I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University, where I am currently studying how social networks shape political behavior and the capacity of communities to hold politicians accountable. I’m especially interested in policy-relevant data-driven social research, an interest I have pursued for the past decade in both academia and the policy world.
My Job Market Paper provides a model of how new sources of data (and in particular “big data”) on the day-to-day interactions of citizens can be leveraged to rigorously answer questions about social organization, ethnicity, and political outcomes. I am also using cell-phone meta-data from Venezuela to study the impact of land-tenure regimes on the development of politically effective social networks, and examining the mechanisms by which social networks shape political turnout in Uganda.
I am also passionate about ensuring the integrity of social science research, and making computational tools accessible to social scientists to empower them to advance our understanding of the world. To that end, I have compiled a number of tutorials which are available on this site (see links in top menu), and have developed a social scientists’ guide to the world of Python.