Hello! I’m a Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and an affiliate faculty member in Computer Science.

I look at public policy through the lens of computer science, bringing a computational perspective to a diverse range of contemporary social issues. My recent work has examined policing practices, including the development of new statistical tests for discrimination; fair machine learning, including guidance for designing equitable algorithms; higher education, including admissions policies and undermatching; and democratic governance, including swing voting, polling errors, voter fraud, and political polarization.

With Alex Chohlas-Wood, I co-direct the Computational Policy Lab. The lab is comprised of researchers, data scientists, and journalists who work to address policy problems through technical innovation. For example, we deployed a “blind charging” platform across California to mitigate racial bias in prosecutorial decisions. We also built a platform to reduce pretrial incarceration through behavioral nudges. And we collected, released, and analyzed data on over 100 million traffic stops as part of our Open Policing Project.

I often write essays and engage in public discussions on policy issues from a statistical perspective. These include examinations of algorithms in the courts (in the New York Times and the Boston Globe); algorithmic fairness (in the Washington Post and on the Moral Science Podcast); policing (in the Washington Post, Slate, and the Huffington Post); mass incarceration (in the Washington Post); election polls (in the New York Times); claims of voter fraud (in Slate and on This American Life); and college admissions (in the Boston Globe, Boston Review, and the Washington Post).

I hold an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago, as well as a doctorate in applied math and a master’s in computer science from Cornell University. After finishing graduate school, I completed postdoctoral fellowships in the math departments at Stanford and the University of Southern California, and then worked as a research scientist at Yahoo and Microsoft before returning to academia. Before joining Harvard, I was on the faculty at Stanford University, with appointments in management science & engineering, computer science, sociology, and the law school.

My office is in the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at 124 Mt. Auburn St. — Room 2310. (To get there, take the south — not north! — elevators to the second floor, and then walk to your left as you exit the elevator, making a semicircle to the entrance of the Shorenstein Center.) If you would like to chat, please send me an email!