Hi, I'm Mohammed Alsobay đź‘‹


I’m exploring computational social science as a PhD candidate in the Information Technology group at MIT Sloan, where I am fortunate to be advised by Prof. Abdullah Almaatouq.

I worked in oil & gas, but felt that there were too many machines, and not enough people. I then worked in management consulting, and felt that there were a lot of people, but not enough technical work. Computational social science is my people-centric, technically-interesting middle ground.

When I’m not doing research, I may be found making obscenely large batches of banana pudding, trying to ski my way down New England’s icy slopes, or scuba diving while desperately hoping to see a turtle.

My two main research interests are:

👨 🤝 🤖 Human-AI interaction:

  • Social HAI: what do users learn from each other about algorithmic aids/agents, and how?

  • Beyond "speaking like a pirate": how do we steer LLM "personalities" in well-defined ways and measure the impacts on human-LLM interaction in competitive and cooperative settings?

  • AI-assisted social science: what role do algorithms play in theory formulation, and how can algorithmic tools (e.g. LLMs) enhance researcher productivity and research quality?

🧪 Digital experimentation:

  • LLMs as confederates: what new types of research questions are made possible by embedding LLM agents within human teams in behavioral studies?

  • More efficient and informative experiments: how do we integrate ideas from Bayesian optimization and "integrative" design to improve the quality of experimental social science?

  • Empirica: Contributing to the design of an open-source, low-fuss framework for running well-parameterized, interactive online behavioral experiments


[2023-Nov-5] Our paper on “The Effects of Group Composition and Dynamics on Collective Problem-Solving”, with Abdullah Almaatouq, Ming Yin, and Duncan J. Watts is now out in Topics in Cognitive Science :tada:
[2023-Jul-17] Presented at IC2S2 2023 in Copenhagen:

[2023-Mar-23] Presented a SAGE tutorial on Empirica (recording available)
[2022-Oct-8] Presented a talk on “Integrative, high-throughput experimentation to explore social cooperation” at the “Measuring Belief Systems in Networked Communities” workshop at Princeton
[2022-Jun-7] Passed my qualifying exams — thank you to Professors Abdullah Almaatouq, John Horton, Wanda Orlikowski, and Kartik Hosanagar for their support!
[2021-Nov-4] Presented a parallel talk at CODE 2021 on “Collective Problem-Solving Across Tasks of Varying Complexity”
[2020-Sep-18] Joined the Information Technology group at MIT Sloan as a PhD student!


  1. realhumaneval.jpeg
    The RealHumanEval: Evaluating Large Language Models’ Abilities to Support Programmers
    Hussein Mozannar, Valerie Chen, Mohammed Alsobay, Subhro Das, and 6 more authors
    arXiv, Apr 2024
  2. csop1.jpeg
    Task complexity moderates group synergy
    Abdullah Almaatouq, Mohammed Alsobay, Ming Yin, and Duncan J Watts
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., Sep 2021
  3. csop2.jpeg
    The Effects of Group Composition and Dynamics on Collective Performance
    Abdullah Almaatouq, Mohammed Alsobay, Ming Yin, and Duncan J Watts
    Top. Cogn. Sci., Nov 2023