Figure 1. From extra-professional research appearing in the 2016 American Alpine Journal [link].

Johan Ugander

Assistant Professor
Management Science & Engineering (MS&E)
Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME)
School of Engineering
Stanford University

My research develops algorithmic and statistical frameworks for analyzing social networks, social systems, and other large-scale data-rich contexts. I am particularly interested in the challenges of causal inference and experimentation in these complex domains. My work commonly falls at the intersections of machine learning, probability theory, statistics, optimization, graph theory, and algorithm design.

Within MS&E I am a member of the Social Algorithms Lab (SOAL). I am also among the faculty co-directors of the RAIN Seminar. At Stanford I am also affiliated with the Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME) and the Center for Computational Social Science. At the undergraduate level I also advise students from the Symbolic Systems (SymSys) and Mathematical and Computational Science (MCS) majors.

I obtained my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University in 2014, advised by Jon Kleinberg. I also hold degrees from the University of Cambridge and Lund University; before that I attended Deep Springs College. From 2010-14 I held an affiliation with the Facebook Data Science team. In 2014-15 I spent one year as a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, hosted by Eric Horvitz. I joined the Stanford faculty in September 2015.

Since joining the Stanford faculty my research has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Army Research Office (ARO), a David Morgenthaler II Faculty Fellowship (2015), a Hellman Faculty Fellowship (2019), the Stanford Thailand Research Consortium, the Stanford King Center on Global Development, the Stanford Program on Democracy and the Internet, the Koret Foundation, and Facebook. My Ph.D. students have individually received further external fellowship support from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship programs.
[third person bio] [serious photo]

Contact me: jugander {at}
Visiting address: Huang Engineering Center 357, 475 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305-4121
See also: twitter, medium, research blog


Ph.D. students and post-docs

Former students: Imanol Arrieta-Ibarra (PhD MS&E, 2020), Kristen Altenburger (PhD MS&E, 2020), Stephen Ragain (PhD MS&E, 2019), Alex Chin (PhD Statistics, 2019).


See also my Google Scholar profile.



  • Spectral theory for planar graphs, including the Spielman-Teng partitioning result. (9/29/2011)

    Grant/project pages


    I have organized or co-chaired the following workshops:
    I am serving/have served on the Program Committee of the following conferences/workshops:
    I have also served as a reviewer for the following journals:

    Figure 2. The summit of Fairview Dome, Yosemite National Park, July 2012.

    Selected press coverage



    My wife and I spend a lot of our free time climbing. Sometimes we write trip reports.

    First ascents: Other trip reports:
    I also enjoy trail running. Very occasionally I'll run competitively.