HI, I AM ABDULLAH

I am a Research Assistant at the Human Dynamics group led by professor Alex (Sandy) Pentland, and pursuing a PhD in Computational Science & Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I am also a Data Science Researcher at the MIT Connection Science, and a Graduate Fellow at MiSK. I did dual masters’ at MIT in Computational Engineering and Media, Arts & Sciences, and before that I received my bachelor degree from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University, UK.

My current research interests lie in the area where computational and social science meet. In particular, my work includes conducting theoretical and empirical research on human behavior using innovative approaches and tools ranging from complex systems theory and agent-based modeling, to network analysis, econometric techniques, and behavioral and experimental methods. I am passionate about people, their stories, and how they can be understood computationally.

To supplement my work with “virtual lab” experiments, I have co-created Empirica (https://empirica.ly) a free, open-source framework that allows researchers to conduct behavioral real-time and synchronous group experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that exceed what is possible with traditional methods.

My academic work has been featured in major media outlets, including NPR, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, BBC News, CNN, The Independent, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, and The Huffington Post among others.

Some of my interesting life experiences include winning the 2013 Bicoastal Datafest (Stanford & Columbia) 'Best in Innovation' prize, leading the winning team in the Fragile Families Challenge, explaining the Origin-Destination Matrix and its role to capture 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.

I spend my down time cycling, hiking, sailing, sport-fishing (beach casting, trolling, fly fishing) and cooking (post on how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies is coming soon)!