Sinan Kayhan Aral

Faculty

Sinan Kayhan Aral

About

Sinan Aral a global authority on business analytics; award-winning researcher; entrepreneur, and venture capitalist. He is the David Austin Professor of Management, Marketing, IT 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 Center for Responsible Media Technology and Innovation in Bergen, Norway and C6 Bank, one of the first all-digital banks of Brazil. Sinan has helped leading Fortune 500 firms, including Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, WeChat, Spotify, AirBnB, Microsoft, Walmart, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAP and The New York Times to realize business value from big data analytics, social media and IT investments.

His research has won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the PopTech Science Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Fulbright Scholarship, and the Jamieson Award for Teaching Excellence (MIT Sloan’s highest teaching honor). In 2014, he was named one of the “World’s Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40.” In 2018, he became the youngest ever recipient of the Herbert Simon Award of Rajk László College in Budapest, Hungary. In the same year, his article on the spread of false news online was published on the cover of Science magazine and became the second most influential scientific publication of the year in any discipline. Sinan’s first book, The Hype Machine, which was named a 2020 Best Book on Artificial Intelligence by WIRED, a 2020 Porchlight Best “Big Ideas and New Perspectives” Book Award Winner and among the Best New Technology Books and Best New Economy Books to Read in 2021 by BookAuthority, became an instant classic and a must-read for business leaders at every level of management. A managerial economist and econometrician by training, Sinan’s expertise spans social networks, causal inference, the design and analysis of large-scale digital experiments, machine learning, predictive modeling, natural language processing, AI, big data, marketing, IT, social commerce, ecommerce, behavior change and economic productivity.

He earned his PhD at MIT and completed his Master’s degrees at the London School of Economics and at Harvard. You can find Sinan on Twitter @sinanaral and on Instagram @professorsinan.

Honors

Aral and Eckles win for a working paper

"Fake news" research among the most discussed papers of 2018

Aral’s efforts to address “fake news” recognized

Aral wins Herbert Simon Award

Sinan Aral honored with best paper award

Sinan Aral appointed to Scientific Advisory Board

Publications

"Digital Paywall Design: Implications for Content Demand & Subscriptions."

Aral, Sinan K., and Paramveer S. Dhillon. Management Science. Forthcoming.

"Surfacing Norms to Increase Vaccine Acceptance."

Moehring, Alex, Avinash Collis, Kiran Garimella, M. Amin Rahimian, Sinan K. Aral, and Dean Eckles, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6415-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, February 2021.

"Social Advertising Effectiveness Across Products: A Large-Scale Field Experiment."

Shan, Huang, Sinan K. Aral, Yu Jeffrey Hu, and Erik Brynjolfsson. Marketing Science Vol. 39, No. 6 (2020): 1142-1165. Download Paper.

"Targeting for Long-term Outcomes."

Yang, Jeremy, Dean Eckles, Paramveer Dhillon, and Sinan Aral, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6224-20. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2020.

The Hype Machine.

Aral, Sinan K. New York, NY: Random House LLC, 2020.

"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.

Load More

Recent Insights

Ideas Made to Matter

Report details COVID-19’s impact on the digital economy

MIT research about the pandemic looks at economic fallout, the impact of government interventions, digital technology, and fighting misinformation.

Read Article
Ideas Made to Matter

Study: Emphasizing vaccine acceptance could boost immunization rates

Public messaging emphasizing that others are getting a COVID-19 vaccine is one effective way to overcome vaccine hesitancy, according to a new study.

Read Article
Load More

Media Highlights

Events