Our People


Nicholas A. Christakis

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He is the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University. Dr. Christakis’s current research is focused on the relationship between social networks and health. People are inter-connected, and so their health is inter-connected. This research engages two types of phenomena: the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form (“connection”), and the biological and social implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (“contagion”).


Daniel Spielman
Daniel Alan Spielman received his B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Yale in 1992, and his Ph.D in Applied Mathematics fromM.I.T. in 1995. He spent a year as a NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computer Science Department atU.C. Berkeley, and then became a professor in the Applied Mathematics Department at M.I.T.  He moved to Yale University in 2006, where he is the Sterling Professor of Computer Science, Statistics and Data Science, and Mathematics.

He has received many awards, including the 1995 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, the 2002 IEEE Information Theory Paper Award, the 2008 and 2015 Godel Prize, the 2009 Fulkerson Prize, the 2010 Nevanlinna Prize, the 2014 Polya Prize, an inaugural Simons Investigator Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship.  He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.  His main research interests include the design andanalysis of algorithms, network science, machine learning, digital communications and scientific computing.


Tom Keegan
Tom Keegan is Executive Director of YINS, providing administrative leadership to the institute and contributing to long-term strategic planning for its current and future position at Yale and in the larger world of network science research. He oversees programs and projects advancing the educational, research, and service missions of YINS, as well as those that seek to forge partnerships between YINS and entities outside of Yale. Tom has a Ph.D. in social psychology from Cornell University and has been working in research administration for the last twelve years. In addition to his role at YINS, Tom is Lab Director for the Human Nature Lab of YINS Co-Director Nicholas Christakis. 


Emily Hau
Emily is the Director of Programs and Partnerships at YINS. She has worked at Yale since 2008. Emily received her BA in geography from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2006, before studying international business law at the American University of Paris. Upon her return to the United States, she was recruited for a postgraduate fellowship in developmental social neuroscience at the Yale University School of Medicine. She co-founded the Give Speech Foundation, a nonprofit with a simple mission: to make augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology better, cheaper, and more accessible. Emily firmly believes smiles are contagious (she’s right) and that Yale University is the happiest place on earth.


Wenjun Hu
Wenjun Hu is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and (by courtesy) Computer Science at Yale. She is based in the newly launched Yale Institute for Network Science. Her research lies in improving physical networked system infrastructures, which revolves around building faster networks, more robust and scalable services, and supporting richer functionalities. In the past her research has explored the application of techniques from communications, information, and coding theories to practical system design and prototyping on real systems. Her current focus is on taming system dynamics and making wireless systems smarter.

Until the end of 2013, she was a researcher in the Wireless and Networking Group at Microsoft Research Asia. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington with Professor David Wetherall. She did her PhD with Professor Jon Crowcroft in the Systems Research Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, though spending about 7 months each at MIT CSAIL and Microsoft Research Cambridge during her PhD.


Amin KarbasiAmin Karbasi
Amin Karbasi is an Assistant Professor of the Electrical Engineering department. His research lies at the intersection of learning theory, large-scale networks, and optimum information processing. From 2013 until 2014, he was a post-doctoral scholar in the learning and adaptive systems group at ETHZ. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL in 2012. Dr. Karbasi is the recipient of the ETH research fellowship grant (2013), winner of the Patrick Denantes memorial prize (2013) for the best Ph.D. thesis in the school of computer and communication sciences at EPFL, co-recipient of ICASSP best student paper award (2011), co-recipient of ACM SIGMETRICS best student paper award (2010), and the runner-up for ISIT best student paper award (2010).


Dragomir RadevDragomir Radev

Dragomir Radev is a Professor of Computer Science and YINS in-house faculty as of January 1, 2017.  Professor Radev’s research interests are in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. He is currently working on lexical semantics, sentiment analysis, question answering, text summarization, deep learning, scientometrics, and dialogue systems, as well as the application of NLP to the humanities, social sciences, and medicine. He has served his research community in several distinguished roles, including secretary of the ACL (Association for Computational Linguistics), co-founder of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), and coach of the US team for the International Linguistics Olympiad. He is the author or co-author of nearly 200 publications and the holder of three patents. In recognition of his sustained contributions to NLP and computational linguistics, he was honored with the rank of Fellow by ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) and Michigan’s Faculty Recognition Award. His research has been funded by a number of sources including NIH, IBM, NSF, DARPA, and IARPA. At Yale, Professor Radev is teaching courses in Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence and leads the LILY (Language, Information, and Learning at Yale) Lab.  Previously, Radev was a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Information at the University of Michigan, where he was also affiliated with MIDAS (the Michigan Institute for Data Science) and the Department of Linguistics. He has worked or consulted for a number of major companies, including IBM, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AT&T. He obtained his PhD in Computer Science in 1999 from Columbia University under the supervision of Professor Kathleen McKeown.  

