Max Harper Social Computing and Recommender Systems


As a researcher, I build and study personalization technology in online systems. I think it is important and interesting to study humans, algorithms, and interfaces together. I specialize in quantitative, empirical methods, but I like employing multiple methods, and I enjoy branching out.

If you are interested in learning more about my research areas and methods, read one of these:

I have dedicated much of my time over the past several years to the care and feeding of MovieLens, an online movie recommendation web site. MovieLens is unique because it is both a genuinely useful tool for finding movies to watch and a research platform that hosts a variety of social computing experiments.

prospective students

I like working with self-motivated master’s students and undergraduates. I can help students gain experience in social computing research or software engineering.

I am always looking for students to work on MovieLens, which is a nice starting point for either a research or a software development direction. Students who succeed must have the ability to self-teach and a willingness to learn.

If you wish to work with me, contact me to set up a meeting. I am happy to meet with anyone; in most cases, I will tell you about a few possible projects, and set you up with a “homework” assignment to test your commitment and ability.