Skip to the main content
This is a Berkman Klein alum page. The information below may be out of date.
Alt Text
J. Nathan Matias's Homepage

Nathan Matias, a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, designs and researches civic technologies for cooperation across diversity. At the Berkman Center, he will be applying data analysis and design to the topics of peer-based social technologies, creative learning, civic engagement, journalism, gender diversity, and creative learning.

Nathan's current projects include Open Gender Tracker,, NewsPad, and Sambyuki Watts. A full project list is at

At Texperts, Nathan was on the startup team that scaled microwork systems to reach customers and workers on four continents. At SwiftKey, he helped develop one of the premier text entry systems for mobile, currently used by millions of people. At Microsoft Fuse Labs, he developed novel systems for collaborative neighborhood journalism. Nathan was also the founding Chief Technical Advisor of the Ministry of Stories, a creative writing center in London.

Nathan regularly liveblogs talks and events. He also publishes data journalism with the Guardian Datablog and PBS IdeaLab. He also facilitates #1book140, The Atlantic's Twitter book club, and frequently hosts live Twitter Q&As with prominent writers. He coordinated the Media Lab Festival of Learning in 2012 and 2013.

Before MIT, Nathan completed an MA in English literature at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Davies Jackson scholar and wrote two theses on African literature and the psychology of interactive fiction. In earlier years, he was Riddick Scholar and Hugh Cannon Memorial Scholar at the American Institute of Parliamentarians. He won the Ted Nelson award at ACM Hypertext 2005 with a work of tangible scholarly hypermedia. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Manufacturing in 2013.


Aug 14, 2017

Perspectives on Harmful Speech Online

This collection of short essays and opinion pieces on harmful speech online covers a broad spectrum of thought and ideas from the Berkman Klein community.


Aug 26, 2018

Why I’m Going on the Academic Job Market

Nathan Matias reflects, "I’ve written this post partly to explain to community partners and advocates why I’m spending so much time looking for an academic job, partly to help me…

Nov 12, 2013

Meet members of the 2013-2014 Berkman Community: Kate Darling, Hasit Shah, Dalia Othman, and J. Nathan Matias

This week we are featuring four interviews with 2013-2014 Berkman Fellows as part of an ongoing series showcasing individuals in the Berkman community. Conducted by our 2013…


Just Tech

Impact Assessment of Human-Algorithm Feedback Loops

Nathan Matias and Lucas Wright provide useful tools to understand how adaptive algorithms can make an impact on individuals and society.

Mar 1, 2022
International Journal of Communication

Whose deaths matter? New research on Black Lives Matter and media attention

A Quantitative Analysis of Media Attention to Deaths of Black Americans in Police Confrontations

Oct 2, 2019
The Atlantic

We Tested Facebook’s Ad Screeners and Some Were Too Strict

Do big social media platforms have effective ad policies?

Nov 2, 2018

Artificial Intelligence in Christian Thought and Practice

This series published by Christian computer scientists J. Nathan Matias, Lydia Manikonda, Scott Hale, and Kenneth Arnold introduces questions for Christians about AI and its role…

Oct 19, 2017

Algorithmic Consumer Protection

To manage the risks and benefits of AI, we need to look beyond the fairness and accuracy of AI decisions.

As society entrusts our safety and well-being to AI systems like this one, how can we ensure that the outcomes are beneficial?

Oct 9, 2017


Sep 28, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

The Computer Says No

The Bad News About Online Discrimination in Algorithmic Systems

Join us at the University of Michigan for a discussion with Solon Barocas, J. Nathan Matias, H. V. Jagadish, and Christian Sandvig on the potential for discrimination and digital…

Mar 23, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Fake News, Concrete Responses

At the Nexus of Law, Technology, and Social Narratives

Join us for a special Harvard Law School-Berkman Klein Fake News Lunch Panel moderated by Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School

Feb 23, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Developing Effective Citizen Responses to Discrimination and Harassment Online

with Berkman Fellow, Nathan Matias

MIT PhD candidate Nathan Matias shares four years of research and design interventions aimed at expanding the power of citizens to understand and develop effective responses to…

Jun 11, 2014 @ 4:00 PM

Cyberscholar Working Group at Yale

This month's presentations include (1) "Five Algorithmic Cultures and Their Ontologies: A Performative Critique" with Esteve Sanz; (2) Social Patterns of Digital Thanks,…

Oct 10, 2012 @ 7:00 PM

Cyberscholars Working Group

Colin Agur will discuss "India's Mobile Phone Revolution: A Legislative History, 1994-present"; Bodó Balázs will discuss "Set the fox to watch the geese: voluntary, bottom-up IP…