Danaja Maldeniya

Postdoctoral fellow

University of Michigan


I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Center for Study of Complex Systems working with Elizabeth Bruch and Mark Newman. I got my PhD from the University of Michigan School of Information where I worked with Daniel Romero on understanding how people respond to external shocks using digital trace data and quasiexperimental methods.

Prior to starting at U-M, I was a researcher at LIRNEasia, a policy think tank based in Sri Lanka and operating in the Asia Pacific region. I was involved in the “Big Data for Development” project that sought to use novel digital data sources such as call detail records (CDR) generated by mobile operators, satellite imagery and data from social media (Foursquare, Twitter) to generated policy insights in the fields of transport, urban development, disaster resilience, infectious disease propagation etc.

I have a Bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (Class of 2011) and I worked for over two years as a software engineer (2012-2014) at CodeGen International, a leading Sri Lankan software company that develops software for tour operators.


  • Collective Intelligence
  • Collaborative Crowds
  • Complex Systems and Networks
  • Causal Inference


  • PhD Information, 2023

    University of Michigan, United States

  • BSc Computer Science & Engineering, 2011

    University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka