Sinan Aral

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Leading Data Science Expert and Award-winning Researcher on Social Platforms and How Information Spreads Through Networks; Director, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy

Biography

Sinan Aral is a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. He is the David Austin Professor of Management, IT, Marketing and Data Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) and a founding partner at Manifest Capital. He was the Chief Scientist at SocialAmp, one of the first social commerce analytics companies (until its sale to Merkle in 2012) and at Humin, a social platform that the Wall Street Journal called the first “Social Operating System” (until its sale to Tinder in 2016). He is currently on the Advisory Boards of the Alan Turing Institute, the British National Institute for Data Science in London, the Centre for Responsible Media Technology and Innovation in Bergen, Norway and C6 Bank, one of the first all-digital banks of Brazil.

Aral was the Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Times in 2013 and has worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Yahoo, AirBnB, Jet.com, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAP and many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from big data analytics, social media and IT investments. His research and teaching have won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the PopTech Science Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Fulbright Scholarship, the Jamieson Award for Teaching Excellence (MIT Sloan’s highest teaching honor) and more than ten best paper awards conferred by his colleagues in research. In 2014, he was named one of the “World’s Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40” and, in 2018, became the youngest ever recipient of the Herbert Simon Award of Rajk László College in Budapest, Hungary.

In 2018, Aral published what Altmetrics called the second most influential scientific publication of the year on the “Spread of False News Online,” on the cover of Science. He is also the author of the upcoming book, “The Hype Machine” (Penguin Random House, September 2020), about how social media is disrupting our elections, our economies and our lives.

Aral is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT.

Sinan Aral is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Photo credit: Butch Hogan

Videos

Intro Video

Video ThumbnailFake news can sway elections, tank economies and sow discord in everyday life. Data scientist Sinan Aral demystifies how and why it spreads so quickly -- citing one of the largest studies on misinformation -- and identifies five strategies to help us unweave the tangled web between true and false.

A-Z Name

Aral, Sinan

Biography

Sinan Aral is a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. He is the David Austin Professor of Management, IT, Marketing and Data Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) and a founding partner at Manifest Capital. He was the Chief Scientist at SocialAmp, one of the first social commerce analytics companies (until its sale to Merkle in 2012) and at Humin, a social platform that the Wall Street Journal called the first “Social Operating System” (until its sale to Tinder in 2016). He is currently on the Advisory Boards of the Alan Turing Institute, the British National Institute for Data Science in London, the Centre for Responsible Media Technology and Innovation in Bergen, Norway and C6 Bank, one of the first all-digital banks of Brazil.

Aral was the Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Times in 2013 and has worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Yahoo, AirBnB, Jet.com, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAP and many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from big data analytics, social media and IT investments. His research and teaching have won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the PopTech Science Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Fulbright Scholarship, the Jamieson Award for Teaching Excellence (MIT Sloan’s highest teaching honor) and more than ten best paper awards conferred by his colleagues in research. In 2014, he was named one of the “World’s Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40” and, in 2018, became the youngest ever recipient of the Herbert Simon Award of Rajk László College in Budapest, Hungary.

In 2018, Aral published what Altmetrics called the second most influential scientific publication of the year on the “Spread of False News Online,” on the cover of Science. He is also the author of the upcoming book, “The Hype Machine” (Penguin Random House, September 2020), about how social media is disrupting our elections, our economies and our lives.

Aral is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT.

Sinan Aral is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Photo credit: Butch Hogan

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