Peter Adriaens

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My research focus is on the development and application of machine learning tools to large scale financial and unstructured (textual) data to extract, quantify and predict risk profiles and investment grade rating of private and public companies.  Example datasets include social media and financial aggregators such as Bloomberg, Pitchbook, and Privco.

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 a secondary appointment in the Center for Political Studies in 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.



Greg Rybarczyk

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Using GIS, visual analytics, and spatiotemporal modeling, Dr. Rybarczyk examines the utility of Big Data for gaining insight into the causal mechanisms that influence travel patterns and urban dynamics. In particular, his research sets out to provide a fuller understanding of “what” and “where” micro-scale conditions affect human sentiment and hence wayfinding ability, movement patterns, and travel mode-choices.

Recent works: Rybarczyk, G. and S. Banerjee. (2015) Visualizing active travel sentiment in an urban context, Journal of Transport and Health, 2(2): 30

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.

Hongwei Xu

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My substantive research interest is to understand the role of geography in shaping population health. Towards this end, my methodological and data science interests are twofold. First, I seek to develop and apply spatial statistical methods to model individual- and area-level health and diseases by using survey data and government statistics. Second, in light of the advance in GIS techniques and the increasingly accessible spatial data from various sources, I am exploring new approaches to integrate traditional geo-referenced survey data with non-traditional spatial data (e.g., remote sensing data, satellite data, Google search) to reduce measurement errors in demographic health research.

Kerby Shedden

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Kerby Shedden has broad interests involving applied statistics, data science and computing with data.  Through his work directing the data science consulting service he has worked in a wide variety of application domains including numerous areas within health science, social science, and transportation research.  A current major focus is development of software tools that exploit high performance computing infrastructure for statistical analysis of health records, and sensor data from vehicles and road networks.

Daniel Brown

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Daniel Brown, PhD, is Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability and holds a secondary appointment as Research Professor in the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. Prof. Brown is also Director of the Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory.

Prof. Brown’s research interests focus on land use change and its effects on ecosystems and on human vulnerability. This work connects a computer-based simulation (e.g., agent-based modeling) of land-use-change processes with GIS and remote sensing based data on historical patterns of landscape change and social surveys. Brown and colleagues are working to couple these models with GIS-based data and other models to evaluate consequences of change. They are also working to understand the ways in which land-use decisions are made. Collaborative research investigate the effects of spatial and social neighborhoods on the physical and social risks on human health.

Though most of Professor Brown’s earlier work has been in the US, his work is becoming increasingly international, with projects in China, Africa, and India.

Research on land-cover and land-use change is funded by the NASA Land-Cover Land-Use Change Program and by programs at the National Science Foundation on Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) and the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) and conducted in collaboration with colleagues in SEAS and in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. Research on spatial aspects of public health is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Public Health and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.