Sendhil Mullainathan

Roman Family University Professor, University of Chicago

Sendhil Mullainathan is the Roman Family University Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His latest research is on computational medicine: applying machine learning and other data science tools to produce biomedical insights. In past work, he has combined insights from behavioral science with empirical methods—experiments, causal inference tools, and machine learning—to study social problems such as discrimination and poverty. He currently teaches a course on artificial intelligence. His papers range from the impact of poverty on mental bandwidth to how algorithms can improve judicial decision-making, whether CEO pay is excessive, using fictitious resumes to measure discrimination, showing that higher cigarette taxes makes smokers happier, and modeling how competition affects media bias. His research has appeared in a variety of publications including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Science, American Economic Review, Psychological Science, the British Medical Journal, and Management Science. He recently coauthored “Scarcity: Why Having too Little Means So Much” and writes regularly for the New York Times.

Prior to joining Booth, Professor Mullainathan was the Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he taught courses about machine learning and big data. He began his academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Mullainathan is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” has been designated a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, was labeled a “Top 100 Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine, and was named to the “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world” by Wired Magazine (UK).

Outside of research, he cofounded a non-profit to apply behavioral science (ideas42), cofounded a centre to promote the use of randomized control trials in development (the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab), has worked in government in various roles, is affiliated with NBER and BREAD, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a board member of the MacArthur Foundation.