Hi! I recently received my PhD from Stanford. I'm currently helping elect progressives as a data scientist at PredictWise. Starting in summer 2021, I'll be an assistant professor at Cornell Tech as part of the Cornell School of Operations Research and Information Engineering and Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.

I'm a researcher at the intersection of computer science, economics, and operations. I design and build socio-technical systems, analyzing the role of algorithms in helping large, diverse groups coordinate and make public decisions. I use both theoretical and data-driven techniques, leveraging tools from across probability, algorithms, machine learning, and mechanism design. So far, I have worked on online marketplaces and civic engagement platforms, including on surge pricing, rating systems, and how to vote on budgets. I have also studied stereotypes in word embeddings and polarization on Twitter.

My work has been covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, Science Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine (in print), Stanford Engineering magazine, Stanford News, and other places. I like to have first-hand practical experience in a domain before tackling research questions, and have built real systems (including for participatory budgeting and at Uber and Upwork) and thought about various technology policy problems.

I received a PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, where I was lucky to be advised by Ashish Goel and Ramesh Johari, part of the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team and the Society and Algorithms Lab, and a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society Graduate Fellow. Before that, I graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering and a BA in Plan II (Liberal Arts) from The University of Texas at Austin.

Contact me at nkgar6@REMOVETHISgmail.REMOVETHIScom or Twitter.

What's new

Oct 2020 New paper online, "Standardized Tests and Affirmative Action: The Role of Bias and Variance."
May 2020 Two papers accepted to EC'20, "Driver Surge Pricing" and "Designing Informative Rating Systems: Evidence from an Online Labor Market."
Nov 2019 New paper online, "Fair Allocation through Selective Information Acquisition." December update: Accepted to the AAAI/ACM Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Society.
June 2019 New paper online, "Who is in Your Top Three? Optimizing Learning in Elections with Many Candidates." August update: Accepted to the AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing.