Interested in working on research with me?

I am always looking to work with students on projects that use novel data and methods to understand and address the causes and consequences of poverty. Representative projects can be found on my website and through the Data-Intensive Development Lab website.

This page highlights the training I typically look for in students. If you are a currently-enrolled student at U.C. Berkeley, please read these instructions for how to get in touch with me. If you are interested in applying to the PhD program at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information, please read the advice below. In exceptional cases, I collaborate with students at other institutions, undergraduates, and non-students - if you think you fall into this category, send me an email explaining why.

For Prospective PhD Students

Are you interested in applying to the PhD program at the UC Berkeley School of Information? If so, please know that I do not directly admit students; rather, admissions decisions are made by a committee of faculty. This committee considers "the usual" criteria - research aptitude and experience (and publications), research statement, personal statement, letters of recommendations, and GRE/GPA scores. Our school also values community and diversity.

If you do apply, please take the research statement very seriously, as we read them closely. There's no shortage of guides to writing this statement, but from my perspective it's important that you use the statement to clearly motivate and articulate a research question or idea, to situate it within work that has already been done by others, and to explain how/why you will be the one to answer it. This isn't a binding contract (you can work on something else entirely once you're admitted!), but we want to see that you know how to write clearly about research, and that you understand what you're getting yourself into. Also note that we are a small program and fit with faculty is important. If you are interested in working with me, your research statement should make clear how your research interests overlap with my own. However -- and this is perhaps unique to the School of Information -- you should also attempt to draw connections to the work of other faculty in the school from whom you would be interested in learning.

Finally, please know that every year I receive a large number of emails from prospective students. While I am happy to read these emails and learn of your interest, I generally do not meet with prospective students unless they have already been admitted to our program - there are just too many students for this to be feasible. If you're trying to get a sense for whether I would be a good fit as an advisor, please take a close look at the projects and papers described on this website and on my lab website. If you have more general questions about PhD applications at the School of Information, you can reach our admissions team at And if you decide to apply, please send me an email in the Fall, and I will make sure to take a close look at your application. Thanks very much for your understanding!