Leandros Tassiulas
Leandros Tassiulas is the John C. Malone Professor of Electrical Engineering at Yale University.   His research interests are in the field of networking with emphasis on mathematical models and algorithms of complex networks, architectures and protocols of wireless systems, sensor networks, mobile services, novel internet architectures and experimental platforms for network research. His most notable contributions include the max-weight scheduling algorithm and the back-pressure network control policy, opportunistic scheduling in wireless, the maximum lifetime approach for wireless network energy management, and the consideration of joint access control and antenna transmission management in multiple antenna wireless systems. Dr. Tassiulas is a Fellow of IEEE (2007). His research has been recognized by several awards including the IEEE Koji Kobayashi computer and communications award in 2016, the inaugural INFOCOM 2007 Achievement Award “for fundamental contributions to resource allocation in communication networks,” the INFOCOM 1994 best paper award, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Initiation Award (1992), an NSF CAREER Award (1995), an Office of Naval Research  Young Investigator Award (1997) and a Bodossaki Foundation award (1999). He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park (1991). He has held faculty positions at Polytechnic University, New York, University of Maryland, College Park, and University of Thessaly, Greece.

Sekhar Tatikonda
Sekhar Tatikonda received his BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Electrical Engineering Department at Yale in 2002.  He works broadly in the areas of communications, networking, and machine learning.  In particular he is interested in issues of coordination, cooperation, computation and learning in distributed and networked systems.  He was awarded the inaugural Ackerman Award for Teaching and Mentoring for having a positive impact on students and contributing to the educational mission of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Yale.



Peter Aronow
Assistant Professor of Political Science

James Baron
William S. Beinecke Professor of Management
Professor of Sociology

Dirk Bergemann
Douglass and Marian Campbell
Professor of Economics

Scott Boorman
Professor of Sociology

Xi Chen
Assistant Professor of Public Health

Ronald Coifman
Phillips Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Computer Science, Biological, and Biomedical Sciences

Forrest Crawford
Assistant Professor of Public Health (Biostatistics)
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Yale School of Public Health

Florian Ederer
Assistant Professor of Economics

Emily Erikson
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Alison Galvani
Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Yale School of Medicine

Mark Gerstein
Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Departments of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Computer Science

Robert Heimer
Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Pharmacology
Director, Emerging Infections Program
Yale School of Public Health

Edward Kaplan
William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Operations Research, Professor of Public Health & Professor of Engineering
Yale School of Management

Trace Kershaw
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Yale School of Public Health

Marissa King
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Sociology
Yale School of Management

Balázs Kovács
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior
Yale School of Management

Smita Krishnaswamy
Assistant Professor of Genetics
Yale School of Medicine

Vahideh Manshadi
Assistant Professor of Operations
Yale School of Management

A. Mushfiq Mobarak
Associate Professor of Economics
Yale School of Management

A. Stephen Morse
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Sahand Negahban
Assistant Professor of Statistics

Andrew Papachristos
Associate Professor of Sociology
Faculty fellow at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course

Richard Prum
William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

David Rand
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Nicholas Read
Henry Ford II Professor of Physics Professor of Applied Physics and Mathematics

Vladimir Rokhlin
Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics

Mark Saltzman
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Goizueta Foundation Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Larry Samuelson
A. Douglas Melamed Professor of Economics

Laurie Santos
Associate Professor of Psychology

Olav Sorenson
Frederick Frank ‘54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management
Professor of Sociology
Yale School of Management

Stephen Stearns
Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Paul Turner
Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Van Vu
Percey F. Smith Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Statistics and Data Science

Harrison Zhou
Chair, Department of Statistics

Steven W. Zucker
David and Lucile Packard Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering


Larry Bowman
Larry L Bowman, Jr. is a postdoc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Human Nature Lab. He received his PhD from Yale where he explored the interactions among temperature, life history, and physiology in zooplankton species, where he did extensive field work in Eastern Siberia (Lake Baikal) and coastal Connecticut lakes. His current research at the HNL is focused on the genomics of social networks and the connections between the human microbiome and the environment. He combines theory, field work, and population genetics to understand population biology in social networks and across complex, heterogeneous landscapes.



