Jowei Chen

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Jowei Chen, PhD, is Associate Professor of Political Science in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prof. Chen holds secondary appointments in the Center for Political Studies and the Institute for Social Research.

Prof. Chen’s research focuses on political geography and political institutions in the United States. His work on legislative districts examines how the geography of Democrat and Republican voters, as well as the political manipulation of district boundaries, affects voters’ political representation in legislatures. This work uses individual-level and precinct-level data about elections, combined with computer simulations of the district-drawing process. Other research projects analyze the political composition of the federal workforce by analyzing the campaign contributions and partisanship of bureaucratic employees, linking employee records with voter registration records and campaign finance data.

 

 

Brian Min

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Brian Min, PhD, is Associate Professor of Political Science in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prof. Min holds secondary appointments as Research Associate Professor in the Center for Political Studies and the Institute for Social Research.

Prof. Min studies the political economy of development with an emphasis on distributive politics, public goods provision, and energy politics. His research uses high-resolution satellite imagery to study the distribution of electricity across and within the developing world. He has collaborated closely with the World Bank using satellite technologies and statistical algorithms to monitor electricity access in India and Africa, including the creation of a web platform to visualize twenty years of change in light output for every village in India (http://nightlights.io).

 

min-nightlights

Joseph Ryan

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Joe Ryan’s research and teaching build upon his direct practice experiences with child welfare and juvenile justice populations. Dr. Ryan is the Co-Director of the Child and Adolescent Data, an applied research center focused on using big data to drive policy and practice decisions in the field. Dr. Ryan is currently involved with several studies including a randomized clinical trial of recovery coaches for substance abusing parents in Illinois (AODA Demonstration), a foster care placement prevention study for young children in Michigan (MiFamily Demonstration), a Pay for Success (social impact bonds) study focused on high risk adolescents involved with the Illinois child welfare and juvenile justice system and a study of the educational experiences of youth in foster care (Kellogg Foundation Education and Equity). Dr. Ryan is committed to building strong University and State partnerships that utilize big data and data visualization tools to advance knowledge and address critical questions in the fields of child welfare and juvenile justice.

Walter Mebane

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My primary project, election forensics, concerns using statistical analysis to try to determine whether election results are accurate.  Election forensics methods use data about voters and votes that are as highly disaggregated as possible.  Typically this means polling station (precinct) data, sometimes ballot box data.  Data can comprises hundreds of thousands or millions of observations.  Geographic information is used, with geographic structure being relevant.  Estimation involves complex statistical models.  Frontiers include:  distinguishing frauds from effects of strategic behavior;  estimating frauds probabilities for individual observations (e.g., polling stations);  adjoining nonvoting data such as from in-person election observations.

Hotspot Analysis, Extreme Fraud Probabilities, South Africa, 2014

Hotspot Analysis, Extreme Fraud Probabilities, South Africa, 2014

Josh Pasek

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Josh Pasek is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Associate in the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan.  His substantive research explores how new media and psychological processes each shape political attitudes, public opinion, and political behaviors.  Josh also examines issues in the measurement of public opinion including techniques for incorporating social trace data as a means of tracking attitudes and behaviors.  Current research evaluates whether the use of online social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter might be changing the political information environment, and assesses the conditions under which nonprobability samples, such as those obtained from big data methods or samples of Internet volunteers can lead to conclusions similar to those of traditional probability samples.  His work has been published in Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication, Communication Research, and the Journal of Communication among other outlets.  He also maintains two R packages for producing survey weights (anesrake) and analyzing weighted survey data (weights).