Dean Eckles


Dean Eckles


Dean Eckles is the KDD Career Development Professor in Communications and Technology and an Associate Professor of Marketing at MIT Sloan. He is affiliate faculty at the Institute for Data, Systems & Society.

His substantive research examines people's interactions with and through communication technologies, especially the ways these technologies mediate, amplify, and direct social influence. This work sometimes requires or benefits from new analytical methods, so Eckles also works on applied statistics, design of field experiments, and causal inference.

Prior to joining MIT, he was a scientist at Facebook, where he worked on many product areas and analytical methods, including News Feed, messaging, advertising, tools for randomized experiments, and survey methods. Eckles previously worked in research at Nokia and Yahoo.

Eckles received his BA in philosophy, a BS and MS in cognitive science, an MS in statistics, and a PhD in communication, all from Stanford University.


Eckles wins Amazon Research Award


"Randomized experiments to detect and estimate social influence in networks."

Taylor, Sean J., and Dean Eckles. In Spreading Dynamics in Social Systems, Springer Nature, Forthcoming.

"Exact p-values for Network Interference."

Athey, Susan, Dean Eckles, and Guido W. Imbens. Journal of the American Statistical Association Vol. 113, No. 521 (2018): 230-240.

"Learning Causal Effects From Many Randomized Experiments Using Regularized Instrumental Variables."

Alexander Peysakhovich, and Dean Eckles. In Proceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference, edited by Előd Egyed-Zsigmond, Ivan Herman, Lionel Médini, Lyon, France: April 2018.

"Social Influence and Reciprocity in Online Gift Giving."

René F. Kizilcec, Eytan Bakshy, Dean Eckles, and Moira Burke. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, edited by Anind Dey, Edward Cutrell, M.C. Schraefel, Montreal QC, Canada: April 2018.

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Recent Insights

Ideas Made to Matter

How social influence drives online gift giving

Receiving a gift makes you 56 percent more likely to do some giving of your own.

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MIT Sloan study shows how technology can increase gift giving

In a study by MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Dean Eckles, he found that online gifting increases the likelihood that others will send gifts.

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