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

Johan Ugander

Associate Professor
Management Science & Engineering (MS&E)
Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME)
Cisco Systems Faculty Scholar
School of Engineering
Stanford University

I use statistical and computational methods to study social networks, human behavior, and their interplay. My work is partly empirical, working to advance our understanding of important social systems and processes, and partly methodological, developing tools to do so more efficiently and effectively. I frequently leverage the unique measurement opportunities created by the internet and digitization over the last two decades, making it possible to study social and individual behavior in previously unprecedented ways.

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 and received tenure in June 2022.

[third person bio] [serious photo]

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

I am on sabbatical for the 2024-25 academic year, visiting Yale Statistics & Data Science (S&DS) and the Yale Institute for Foundations of Data Science (FDS). For Stanford undergraduate advising inquiries, please contact student services for your respective program (MS&E, MCS/Data Science, SymSys, etc). For current Stanford PhD student inquiries, I will not be advising rotations during the 2024-25 year.


Ph.D. students and post-docs

Former students/postdocs: Martin Saveski (Post-doc 2020-23) Kevin Han (PhD Statistics, 2023, co-advised w/ Imbens), Jenny Hong (PhD MS&E, 2023, co-advised w/ Manning), Jan Overgoor (PhD MS&E, 2021), Arjun Seshadri (PhD EE, 2021), 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

    Since joining the Stanford faculty my research has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Army Research Office (ARO), Stanford's Cisco Systems (2022-25) and David Morgenthaler II Faculty Fellowships (2015), a Hellman Foundation Faculty Fellowship (2019), the Stanford Thailand Research Consortium, the Stanford Institute for Human-centered AI (HAI), the Stanford King Center on Global Development, the Stanford Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI), 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.

    A list of my federally funded grants:


    I have organized or co-chaired the following workshops:
    I am serving/have served on the Program Committee of the following conferences/workshops:
    I am also an Associate Editor for Science Advances (AAAS) (7/2022 - present), and increasingly find my reviewing time is devoted to journal review work.

    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.