Robert Manduca

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Professor Manduca’s research focuses on urban and regional economic development, asking why some cities and regions prosper while others decline, how federal policy influences urban fortunes, and how neighborhood social and economic conditions shape life outcomes. He studies these topics using computer simulations, spatial clustering methods, network analysis, and data visualization.

In other work he explores the consequences of rising income inequality for various aspects of life in the United States, using descriptive methods and simulations applied to Census microdata. This research has shown how rising inequality has lead directly to lower rates of upward mobility and increases in the racial income gap.

9.9.2020 MIDAS Faculty Research Pitch Video.

Screenshot from “Where Are The Jobs?” visualization mapping every job in the United States based on the unemployment insurance records from the Census LODES data.

Nikola Banovic

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My research focuses on methods, applications, and ethics of Computational Modeling in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Understanding and modeling human behavior supports innovative information technology that will change how we study and design interactive user experiences. I envision modeling the human accurately across domains as a theoretical foundation for work in HCI in which computational models provide a foundation to study, describe, and understand complex human behaviors and support optimization and evaluation of user interfaces. I create technology that automatically reasons about and acts in response to people’s behavior to help them be productive, healthy, and safe.

Ron Eglash

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Societal control tends to be implemented from the top-down, whether that is a private corporation or a communist state. How can data science empower from the bottom-up? Computational technologies can be designed to replace extractive economies with generative cycles. My research includes AI for the artisanal economy; computational modeling of Indigenous practices; and other means for putting the power of data science in the service of generative justice.

Student moving from her knowledge of braiding algorithms, to her program for braiding patterns, to a mannequin head for installation in adult braider’s shops.

Yuri Zhukov

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My research focuses on the causes, dynamics and outcomes of conflict, at the international and local levels. My methodological areas of interest include spatial statistics, mathematical/computational modeling and text analysis.

Map/time-series/network plot, showing the flow of information across battles in World War II. Z axis is time, X and Y axes are longitude and latitude, polygons are locations of battles, red lines are network edges linking battles involving the same combatants. Source:

Gregory S. Miller

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Greg’s research primarily investigates information flow in financial markets and the actions of agents in those markets – both consumers and producers of that information. His approach draws on theory from the social sciences (economics, psychology and sociology) combined with large data sets from diverse sources and a variety of data science approaches. Most projects combine data from across multiple sources, including commercial data bases, experimentally created data and extracting data from sources designed for other uses (commercial media, web scrapping, cellphone data etc.). In addition to a wide range of econometric and statistical methods, his work has included applying machine learning , textual analysis, mining social media, processes for missing data and combining mixed media.

Jim Omartian

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My research explores the interplay between corporate decisions and employee actions. I currently use anonymized mobile device data to observe individual behaviors, and employ both unsupervised and supervised machine learning techniques.

Jeffrey Morenoff

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Jeffrey D. Morenoff is a professor of sociology, a research professor at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), and a professor of public policy at the Ford School. He is also director of the ISR Population Studies Center. Professor Morenoff’s research interests include neighborhood environments, inequality, crime and criminal justice, the social determinants of health, racial/ethnic/immigrant disparities in health and antisocial behavior, and methods for analyzing multilevel and spatial data.

Jana Hirschtick

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I am a social epidemiologist with expertise in data collection, analysis, and translation. My research is focused on quantifying health inequities at the individual, community, and national level and examining how policy and social factors impact these inequities. My experience has spanned academic, clinical, and community settings, providing me with a unique perspective on the value and need for epidemiologic research and dissemination in multiple contexts. My current work focuses on the health equity impact of tobacco product use as part of the University of Michigan Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, the Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulations (CAsToR). I am examining sociodemographic inequities in polytobacco use (the use of multiple tobacco products) across multiple nationally representative datasets. I am also an active member of CAsToR’s Data Analysis and Dissemination (DAD) Core. Additionally, I am collaborating with colleagues in Chicago to disseminate findings from a community-level probability survey of 10 Chicago communities, of which I served as Co-PI while working at a hospital system in Chicago. We continue to publish on the unique survey process, sharing our community-driven approach to conducting research and disseminating findings in partnership with surveyed communities.

Nancy Fleischer

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Dr. Fleischer’s research focuses on how the broader socioeconomic and policy environments impact health disparities and the health of vulnerable populations, in the U.S. and around the world. Through this research, her group employs various analytic techniques to examine data at multiple levels (country-level, state-level, and neighborhood-level), emphasizing the role of structural influences on individual health. Her group applies advanced epidemiologic, statistical, and econometric methods to this research, including survey methodology, longitudinal data analysis, hierarchical modeling, causal inference, systems science, and difference-in-difference analysis. Dr. Fleischer leads two NCI-funded projects focused on the impact of tobacco control policies on health equity in the U.S.

Walter Dempsey

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Dr. Dempsey’s research focuses on statistical methods for digital and mobile health. My current work involves three complementary research themes: (1) experimental design and data analytic methods to inform multi-stage decision making in health; (2) statistical modeling of complex longitudinal and survival data; and (3) statistical modeling of complex relational structures such as interaction networks. Current directions include (1) integration of sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMARTs) and micro-randomized trials (MRTs) and associated causal inference methods; (2) recurrent event analysis in the presence of high-frequency sensor data; and (3) temporal models for, community detection of, and link prediction using complex interaction data.