and Andrew Gelman. Under review.

  3. The Structural Virality of Online Diffusion
    With Ashton Anderson, Jake Hofman, and Duncan J. Watts. Under review.

  4. The Mythical Swing Voter
    With David Rothschild, Andrew Gelman, and Doug Rivers. Under review.
    [email for a copy]

  5. Political Ideology and Racial Preferences in Online Dating
    With Ashton Anderson, Gregory Huber, Neil Malhotra, and Duncan J. Watts.
    Sociological Science, Vol. 1, 2014.

  6. Predicting Individual Behavior with Social Networks
    With Daniel G. Goldstein.
    Marketing Science, Vol. 33, 2014.

  7. Sharding Social Networks
    With Quang Duong, Jake Hofman, and Sergei Vassilvitskii.
    Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM 2012).

  8. Respondent Driven Sampling—Where We Are and Where Should We be Going?
    With Richard White, Amy Lansky, David Wilson, Wolfgang Hladik, Avi Hakim and Simon DW Frost
    Sexually Transmitted Infections, Vol. 88, No. 6, 2012, 397-399.
    Supporting Information

  9. The Structure of Online Diffusion Networks
    With Duncan J. Watts and Daniel G. Goldstein.
    Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC 2012).

  10. Who Does What on the Web: Studying Web Browsing Behavior at Scale
    With Jake Hofman and M. Irmak Sirer
    Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM 2012).

  11. Predicting Consumer Behavior with Web Search
    With Jake Hofman, Sébastien Lahaie, David Pennock, and Duncan Watts
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 107, No. 41, 2010, 17486-17490.

  12. Real and Perceived Attitude Agreement in Social Networks
    With Winter Mason and Duncan Watts
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 99, No. 4, 2010, 611-621.

  13. Assessing Respondent-Driven Sampling
    With Matthew Salganik
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107, No. 15, 2010, 6743-6747.
    Supporting Information - Project 90 Data

  14. Prediction Without Markets
    With Daniel Reeves, Duncan Watts, and David Pennock
    Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC 2010).

  15. Anatomy of the Long Tail: Ordinary People With Extraordinary Tastes
    With Andrei Broder, Evgeniy Gabrilovich, and Bo Pang
    Proceedings of the Third Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM 2010).

  16. Contract Auctions for Sponsored Search
    With Sébastien Lahaie and Sergei Vassilvitskii
    Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Internet and Network Economics (WINE 2009).
    Short version in SIGecom Exchanges

  17. Collective Revelation: A Mechanism for Self-Verified, Weighted, and Truthful Predictions
    With Daniel Reeves and David Pennock
    Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC 2009).

  18. CentMail: Rate Limiting via Certified Micro-Donations
    With Jake Hofman, John Langford, David Pennock, and Daniel Reeves
    Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Email and Anti-Spam (CEAS 2009).
    Short version at WWW 2009, Developer's Track

  19. Respondent-Driven Sampling as Markov Chain Monte Carlo
    With Matthew Salganik
    Statistics in Medicine, Vol. 28, No. 17, 2009, 2202-2229.

  20. Social Search in “Small-World” Experiments
    With Roby Muhamad and Duncan Watts
    Proceedings of the 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2009).

  21. Predictive Indexing for Fast Search
    With John Langford and Alex Strehl
    Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2008).

  22. Pricing Combinatorial Markets for Tournaments
    With Yiling Chen and David Pennock
    Proceedings of the 40th ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC 2008).

  23. Horseshoes in Multidimensional Scaling and Local Kernel Methods
    With Persi Diaconis and Susan Holmes
    Annals of Applied Statistics, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2008, 777-807.

  24. An Invisible Minority: Asian-Americans in Mathematics
    Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 53, No. 8, 2006, 878-882.

  25. Analysis of Top to Bottom-k Shuffles
    Annals of Applied Probability, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2006, 30-55.

  26. Mixing Time Bounds via the Spectral Profile
    With Ravi Montenegro and Prasad Tetali
    Electronic Journal of Probability, Vol. 11, 2006, 1-26.

  27. Eluding Carnivores: File Sharing with Strong Anonymity
    With Emin Gün Sirer, Mark Robson, and Doğan Engin
    Proceedings of the 11th ACM SIGOPS European Workshop. 2004.

  28. Modified Logarithmic Sobolev Inequalities for Some Models of Random Walk
    Stochastic Processes and Their Applications, Vol. 114, 2004, 51-79.

Kelly Savage Vilas Baroque