Knowledge Lab

Nathan Bartley

Graduate Student, University of Chicago

Nathan is Master's student in Computer Science from Los Angeles, California. Having done his B.A. at UChicago in Biology, he is interested in bridging the gap between Computer Science and Biology. This has taken him in many different directions, including (but certainly not limited to): machine learning, natural language processing, big data, and software engineering. While at the Knowledge Lab, he has worked on projects ranging from building multi-target text classifiers and accompanying user interfaces to running an exploratory analysis of public GitHub repositories. In his free time he enjoys team sports, martial arts, and nature excursions. 

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Alexander Belikov

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago

Alexander Belikov is interested in applications of machine learning and natural language processing to social phenomena and texts. Of particular interest to him are the relation extraction and the convergence of social consensus, which can be studied in conjunction. 
 
Alexander received his B.S. and M.S. from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and his PhD in physics from the University of Chicago.
 
Prior to joining the Knowledge Lab, he held a two-year postdoc at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. He also worked as a quantitative researcher in wholesale risk modeling at JP Morgan Chase and later at the exotic equity derivatives desk at Barclays Capital in New York.
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Hyunzoo Chai

Sr. Data Scientist, Knowledge Lab

Hyunzoo applies computational analysis to problems in social science. Recent work includes mapping research methods within scientific communities, discovering trends in attention to patient safety in journal articles, building semantic maps of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and uncovering impact factor "goosing" techniques from journal citation patterns. 
 
Hyunzoo holds a Ph.D. in Computational Mathematics and Applications from the Paris-Sorbonne University, with a thesis on automated semantic annotation. In addition to her academic work, she has several years of industry experience developing natural language processing applications at Systran, Xerox Research, and LG Electronics' mobile phone division. 
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Johan Chu

Assistant Professor of Organizations and Strategy, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Johan Chu’s research focuses on understanding large-scale change and stasis. In one stream of research, he explores the factors leading to the durable dominance of companies, products, ideas, and people. This work not only suggests strategies for dominants and would-be dominants, but also sheds light on the causes of inequality and stratification in society. Other streams of research investigate: 1) how dominant actors can change institutions, 2) the changing role of elites in corporate governance and society, and 3) new sources of competitive advantage in the twenty-first century. For his empirical studies, Chu uses very large datasets, social network analysis, simulation, and computational text analysis.
 
Chu earned a B.S. in physics from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and a Ph.D. in management & organizations from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
 
In between Ph.D.s, Chu spent thirteen years in consulting, start-ups, and executive search. He consulted for clients in the United States, Korea, and China. He founded, grew, and sold an enterprise software platform venture, and was later the CEO for another venture. Chu’s final industry position was at the world's largest private executive search firm, where he was the Asia-Pacific Consumer Practice leader
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Valentin Danchev

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago

My research lies at the intersection of network analysis, computational social science, and analytical sociology, with a particular interest in community detection and diffusion processes in spatial modular networks. I received my M.A. in Sociological Research from Essex University, and I am currently completing my doctoral research at the Oxford Department of International Development (University of Oxford), in which I apply computational tools from network science to understand the structure of international migration of people at global scale. At Oxford, I have also joined Mason Porter's research group on networks at the Mathematical Institute where I have since enjoyed cross-disciplinary conversations with applied mathematicians.
 
My work in the Knowledge Lab, as a part of a broader interdisciplinary effort, focuses on developing models and techniques that assess the processes underlying the making of scientific knowledge. Specifically, using large-scale data sets on social networks and text, I hope to shed light on patterns of social influence in science, thereby gaining some novel understanding on how knowledge evolves and innovations are brought about.
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Eamon Duede

Executive Director, Knowledge Lab. Administrator, Metaknowledge Research Network, University of Chicago

Eamon serves a key leadership role in strategic and operational planning and management. Eamon is responsible for coordinating day-to-day research activities, asset allocation and distribution, supporting and driving key negotiations, as well as acting as a high-level interface between the Center, its partners, and industry. 

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James A. Evans

Director, Knowledge Lab; Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Chicago; Fellow, Computation Institute

I am Director of Knowledge Lab, senior fellow at the Computation Institute, associate professor of Sociology and the College, and member of the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science at the University of Chicago. My research focuses on the collective system of thinking and knowing, ranging from the distribution of attention and intuition, the origin of ideas and shared habits of reasoning to processes of agreement (and dispute), accumulation of certainty (and doubt), and the texture--novelty, ambiguity, topology--of human understanding.

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Austin Kozlowski

Graduate RA, University of Chicago

I am a doctoral student in the Chicago sociology department. My research focuses on the questions of how belief systems are structured and why certain ideas seem to “go together.” By applying state-of-the-art computational methods, I attempt to shed new light on these age-old questions from the sociology of knowledge and culture.
 
At Knowledge Lab, I am currently engaged in a project utilizing word embeddings to discover cultural associations and categories in text. This project aims to advance an analytical and relational approach to the study culture, building-up our understanding of how meanings are situated with respect to one another in a cultural system.
 
Before coming to the University of Chicago, I earned my BA in Sociology at the University of Michigan and worked as a research associate with the Chitwan Valley Family Study at the UM Institute for Social Research. During my time at Michigan, I conducted research on the effects of agricultural technology adoption among subsistence farm households in Nepal.
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Grace Lu

Student, University of Chicago

Grace is a second-year student in the college double majoring in Computer Science and Economics from northeast Ohio. She is interested in big data, data analytics, social media trends, language processing, and using technology to create applications in a variety of different fields. At the Knowledge Lab, she is working on a project to map Wikipedia to understand how past revision history can lead to the creation of new pages. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, music, and traveling.

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Mary Pierce

Undergraduate RA, University of Chicago

Mary Pierce is a fourth year student at the University of Chicago majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. At the Knowledge Lab, Mary is working on the Curricula Vitae project. While not collecting information about the published works of UChicago’s professors, she is writing her BA on systems of knowledge production and propagation in the fashion industry. She is interested in post-structuralist media theory, philosophy, big data analysis, and social media networks. Most recently she has contributed to the social media campaigns of Starbucks, Lavazza, and Chobani. Mary is an avid instagrammer (@themerrymary), slitten enthusiast, and well-versed traveler. Employment in the fashion industry has enabled Mary to work in Paris, Milan, New York, Los Angeles, Zurich, and Singapore. After graduation she plans to expand her travel repertoire and continue answering this world’s big questions. 

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Nandana Sengupta

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago

My research revolves around improving the predictive performance of traditional Econometric models using modern Statistics and Machine Learning. I'm very interested in developing these techniques with a special focus on Public Policy applications. I am currently a doctoral candidate of Economics at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in Physics from St. Stephen’s College (New Delhi, India) and a Master's degree in Development Economics from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (Mumbai, India).
 
I've had the opportunity to participate in a number of interdisciplinary research groups including the Machine Learning in Social Sciences group at Carnegie Mellon University and the Computational Social Science Workshop at the Santa Fe Institute. I’m looking forward to continuing this line of work at the Knowledge Lab, where my projects will include developing computational tools to more deeply engage user input as well as developing new techniques to assess and predict the impact of academic research.
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