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Research Team

Core Team

Mary L. Gray - Lead Researcher


Mary studied anthropology before receiving her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California at San Diego in 2004. She draws on this interdisciplinary background to study how people use digital and social media in everyday ways to shape their social identities and create spaces for themselves. Mary’s most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (NYU Press), examined how young people negotiate and express their lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender identities in rural parts of the United States and the role that media, particularly the internet, play in their lives and political work. She served on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association from 2008 until 2010, recently held a seat on that Association's Committee on Public Policy, and will chair the Executive Program Committee for the 2014 AAA Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. Mary is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, New England Lab. She maintains an appointment as Associate Professor of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, with adjunct positions in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies.


Siddharth Suri - Lead Researcher

Siddharth Suri's research spans computer science and behavioral economics. He has coauthored a series of papers modeling and analyzing algorithms in the MapReduce programming paradigm. He also coauthored a paper which pioneered the field of networked human subjects experiments. Moreover, Sid has become one of the leaders in designing, building, and conducting "virtual lab" experiments using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. This work includes a series of static and dynamic network cooperation games and a series of experiments on psychologically informed pricing schemes for display ads.

Sid is one of the founding members of Microsoft Research, New York City. Before that he was a member of the Human & Social Dynamics group at Yahoo! Research led by Duncan Watts from 2008 to 2012. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Jon Kleinberg in the computer science department at Cornell University from 2007 to 2008. Sid earned his Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 under the supervision of Michael Kearns. 


Deepti Desai  - Field Researcher (Bangalore)

Deepti Desai is pursuing MA (Applied Sociology) at Christ University, Bangalore. She recently conducted a study and authored a paper on the 'Usage of Online Educational Platforms by Undergraduate Engineering Students in Karnataka' as part of an internship at Microsoft Research. Her major academic interests are: Impact of technology on the society, changing trends in the nature of work and workplace and gender studies. Her current project draws on the Team’s larger research comparing India and the United States, with a focus on the ethnographic study of crowdworkers in Bangalore.


Syed Shoaib Ali - Field Researcher (Hyderabad)

Syed Shoaib completed his MA in Development Studies at Ambedkar University, Delhi. In 2012 Shoaib worked with scholars at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying the impact of decentralization on practices of democracy and collective action in rural India. Much of his work focuses on the role of social networks in dissemination of technology.


Gregory Minton - Microsoft Research, Postdoctoral Fellow

Gregory Minton is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Microsoft Research. He graduated in 2013 from the PhD program in Mathematics at MIT, where he worked with Abhinav Kumar. His thesis was in computer-assisted proof, studying problems ranging from discrete geometry in abstract mathematical spaces to gravitational orbits in outer space. Gregory is generally interested in what hands-on computation can do for theory, and he recently started working on data visualization and other applications to fields outside of his mathematical wheelhouse.


Kate Zyskowski - Microsoft Research, Ph.D. Intern

Kate Zyskowski is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Washington and also holds a M.S. in Education. Kate’s ethnographic research is based in Hyderabad, India and focuses on dynamics between local and international minority groups, higher education, and the production of identities along the axes of race, religion, and nationality in urban India. Kate is the recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Fellowship and the AIIS Junior Research Fellowship for her dissertation research. Kate will be working with Mary Gray and is primarily interested in methodologies for social media inclusion in ethnography and the uses of social media, and its attendant social effects, for minority politics and identities.


Sara Kingsley - Microsoft Technology and Policy Group, Research Consultant

Sara Kingsley is a Master's of Science candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a multi-disciplinarian by trade and a technologist by choice. Her primary academic curiosities range from labor and behavioral economics to communication networking technologies. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy and served as a political appointee in the Administration of President Barack H. Obama. In her spare time, she likes to write poetry, learn foreign languages, and laugh.


Kate Miltner - Microsoft Research, Research Consultant


Kate Miltner is a Research Consultant at the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England. She received her Masters of Science in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics in December of 2011. Her work has been featured in a variety of international media, including The Atlantic, The Guardian, Time Magazine, and The Independent. Before entering into academia, Kate worked as a global social media strategy director for Samsung.




Erin Brady - ROCHCI Lab at University of Rochester

Jeffrey P. Bigham - Associate Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Shaun K. Kane - Assistant Professor, Human Centered Computing, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Anand Kulkarni - CEO of MobileWorks

Meredith Ringel Morris - Microsoft Research, Senior Researcher

Rajesh Patel - Microsoft Corporation, Senior Program Manager

Steven Schirra - MIT


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