Don’t Just Read Freakonomics. DO Freakonomics!

Do your new year’s resolutions include changing direction in your career? Acquiring incredibly valuable new skills? Challenging yourself? Being part of a high-powered team?

If so, you could join the military, or apply to the MIT Sloan PhD program in information technology. I’m here to advocate for the latter.

If you want to learn how to truly master big data; formulate and test hypotheses rigorously; design and execute experiments that actually tell you something; immerse yourself in the world’s best thinking on economics, statistics, sociology, behavioral psychology; and be taught by and work with many of the people who are actually doing the world’s best thinking in these areas, then start pulling your application together.

You’ll acquire an unbeatable toolkit for understanding and excelling in the digital world that’s being created around us, you’ll meet fascinating people who will humble you with how smart they are, and you’ll work your a** off but still have time to enjoy Cambridge and New England. If you’ve got what it takes, my colleagues and I would love to work with you.

Recent doc students have looked at (and found answers to) questions like:

  • Does being active in corporate social media help an employee get ahead, have higher billing, and/or survive a round of layoffs?
  • Does making research freely available online cause it to be cited more often by others?
  • Can unstructured data from the social web be used to predict changes in housing prices and demand for goods like cars and fridges? If so, are these predictions better than current ones?
  • If I start doing something and then my friends do, too, is it because I influenced them, or just because they’re similar to me (and so have the same tastes and interests)?

Don’t delay; the application deadline is January 15. Some basic information is here, and a FAQ is here.

If you have questions, ask them via a comment to this post and I’ll answer so the whole world can see. Now start getting your transcripts and test scores together…