Photograph of Seth

I am a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University. My program is joint between public policy and machine learning. I am a member of the Event and Pattern Detection Laboratory, headed by Daniel Neill.

I have been working on methods in spatio-temporal statistics and causality on the machine learning side, applied to public policy / social science areas including crime, emotion, public health, and news consumption. The Event and Pattern Detection Laboratory at CMU has a collaboration with the City of Chicago, with which I am heavily involved. I spent summer 2013 at Microsoft Research NYC in the computational social science group.

I’m originally from Evanston, Illinois. I graduated from Harvard in 2008 with a BA in mathematics and computer science. At Harvard, I was on the board of the Harvard College Democrats and Harvard Hillel and I chaired the Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance. I took part in Harvey Mudd’s fantastic Research Experience for Undergraduates in summer 2006. My undergraduate thesis was on connections between the Unique Games Conjecture and semidefinite programming-based approximation algorithms.

I lived in Lausanne, Switzerland from 2008-2011. I first worked and studied at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). In the fall of 2010, I joined the Mortality and Burden of Disease group in the Department of Health Statistics and Information at the World Health Organization, working on the Global Burden of Disease project and the Nutrition Impact Model Study.

(You may be looking for the other Seth Flaxman, who graduated from Columbia in 2007, worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is now running TurboVote. You can find him on LinkedIn.)