Hello! I'm a data scientist at the New York Times. I have a PhD from Northwestern University, where I was part of the Computational Journalism Lab. In 2022, I worked as a contract research engineer at Meta, and I interned with Patreon's data science team.
I research how collective attention works in large, complex systems. I use data science and engineering to study how people discover information online, why things get popular, and what influences content creators. My first love is journalism, but I also study large social platforms (TikTok, Reddit, Facebook) and other attention markets (Netflix, Substack).
Before grad school, I worked in audience development and analytics at Fusion Media Group, Digiday, Pacific Standard and the Dallas Morning News. I've written for Pacific Standard, the Christian Science Monitor, McSweeney's Internet Tendency and others. I graduated from the Medill School of Journalism and am originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
My latest (September 2023) blog post is up on Substack.
Before grad school, I worked in journalism and wrote for a handful of publications:
Sometimes I go on podcasts or write about my research for broader audiences. Somtimes other folks write about my work too. I'm at nhagar[at]northwestern.edu if you'd like to get in touch.