Sinan Aral is the Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT, where he is a Professor of IT & Marketing, and Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society.
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 a founding partner at Manifest Capital and on the Advisory Boards of the Alan Turing Institute, the British National Institute for Data Science, in London and C6 Bank, the first all-digital bank of Brazil, in São Paulo. Sinan was the Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Times in 2013 and has worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Yahoo, AirBnB, Jet.com, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAPand many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from big data analytics, social media and IT investments. Sinan’s research has won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the PopTech Science Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Fulbright Scholarship and more than ten best paper awards conferred by his colleagues in research. In 2014, he was named one of the “World’s Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40” and, in 2018, became the youngest ever recipient of the Herbert Simon Award of Rajk László College in Budapest, Hungary. He is the author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, about how social media is disrupting our democracies, our economies and our public health. Sinan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT. He enjoys cooking, skiing and telling jokes about his own cooking and skiing. His most recent hobby is learning from his five-year-old son. You can find Sinan on Twitter @sinanaral.