Assistant Professor

B.A. Princeton University, 2013
M.A. Harvard University, 2017
Ph.D. Harvard University, 2020


Linda Zhao's research focuses on how social contexts (such as levels of diversity or inequality in a population) can shape intergroup dynamics in social networks, how social networks and social contexts are linked to our behaviors and decisions, and how such networks can generate inequality. Her projects investigate intergroup dynamics, inequality, and social influence in networks within the areas of immigrant integration, policing, and public health. Zhao's current work leverages data from a range of contexts such as adolescent friendships in classrooms, officer networks in police departments, as well as quasi-experimental settings using computational models. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Zhao was a Frank H.T. Rhodes Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cornell Population Center. Zhao earned a PhD from Harvard in Sociology in 2020, a MA in Statistics from Harvard in 2017, and a BA in Economics from Princeton in 2013.