Alexander Isakov
Alexander Isakov holds a BA (physics and math) and MA (physics) from Harvard University. He enjoys collaborations on interesting problems regardless of “discipline” – from physics (synchronization of oscillators) to organismic biology (fly walking recovery) to game theory (institutional punishment and evolution of society). Alexander’s work with the Human Nature Lab centers on collective problems: how do groups solve the collective action problem to create violent raids, can we control network effects through targeted interventions, and how does behavior work on networks with negative ties? Outside of formal academic work, Alexander enjoys spending time with his fiancée, reading, inventing, and thinking about modeling big problems.

Ehsan Kazemi
Ehsan Kazemi is a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale Institute for Network  Science (YINS), Yale University. He is working with Profs. Amin Karbasi, Forrest Crawford and Daniel Spielman. He completed his PhD. at LCA4, EPF Lausanne under the supervision of Prof. Matthias Grossglauser. His doctoral thesis is titled, “Network Alignment: Theory,  Algorithms, and Applications”. He received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Communication Systems from Sharif University of Technology. His main interests are data mining, algorithms, analysis of complex networks and application of graph analysis tools in different fields such as social networks and biology. He has the experience of working with real and large datasets such as Orange D4D and NOKIA MDC. He won the NOKIA Mobile Data Challenge (MDC) on the Next Place Prediction with the best predictor. He is the recipient of Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

His website is: https://sites.google.com/view/ekazemi 

Konstantinos PoularakisKonstantinos Poularakis
Konstantinos Poularakis is a post-doctoral research associate in the Electrical Engineering department at Yale University. His research interests lie in the area of network optimization, with emphasis on emerging network architectures including heterogeneous wireless networks, caching networks, and software defined networks. He obtained the Diploma, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Thessaly, Greece, in 2011, 2013 and 2015 respectively. In spring 2014, he was a research intern at the Technicolor Paris Research Lab. He was the recipient of several awards and scholarships during his studies, from sources including the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, the Greek State Scholarships foundation (IKY) and the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH). He was also the third runner-up for the best paper award at IEEE Infocom 2016.

His website is: https://sites.google.com/site/kpoularakis


Eric Feltham
Eric Feltham is a graduate student working in the Human Nature Lab with Nicholas Christakis.  His bio is pending.

Chris HarshaChris Harshaw
Christopher Harshaw is a Ph.D. student advised by Professors Daniel Spielman and Amin Karbasi. Christopher is interested in spectral graph theory, combinatorial optimization, and applications to machine learning. He earned a B.A. in Computational and Applied Mathematics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University. In his free time, he enjoys composing and playing jazz music, solving puzzles, and visiting the many restaurants in New Haven.


Bo HuBo Hu
Bo is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Computer Science, working with Professor Wenjun Hu. His work is centered on distributed systems and mobile computing. Specifically, he is interested in distributed IoT devices system and mobile offloading to make it possible for the computation-intensive workloads running on the mobile devices with limited computation and energy capability. 


Nikolaos PapadisNikolaos Papadis
Nikolaos Papadis is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, working with Professor Leandros Tassiulas. His research focuses on designing and building secure and scalable decentralized ecosystems for the sharing economy. Specifically, he is interested in Blockchain technology, its theory, mathematical modeling, scalability, security, and tradeoffs, as well as in its applications and its potential to enable secure and trustless disintermediated collaboration. He is also studying decentralized digital identity mechanisms as a tool for achieving privacy and data ownership, as well as mathematical models of exchange markets for the sharing economy. He received his 5-year undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece, and his M.Sc. and M.Phil. from Yale. At Yale, he has received several awards and scholarships, including the 2019 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship, the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Scholarship, and the A.G. Leventis Foundation Scholarship.  

Website: https://campuspress.yale.edu/nikolaospapadis 

Qiaofeng Qin
Qiaofeng Qin is a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering advised by Professor Leandros Tassiulas. Currently, his research focuses on the area of communication networks. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Peking University in 2015.


Mehraveh Salehi
Mehraveh Salehi is a Ph.D. student in the Electrical Engineering department at Yale University, working with Professor Todd Constable and Professor Amin Karbasi. Mehraveh is interested in combinatorial optimization and machine learning algorithms with a focus on submodularity and its applications in the human brain. Her research is aimed at developing predictive models that relate human behavior to individual brain functional connectivity patterns as measured by fMRI. Mehraveh earned her B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. In her free times, she is interested in playing Santour (a Persian music instrument), watching movies, and running.

