Keeley Erhardt

PhD Student

I'm a research assistant and Ph.D. student in Prof. Alex 'Sandy' Pentland's Human Dynamics Group at the MIT Media Lab. My research interests center on privacy preserving data infrastructure for smarter policy and decision making.

I have been interested in this topic since pursuing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science at MIT. Following my undergraduate I continued at MIT as a master's student, completing my thesis work in the Human Dynamics Group under Prof. Pentland. My research focused on developing infrastructure to leverage data in answering previously unanswerable questions. I designed and implemented a blockchain-based program for verifying responsible data usage in an audited question and answer system. The program helped to ensure that queries could be run over potentially sensitive data, such as medical records, without revealing the personally identifiable information of the data subjects.

After completing my master's degree, I spent two years in London working at Improbable, a startup building a platform to enable virtual and real world simulations through distributed computation. Governments, companies, and individuals use the platform we developed to build simulations capable of utilizing the data available to them now to forecast and plan for the future.

Aside from my work, I enjoy aimlessly wandering with an audiobook (typically non-fiction), traveling (I've visited over 40 countries and read orders of magnitude more Google reviews), and thinking about privacy, data infrastructure, and the future.


I completed both a master's and a bachelor's degree at MIT, majoring in Computer Science and concentrating in Computer Systems. A more complete overview of my past experience, interests, and skills can be found on my resume.

I've had a number of opportunities to speak on the technologies and topics that interest me. Selected talks include:

  • Automated MMO Performance Testing, Hopperx1 London, London, June 2019
  • Creating Virtual Worlds, Geek Girls' Guide to the Galaxy, London, December 2018
  • Building a Debuggable Server in Go, SREcon EMEA, Düsseldorf, August 2018
  • All About That Base: Debuggable Servers in Go, LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China, Beijing, June 2018
  • OpenTracing, Women in DevOps Meetup, London, April 2018