Sandy Pentland

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Sandy Pentland

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Alex `Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives, and is a founding member of the Advisory Boards for Nissan, Motorola Mobility, Telefonica, and a variety of start-up firms. He has previously helped create and direct MIT’s Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital’s Center for Future Health. 

In 2012 Forbes named Sandy one of the `seven most powerful data scientists in the world’, along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States, and in 2013 he won the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review.  He is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social scienceorganizational engineeringwearable computing(Google Glass), image understanding, and modern biometrics. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels.  His most recent book is `Honest Signals,' published by MIT Press. 

Over the years Sandy has advised more than 50 PhD students.   Almost half are now tenured faculty at leading institutions, with another one-quarter leading industry research groups and a final quarter founders of their own companies.

Sandy's research group and entrepreneurship program have spun off more than 30 companies to date, three of which are publicly listed and several that serve millions of poor in Africa and South Asia. Recent spin-offs have been featured in publications such as the Economist and the New York Times, as well as winning a variety of prizes from international development organizations. 

Publications

"Association between COVID-19 Outcomes and Mask Mandates, Adherence, and Attitudes."

Adjodah, Dhaval, Karthik Dinakar, Matteo Chinazzi, Samuel P. Fraiberger, Alex Pentland, Samantha Bates, Kyle Staller, Alessandro Vespignani, and Deepak L. Bhatt, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6253-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, 2021.

"Computational Social Science: Obstacles and Opportunities."

Lazer, David M.J., Alex Pentland, Duncan J. Watts, Sinan K. Aral, Susan Athey, Noshir Contractor, Deen Freelon, Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Gary King, Helen Margetts, Alondra Nelson, Matthew J. Salganik, Markus Strohmaier, Alessandro Vespignani, and Claudia Wagner. Science Vol. 369, No. 6507 (2020): 1060-1062.

"Dynamic Networks Improve Remote Decision-Making."

Almaatouq, Abdullah and Alex Pentland. Sloan Management Review, June 2, 2020.

"Adaptive Social Networks Promote the Wisdom of Crowds."

Almaatouq, Abdullah, Alejandro Noriega-Campero, Abdulrahman Alotaibi, P.M. Krafft, Mehdi Moussaid, and Alex Pentland. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 117, No. 21 (2020).

"Analysis of Misinformation During the COVID-19 Outbreak in China: Cultural, Social and Political Entanglements."

Leng, Yan, Yujia Zhai, Shaojing Sun, Yifei Wu, Jordan Selzer, Sharon Strover, Julia Fensel, Alex Pentland, Ying Ding., MIT Sloan Working Paper 6116-20. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, May 2020.

"Winning Models for GPA, Grit, and Layoff in the Fragile Families Challenge."

Rigobon, Daniel E., Eaman Jahani, Yoshihiko Suhara, Khaled AlGhoneim, Abdulaziz Alghunaim, Alex Pentland, and Abdullah Almaatouq. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World Vol. 5, No. 2378023118 (2019).

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