Website: http://mehravehsalehi.com

Margaret TraegerMargaret Traeger
Margaret Traeger is a second year Sociology PhD student. Prior to coming to Yale, she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, with minors in Women’s Studies and Global Health, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master’s of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is interested in social networks, public health, medicine, gender, and technology.


Peng ZhangPeng Zhang
Peng Zhang is a final year PhD student in computer science at Georgia Tech, advised by Richard Peng. Her research interests include numerical linear algebra and spectral graph theory. She is visiting YINS under the supervision of Dan Spielman. She is trying to understand key structures for designing fast linear system solvers, from both algorithm and complexity perspectives. Before coming to Georgia Tech, she received her M.S. degree from Purdue University and B.S. degree from Zhejiang University.



Matt Dutkiewicz
Matt started his career at Yale in 2013 as a financial assistant in Facilities-Capital Finance where he assisted with the financial and accounting responsibilities related to the capital projects taking place throughout the university. In January 2015, Matt was promoted to a grant accountant with the Yale Cancer Center at the Yale School of Medicine. He oversaw a wide range of sponsored and non-sponsored awards and assisted with not only the post-award financial operations but also with the maintenance of multiple departmental accounts and pilot projects. Matt graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Bryant University in 2012. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University. Outside of work and school, Matt enjoys running, biking, hiking, and exploring the outdoors with his Dachshund, Tanner.


Wyatt Israel
Wyatt Israel is a web developer within the Human Nature Lab. He is primarily focused on developing and supporting the two software packages developed in the lab, Breadboard and Trellis. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado and worked as a web developer at Dish Network before joining the HNL team. In his free time, Wyatt enjoys hiking, reading and playing music.



    Mark McKnight
    Mark McKnight is a Java developer and web application programmer working with Dr. Christakis on online platforms for social science research.  Although currently living in Hamden, Mark is Boston born and raised and is happiest spending his free time with his wife and two sons watching the Red Sox.


    Rennie Negron
    Rennie received her BS in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Arkansas and her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  Prior to coming to Yale, she worked as a project manager at Mount Sinai on various NIH-funded research studies testing interventions to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities in underserved New York City communities. She is originally from Honduras and will be working at YINS as the Program Manager for the Honduras Network project. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors or the zoo with her husband and 2 yr daughter.

    Liza Nicoll
    Liza Nicoll is a Data Scientist for the Human Nature Lab in the Yale Institute for Network Science where she provides data visualization, management, and analysis for multiple research projects, as well as programming support and education for lab members. She has a Biology degree from the University of Massachusetts and a continued education in biostatistics, public health, ecology and data science. She enjoys creative problem solving and programming, especially for the applied challenges of an active, transdisciplinary lab. 

    Mandy Singer
    Mandy Singer is the administrative assistant for the Yale Institute for Network Science. Mandy has phenomenally varied experience, with talents as a repo-woman, cherry-picker operator, and is all-around competent. She has yet to be unable to do anything we have asked her to do. 


    Paul Datta from Tata TCSPaul Datta
    Paul is a Technical Architect from Tata Consultancy Services Ltd stationed at YINS as a Tata Scholar/Visiting Fellow as part of the Tata-Yale Alliance. He is looking to dive into all of the research that happens within YINS and help Nicholas and the team run experiments on Enterprise Social Networks. He is also going to see how Network Science can be leveraged to enhance the effectiveness of change management and awareness interventions in the area of Enterprise Security.

    When free from writing code, collaborating with faculty at Yale, managing multiple bosses, researchers and cloud environments, Paul can be found taking pictures around New Haven, planning weekend getaways and tinkering with open source tech whilst dreaming up new recipes to cook for his wife Subhekshya. 

    His website is http://www.pauldatta.com/ 

    Víctor Valls
    Victor Valls is a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) currently visiting YINS. He obtained his degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) in 2011, and MSc in 2012. In 2012, he started his PhD in applied mathematics at Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. Doug Leith, which he has recently submitted and will defend in May 2017. During the second half of 2015 he visited the NEC Laboratories in Heidelberg (Germany), where he worked on the coexistence of unlicensed LTE and WiFi in 5G networks. His research interests are in the area of mathematical optimization with applications in communication networks, decision and control systems, large-scale distributed algorithms and statistical learning.