Michael Wu, Ph.D.
Michael is the Chief Scientist at Lithium. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Biophysics graduate program, where he modeled visual processing within the human brain using math, physics, and machine learning. Michael is currently applying similar data-driven methodologies to investigate and understand the complex dynamics of the social web. He has developed the Facebook Engagement Index (FEI), Community Health Index (CHI), and many predictive social analytics with actionable insights. His R&D work at Lithium has won him the recognition as an Influential Leader by CRM Magazine, and his findings on influence, reputation, and community are featured in the publication, The Science of Social: Beyond Hype, Likes & Followers.
In addition to the purely empirical methods, Michael also leverages social principles that govern human behavior (from sociology and anthropology, to behavioral economics and psychology, etc.) to decipher the intricate human components of social interactions. Through this combined bottom-up and top-down approach, Michael has developed a sophisticated predictive model of influence and an evaluative framework for understanding gamification. To tackle challenging open problems (like the value of WOM, social ROI, or the loyalty implications of gamification, etc.), Michael collaborates with academicians to conduct research on these unsolved problems.
Michael was DOE fellow during his graduate career and was awarded four years of full fellowship under the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. During his fellowship tenure, he also served at the Los Alamos National Lab conducting research in face recognition. Prior to his Ph.D., Michael received his triple major undergraduate degree in Applied Math, Physics, and Molecular & Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.