Mark Bao
New York, NY
Columbia University

I’m interested in how we can use an understanding of human behavior—such as understanding power dynamics and incentive structures—as a lens through which to understand complex systems, to identify the biggest problems within them, and to solve those problems through the application of strategy and technology.

In general, I'm interested in how we can use behavioral science as a way to explore anything. Behavioral economics has made a remarkable impact. A similar impact could be made by combining behavioral science with political science, or anthropology, or public health.

I left college at 19, started a technology company in New York, and then went on a round-the-world trip. Now, I’m back in New York and doing personal research on behavior, habits, and strategy, while attending Columbia University.

Feel free to contact me if you have any common interests, wish to reply to an article, or just want to chat.

Current interests

  • The intersection of behavioral science and system dynamics
  • Incentive structures and mismatched incentives
  • Expectation framing: anchoring judgments of outcomes to expectations
  • Knowledge management systems for organizing personal knowledge

Three Inflection Points

One — I got my kicks in computer programming in elementary school, and since then I’ve been developing, designing, and creating products.

Two — My fascination with thinking and cognition turned into a devotion to advancing the understanding of behavior and its expression in complex systems as power and incentive.

Three — Early idealism sustained by a round-the-world trip compelled me to work on important and fundamental problems, using behavioral science and technology.