Curriculum Vitae

John C. Lin
Email: johnclinaa at gmail dot com 

· Ph.D. (Information), School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. August, 2011.
· B.S. (Economics). Division of Humanities & Social Sciences, Caltech, Pasadena, CA. June, 1999.

Work Experience: 

Headspace Senior Data Scientist, October 2015 - Current.
  • Provide strategic and thought leadership in the areas of analytics and data science to help Headspace better understand her customers, reduce churn, increase engagement, and improve the product.

TrueCar Senior Data Scientist, December, 2014 - September 2015.
  • Led a team of data scientists and data engineers to build a product that provides hyper-localized pricing guidance for car dealers, leveraging vast amount of clickstream and business data.
  • Served as the main architect of the data pipeline, partitioning the project into smaller, meaningful sub-modules that allow concurrent work to meet tight business deadline.
  • Combined my deep understanding of statistical and programming concepts to amplify the skills of the talented Ph.D. trained data scientists and engineers 

TrueCar Data Scientist, February, 2013 - November 2014.
  • Evaluate and improve the performance of Search Engine Marketing campaigns with $100K/month budget.
  • Develop algorithm for calculating the cost of car ownership.
  • Evaluate the use of business intelligence software to unify the various data channels to gain insights on the data.

USC Posdoctoral Scholar in Economics, March, 2011- February, 2013.
  • Researching affects of monetary and non-monetary incentives in motivating people to exert effort in an individual and team settings. 
  • Managing a research lab and facilitate technical projects between the IT department, the Economics faculty, and software programming consultants. One notable project is integrating Biometric hardware with existing Java based software for conducting economics experiments. 
  • Supervising and advising Ph.D. students in implementing economic experiments to understand how people respond to incentives. 

Caltech William D. Hacker Lab Programmer, 1999-2004.
  • Worked as the lead programmer in creating a web-based financial market to test finance and economics models of individual decision making. Designed, tested, implemented and maintained the software system. The front-end of the system was built with PHP. The back-end of the system used MySQL for data storage and interfaced with a commercial linear programming software package that solved linear programming problems. 
  • Implemented a novel pricing algorithm in Python. It was one of the candidate algorithms for the Google IPO. The goal was to provide a leveled field for small investors amidst large institutional investment funds. 


  • Data processing tools: SAS, Python Pandas.
  • Business Intelligence Tools: Adobe Insight, POLK Loyalty, POLK Insight.
  • Implement web-based programs in Python, PHP, and MySQL. 
  • Literate in JAVA and C/C++. 
  • Familiarity with Internet and network protocols such as http and TCP/IP. 
  • Use Stata, a statistical analysis package similar to R, to conduct data analysis. 
  • Use Mathematica’s functional programming language to automate search of numerical solutions to nonlinear differential equations. 
  • Use Matlab to implement statistical estimators. 
  • Use FICO Express, a specialized optimization programming software library, to solve integer and continuous linear programming problems.

Data Analysis/ Experimental Design
  • Design and conduct experiments to understand people’s strategic response to monetary and non-monetary incentives. 
  • Perform data collection, analysis and statistical testing from data gathered in the lab and on the web. 
  • Conduct extensive literature review to identify different models of decision making models. 

Research Interests:
  • Market Design 
  • Electronic Commerce 
  • Online Communities 
  • Experimental and Behavioral Economics

Teaching Experience:

University of Southern California
1. Political Economy of Institutions: Social Networks (Econ. 330). Fall 2011.
I taught undergraduate students foundational concepts from Economics, Computer Science, and Sociology that help them understand the forces that drive social network formation and other network dynamic. Came up with innovative exercises to teach the underlying technology such as online advertisement.

University of Michigan
2. Networked Computing (SI 502). Fall 2009, Fall 2010.
I taught masters students how to use the Python computer language to do text processing, write simple client-server programs, and learn Internet protocols such as http and TCP/IP.

3. Online Communities (SI 684). Winter 2008.
I taught master students social design principles and features to start, grow, and sustain online communities. I illustrated those principles through specific online communities such as Foursquare. 

4. Information in Social Systems (SI 500). Fall 2007.
I taught master students a variety of theoretical models of information. 

Dissertation Title: Three Essays in Information Economics
  • Scheduling with Package Auctions: An Experimental Study. 
  • Contests for Status: An Experimental Study. 
  • Ranking systems for product reviewers at An Empirical Study. 

Dissertation Committee:  
Yan Chen (Chair), Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, Thomas A. Finholt, Yusufcan Masatlioglu. 

Published Papers:
  1. Scheduling with Package Auctions. Kan Takeuchi, John C. Lin, Yan Chen, and Thomas Finholt. Experimental Economics, 2011. 
  2. Baby Bond Connect: Software for Combined Value Trading. John O. Ledyard and John C. Lin. ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2003. (Acceptance rate: 25%.) 

Work In Progress:
  1. Contests for Status: An Experimental Study. John C. Lin. January 2012. 
  2. Motivating User Contribution Through Competition:’s ranking system for product reviewers, an Empirical Study. January 2012. 

  1. Economics Science Association North-American Meeting, 2009. Tucson, AZ.  Presented “Contests for Status: An Experimental Study”. 
  2. ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2007. San Diego, CA.  Presented “Scheduling with Package Auctions”. 
  3. Economics Science Association International Meeting, 2006. Atlanta, GA.  Presented “Scheduling with Package Auctions”. 
  4. ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2003.  Presented poster on “Baby Bond Connect: Software for Combined Value Trading”. San Diego, CA. 
  5. Economics Science Association International Meeting, 2002. Cambridge, MA.  Presented on the role of software development in experimental economics.

Fellowship and Funding:
  1. National Science Foundation STIET IGERT Fellowship. 2005-2007. 
  2. Rackham Graduate Student Research Funding. July, 2009. 

Professional Service:
Referee for Review of Economic Studies.

Available upon request.