My core intellectual interest is the way in which parenting behaviors, like the use of physical punishment, or parental expressions of emotional warmth, have an effect on child outcomes like aggression, antisocial behavior, anxiety and depression, and how these dynamics play out across contexts, neighborhoods, and cultures. A lot of my work is done with international samples. In my work I use statistical models, like multilevel models and some econometric models, and software like Stata, R, HLM and ArcGIS, to examine things like growth and change over time, or community, school or parent effects on children and families.
My current research focus is on modeling and simulating the value and benefits of various data sharing and policy trade offs. Typically these utilize system dynamics methodologies and tools.
I also have considerable experience across multiple industries with developing processes to enable industry and faculty to identify and solve data science problems using SAS tools.
Dr. Abney has pursued research in natural language understanding and natural language learning, including information extraction, biomedical text processing, integrating text analysis into web search, robust and rapid partial parsing, stochastic grammars, spoken-language information systems, extraction of linguistic information from scanned page images, dependency-grammar induction for low-resource languages, and semisupervised learning.
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).
My interest is in using econometrics, especially Bayesian econometrics, and machine learning methods to infer causality. I tend to work with mostly parametric models of firm and consumer behavior to assess the effectiveness of firm actions. My work spans a variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, gaming and hi-technology.
The Language and Information Technologies (LIT) lab, directed by Rada Mihalcea, conducts research in natural language processing, information retrieval, and applied machine learning. The group specifically focuses on projects concerned with text semantics (word/text similarity, large semantic networks), behavior analysis (multilingual opinion analysis, multimodal models for deception detection, emotion recognition, alertness detection, stress/anxiety detection, analysis of counseling speech), big data for cross-cultural analysis (geotagging, understanding cross-cultural differences and worldview), educational applications (pedagogical search engines, automatic short answer grading, conversational technologies for student advising).
Several of the projects in the LIT lab are interdisciplinary, acknowledging the fact that language can be used to deepen our understanding in many different fields, such as psychology, sociology, history, and others. Some of the ongoing projects in the lab are collaborations with psychologists and sociologists, and target a rich modeling of human behavior through language analysis, seeking answers to questions such as “what are the core values of a culture?” and “are there differences in how different groups of people perceive the surrounding world?” The lab is also actively working on multimodal projects to track and understand human behavior, where language analysis is complemented with other channels such as facial expressions, gestures, and physiological signals.
Of interest, Prof. Mihalcea was quoted in a story about sexism and today’s virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana; Refinery29.