17 Nov 2023

New Faculty Profiles: Michael Lingzhi Li


HBS faculty comprises more than 300 scholars and practitioners who bring leading-edge research, extensive experience, and deep insights into the classroom, to organizations, and to leaders across the globe. We asked new faculty at HBS about their background, their new roles, and their interests.

Michael Lingzhi Li, assistant professor, Technology and Operations Management

What is your educational background?
Prior to college, I attended school across US, Canada, and China, completing my international baccalaureate studies at an international school in Shanghai. Then I completed my undergraduate degree at University of Cambridge in mathematics. Afterwards, I came to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to first complete a master's in business analytics (MBAn) and stayed on to complete a PhD in operations research.

What’s your area of research and what led you to it?
My area of research is focused on the end-to-end development of decision algorithms based on machine learning, causal inference, and operations research. Furthermore, I examine the implementation of such algorithms in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and public health organizations, and their potential to fundamentally transform healthcare operations. I am passionate about healthcare and deeply believe that we are at the cusp of a revolution in healthcare.

What will you be teaching?
I will be teaching the Technology and Operations Management (TOM) course in the Required Curriculum.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an academic?
My primary motivation is to deliver societal impact through my skills, so the most likely counterfactual would probably be creating a startup to use machine learning and optimization to transform a particular industry.

Where are you from?
This is a difficult question for me as I lived in many areas around the world growing up. But if I must choose places to call home, I would choose Vancouver, Canada, and Shanghai, China, where I spent almost an equal amount of time (about nine years).

What is something you like to do outside of your academic work?
I love traveling and exploring different cultures. At home, I play the piano and sometimes indulge in strategy board games. I am also a big foodie so I love to discover new exciting restaurants around Boston.

What’s your favorite book, movie, or piece of art?
I am pretty indecisive in choosing just one, but I would probably go with the Matrix series (and Ghost in the Shell anime series, of which Matrix is partially inspired!).

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