MIT Connection Science is improving organizations through deep insights into human behavior and targeted interventions that leverage human networks. With applications ranging from energy to financial services to social adoption of new ideas, we design better tools to foster a better society.

Context

The peril and the promise of networks of people connected by machines is becoming ever more apparent in our daily lives, as we begin to see a succession of impacts.

From the flash crash to Arab Spring to the Northeast Blackout to the polarized US political landscape. Human systems are behaving in ever-more-unstable fashions.

At the same time, new frontiers of opportunity are opening up in healthcare, in finance, and in society.

Mission

The mission of MIT Connection Science is to revolutionize technology-mediated human networks through analysis, prediction, data-driven design, and evaluation.

MIT Connection Science Logo Neg 150px
Team
Alex “Sandy” Pentland

Alex “Sandy” Pentland

Faculty Director

Alex “Sandy” Pentland is founding faculty director of the MIT Connection Science Research Initiative, which uses network science to access and change real-world human behavior, and is the Toshiba Professor of Media, Arts, and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also holds a triple appointment at MIT in Media Arts and Sciences, Engineering Systems Division and with the Sloan School of Business.

Sandy has helped create and direct MIT’s Media Lab, the Media Lab Asia, and the Center for Future Health. He chairs the World Economic Forum's Data Driven Development Council, is Academic Director of the Data-Pop Alliance, and is a member of the Advisory Boards for Google, Nissan, Telefonica, the United Nations Secretary General, Monument Capital, and the Minerva Schools.

In 2012 Forbes named Sandy one of the “seven most powerful data scientists in the world”, along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States, and in 2013 he won the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review. He is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, wearable computing (Google Glass), image understanding, and modern biometrics. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels. His most recent book is Social Physics, published by Penguin Press.

Over the years Sandy has advised more than 50 PhD students. Almost half are now tenured faculty at leading institutions, with another one-quarter leading industry research groups and a final quarter are founders of their own companies. Sandy's research group and entrepreneurship program have spun off more than 30 companies to date, three of which are publicly listed and several that serve millions of poor in Africa and South Asia. Recent spin-offs have been featured in publications such as The Economist and The New York Times, as well as winning a variety of prizes from international development organizations.

Sandy holds a B.G.S. from University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David L. Shrier

David L. Shrier

Managing Director

David L. Shrier is the Managing Director of MIT Connection Science. He leads other new initiatives for MIT, advises the European Commission on commercializing innovation and building regional innovation capacity, and counsels leadership at private and public companies on growth strategies.

David specializes in unleashing organizational potential, having developed $8.5 billion of growth opportunities globally with companies including GE/NBC Universal, D&B, Wolters Kluwer, The Walt Disney Company, Ernst & Young, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, as well as leading private equity and VC funds. He has also started and/or led a number of private equity and venture capital-backed companies as CEO, CFO or COO.

An accomplished public speaker, he has lectured on entrepreneurial finance and corporate innovation in the MBA programs of USC / Marshall, Columbia Business School, Fordham Business School and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) near Geneva, Switzerland. He previously taught corporate venturing and entrepreneurship for three years in NYU's MBA program, where he was an Adjunct Associate Professor. For MIT, David created and helps to lead “Future Commerce”, a highly reviewed fintech innovation course, which he is developing into an online version in spring 2016. He is creating and digitizing courses in “Big Data/Analytics” and “Human Capital Management 2.0”. David’s “Visionary Investing” workshops, for MIT Sloan, help build investor capacity for social enterprise. He also has a highly successful startup pitch clinic called “Inspiring Change Through Strategic Narrative”, and has co-taught “Data Driven Health”. His “Data Academy”, developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, has trained over 80 senior United Nations officials on the uses of data in humanitarian crises.

David Shrier was granted an Sc.B. from Brown University in Biology and Theatre.

Thomas Hardjono

Thomas Hardjono

Chief Technology Officer

Thomas Hardjono is the CTO of Connection Science and Engineering. He leads technical projects and initiatives around identity, security and data privacy, and engages industry partners and sponsors on these fronts. He is also the technical director for the Internet Trust Consortium under MIT Connection Science that implements open source software based on cutting edge research at MIT. The consortium embodies the MIT philosophy of giving back to the community.

As part of the MIT outreach to industry, Thomas is active in a number of industry associations and standardization bodies. These include IETF, IEEE, Kantara, OASIS, TCG and OIC.

Throughout his 20 year career in the computer and network security industry Thomas has primarily been engaged in advancing new technologies, working in various CTO offices and advances engineering groups. Companies and organizations he contributed to include NTT/ATR Japan, Bay Networks (Nortel), VeriSign Security, Wave Systems and a number of start-ups. Over the years he has published three books and over sixty technical papers in journals and at conferences. He holds 19 patents in the areas of security and cryptography.

