Research Staff

Nathaniel Posner (Lab Manager)

Nathaniel (or Nate) graduated with a BA in psychology (minor in economics) from Vassar College in May 2019.  During his sophomore and junior years he conducted a study examining financial literacy and self-efficacy.  The summer after his junior year he worked in the Decision Neuroscience lab at Yale University, examining differences in risk and ambiguity preferences in monetary and food domains.  For his senior thesis he examined variation in personality, psychopathology, and loneliness of users of various subcommunities of the social networking and content-aggregation website Reddit.  He is interested in choice architecture, time and risk preferences across domains, and the relationship between poverty and decision-making.  He has worked at CDS since June 2019.   

Simon Xu (Research Assistant) 

Simon is an undergraduate at Columbia University completing his major in Psychology (neurobiology and neuroscience) with a concentration in Statistics. He is interested in the intersection between psychology and consumer and market behaviors; choice architecture, time and risk preferences, and its effects on decision-making. He also works as a Research Assistant for the Davachi Memory Lab with the university's Department of Psychology. Prior to Columbia, he worked as a professional ballet dancer for several years. Simon has been a Research Assistant at CDS since February 2020.

Kushal Wijesundara (Research Assistant) 

Kushal is a Data Science concentration graduate student at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the National Security Innovation Network Fellowship from the US Department of Defence and embraced predictive modeling and machine learning to solve real-world national security problems. Prior to working at the Center for Decision Sciences, he developed algorithmic trading strategies based on alternative data at a hedge fund. His research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantitative modeling, Bayesian statistics in marketing, behavioral economics, and personalization algorithms, including behavior-based and content-based recommendation. He has been a Research Assistant at CDS since May 2020.