I am a social scientist and statistician. Much of my research is on social influence that is mediated, amplified, or directed by interactive technologies. The design of new interactions, interventions, and methods is sometimes both a means and an end.

I am a member of the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty, in the Marketing group. I hold the KDD Career Development Professorship in Communications and Technology and am affiliated with the Institute for Data, Systems & Society. Before joining MIT, I worked on the Facebook Core Data Science Team.

The principal subjects of my research are

  1. social interactions and influence through communication technologies
  2. persuasive strategies and interventions implemented with interactive technologies
  3. applied statistics, machine learning, and causal inference, especially for 1 and 2

Within these areas, I have worked on peer effects in networks, the spread of rumors and (mis)information, design of experiments in networks, evaluating high-dimensional methods for observational causal inference, tools for running online experiments (e.g., PlanOut), mobile persuasive technologies, self-disclosure and sharing behaviors, multi-armed bandit problems, and persuasion profiling.

I completed my PhD at Stanford University in 2012, advised by Clifford Nass. I was previously a research scientist at Nokia Research Center, Palo Alto. Before joining Nokia, I worked with BJ Fogg on research in mobile persuasive technologies in the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab and worked at Yahoo! Research Berkeley, creating and studying location-aware mobile photo sharing apps (in 2005 and 2006).

I try to use my blog, Ready-to-hand, and Twitter (@deaneckles) to share ideas and report on research in a more immediate and informal way than scholarly publications.