Thomas has a BSc degree in Computer Science with Honors from the University of Sydney, and PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

John Clippinger

John Clippinger

Entrepreneur in Residence

John Henry Clippinger is co-founder and Executive Director of ID3 (Institute for Innovation & Data Driven Design), a 501 C(3) non profit organization (www.idcubed.org) formed to develop and field test legal and software trust frameworks for identity, personal data, data-driven services, infrastructures, and enterprises. He is also a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab’s Human Dynamics Group and Chairman of the ITU Working Group on Identity and Authentication. Previously, Dr. Clippinger was founder and Co-Director of The Law Lab (www.lawlab.org) at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School.

Dr. Clippinger is the editor with David Bollier of From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond; The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in Digital Society, (2014), the author of A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity (Perseus, Public Affairs, 2007, and The Biology of Business, Natural Laws of Enterprise Josey Bass, 1998 ). Previously, he was Director of Intellectual Capital, Coopers & Lybrand and the founder of four artificial intelligence software companies.

Dr. Clippinger is a graduate of Yale University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania where completed his thesis on a computational model of discourse composition, He is a member of the eG8 Forum, and the Global Leadership Council of World Economic Forum, The DoD sponsored Highlands Forum, Yale University CEO Leadership Institute, The Aspen Institute, World Technology Network Leader Finalist, Ashoka, and The Santa Fe Institute Business Network.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Connection Science Fellow

Connection Science Fellow Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger retired from IBM in May of 2007 after a 37 year career with the company, where his primary focus was on innovation and technical strategy. He led a number of IBM’s companywide initiatives including the Internet and e-business, supercomputing and Linux. From March of 2008 to June of 2014 he was a Strategic Advisor at Citigroup, working on innovation and technology initiatives including the transition to mobile digital money and payments.

He is a Strategic Advisor on Innovation at HBO, Visiting Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Adjunct Professor at the Imperial College Business School, and Executive-in-Residence at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Inno360, ID³ and the Corporation for National Research Initiatives; the Visiting Committee for the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago; and the Advisory Board of USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab.

Since 2005 Dr. Wladawsky-Berger has been writing a weekly blog, irvingwb.com, which has also been published in the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal since April of 2012.

Dr. Wladawsky-Berger received an M.S. and a Ph. D. in physics from the University of Chicago.

Deven Sharma

Deven Sharma

Connection Science Fellow

Connection Science Fellow Deven Sharma served as President of Standard & Poor’s, Head of Global Strategy and M&A at The McGraw-Hill Companies and partner at Booz Allen Hamilton. He served as Chairman of Crisil, an Indian public company, and member of 800-Flowers board.

Deven is the founder of InfleXon, a firm focused on information and analytics markets. InfleXon advises companies on strategic transformation through disruptions in information, technology and geo political markets, as well as in risk and regulatory governance. Deven invests in and incubates next generation information enabled companies that focus on shaping ways to connect, use and learn from data to transform the way enterprises make decisions, manage risks and, value and monetize their data and analytic assets.

Deven led S&P starting in 2007, through the most tumultuous period in financial markets to pivot to a new product architecture, operating model, adapt to become regulated, re-build brand trust and strengthen risk governance. His experience in information markets extends across range of vertical sectors in financial, health, energy and market intelligence. At S&P, he engaged regularly with central banks, regulators and legislatures and spoke at many conferences globally.

Deven holds a PhD in Operations Management from The Ohio State University, MS in Industrial Engineering from University of Wisconsin, and BS from Birla Institute of Technology.

Praveen Mandal

Praveen Mandal

Connection Science Fellow

Praveen Mandal is a veteran of 6 successful formative stage start-ups and a seasoned technology executive whose teams have developed industry recognized, market leading technologies and solutions in telecom, clean-tech and high performance compute industries. Companies and organizations founded are Pipal Systems (served as CEO, acquired by Riverstone Networks), ChargePoint (served as President), the Emerging Technologies Group at SGI (served as SVP & GM) and 2Know Services (serving as Chairman). Furthermore, has held senior executive positions at Riverstone Networks (VP of R&D), Lucent Technologies (VP of R&D for Carrier Ethernet Solutions) and aforementioned SGI (SVP of R&D and GM of Emerging Technologies Group).

In addition to his role as a Connection Science Fellow, Mr. Mandal currently serves on the Advisory Board of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and also serves on the Board of Directors at various hard technology startups in Boston and Silicon Valley. He is co-inventor on 10 awarded patents and holds a BSCE from Santa Clara University.

Stephen Kennedy Smith

Stephen Kennedy Smith

Connection Science Fellow

Stephen is an entrepreneur, business advisor, and has a long career in the development, funding and expansion of companies. He has served as a director or advisor to several companies, including Gridline Communications Holdings, Pear Therapeutics, Owl Biomedical and, LocoMobi. Stephen is also an active member of the Kennedy family financial advisory board. He served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator Edward Kennedy during his presidential and senatorial campaigns. And also served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees. Stephen taught negotiation at Harvard University Law School and is a three-time winner of Harvard’s Danforth Award for Excellence in Teaching and a recipient of the Lyndehurst Foundation prize for social and artistic achievement. Mr. Kennedy-Smith holds an M.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Columbia University, and an M.A. Ed. from Harvard’s School for Education.

