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 received dual masters’ at MIT from the Center for Computational Engineering (CCE) and the Media Lab (MAS), and before that I received my bachelor degree from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University, UK.
The goal of my current research is to deepen our understanding of how people make decisions in a social environment where decisions are influenced by interactions with others. In particular, how can groups of people balance the simultaneous demands of uncertainty, data scarcity, environmental fluctuations, and the need for coordination in order to harness collective intelligence? Drawing on these concepts, I am developing dynamical models of inference, judgment, learning, and decision-making that can adapt to these interconnected social and non-stationary environments and examining the limits within which these processes are successful. I am interested in testing such models using a wide array of methods ranging from behavioral experiments and observational studies to computer simulations and mathematical analyses.
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, 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 keto-friendly chocolate chip cookies is coming soon)!