Dr. Rajni Aneja

Dr. Rajni Aneja

Connection Science Fellow

Dr. Rajni Aneja is Global Head, Digital Strategy/Transformation at Novartis. She is a Connection Science Fellow, health care strategist, public speaker, transformative change agent with expertise in population health management and digital health. She serves as an advisor to variety of health and wellness organizations.

Dr. Aneja encompasses various vantage points as a clinician, executive, advisor, entrepreneur, speaker and technology advocate serving in senior leadership roles like chief medical officer for WebMD health, EVP of Joslin and strategic executive, transformation leader at Humana. Dr. Aneja is spreading the vision for strategy and innovation across different spectrums of health care

Dr. Aneja received her MD from Research Medical Center in Kansas City and MBA from University of Massachusetts.

Emmanuel Letouze

Emmanuel Letouze

Research Affiliate

Emmanuel Letouzé is the Director and co-Founder of Data-Pop Alliance. He is a Visiting Scholar at MIT Media Lab, a Fellow at HHI, a Research Associate at ODI, a Non-Resident Adviser at the International Peace Institute (IPI). His interests are in Big Data and development, economic demography, conflict and fragile states, poverty, migration, official statistics and fiscal policy. Emmanuel is the author of the UN Global Pulse's White Paper, “Big Data for Development: Challenges and Opportunities”, where he worked as Senior Development Economist in 2011-12, and the lead author of the report “Big Data for Conflict Prevention” and of the 2013 and 2014 OECD Fragile States reports. He is also a regular speaker on Big Data and development issues. In 2006-09 he worked for UNDP in New York, including on the Human Development Report research team. In 2000-04 he worked in Hanoi, Vietnam, for the French Ministry of Finance as a technical assistant on public finance and official statistics. He is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris (BA, Political Science, 1999, MA, Economic Demography, 2000) and Columbia University (MA, 2006), where he was a Fulbright fellow, and is finishing his PhD in Demography at UC Berkeley. Emmanuel is also a political cartoonist as ‘manu’; he held his first solo exhibition at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn in 2011 and a 2nd exhibition at MIT Media Lab in 2014. He is an invited member of The Cartoon Movement and contributes cartoons to different media.

Todd Reid, ScD, MPH, MBA

Todd Reid, ScD, MPH, MBA

Research Scientist

Todd Reid is an epidemiologist and global health practitioner at the Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Reid's research focuses on integrating technology and innovation into public health and the development and management of large-scale longitudinal epidemiological cohort studies. He teaches a course on “Data Driven Healthcare” in the joint Harvard-MIT Health Sciences Technology program. Todd is a research scientist with CATCH and with the MIT Media Lab. Reid also serves as a research scientist and executive committee member of the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) studying 500,000 people to investigate Africa’s “epidemiological transition”—the shift to chronic ailments. He trained and worked for over a decade on cohort studies at Harvard Medical School, including the Nurses’ Health Studies (NHS). Todd Reid holds a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health, an MPH and an MSc. from Harvard University, and a MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He earned a BA in Biology (French and Chemistry minor) from UNC- Chapel Hill.

Dazza Greenwood

Dazza Greenwood

Lecturer

(Daniel) Dazza Greenwood is an entrepreneur, innovator and national thought on design and deployment of scalable, distributed Trust Network and other digital systems. Dazza heads the digital business systems design and architecture firm CIVICS.com, which he founded in 1996. At MIT Media Lab and MIT Connection Science, Dazza lecturers and conducts R&D on big data, digital identity federation, personal data sharing and is developing the field of computational law and jurimetrics through law.MIT.edu events and projects. Privately, Dazza provides professional consultancy services to industry, government and civic organizations, including fortune 50 companies, national governments, and marketplaces through CIVICS.com. Dazza has catalyzed or led numerous industry, governmental and public-private initiatives aimed at developing innovative legal solutions, technical standards and business models.

Abdullah Almaatouq

Abdullah Almaatouq

Research Associate

Abdullah Almaatouq is currently a Computational Engineering Master's student at MIT and a Research Assistant at the MIT Media Lab under the supervision of Prof. Alex ``Sandy`` Pentland. He also holds a Research Specialist position at the Center for Complex Engineering Systems (CCES) at King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) and MIT. Abdullah received his bachelor degree from the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at Southampton University in the United Kingdom. His current research interests lie in the area where machine learning, statistical inference, complex networks, and social science meet. Some of Abdullah's interesting life experiences include winning the 2013 Bicoastal Datafest (Stanford & Columbia) 'Best in Innovation' prize, explaining the Origin-Destination Matrix and its role to exploit human mobility patterns to the Saudi Royalty (governors and mayors), and obtaining a black-belt status in Taekwondo from the Korean federation at the age of 14.