University of Pennsylvania
I am the Associate Director of Data Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania’s Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies and the Deputy Executive Director of UPenn’s Fox Leadership Program. I am also a Senior Analyst for the NBC News Decision Desk and Data Analytics Lab.
My roles at Penn are a mixture of research, teaching, mentorship, and administrative responsibilities. The PORES program oversees the Survey Research and Data Analytics undergraduate minor degree program. I co-teach a annual course in Applied Data Science, which is taken by most undergraduates seeking the minor. I also oversee research being conducted by students through the Fox Leadership Research Fellowship program. Through this program, I work with multiple students each semester on a variety research projects that help to develop their technical skills and substantive knowledge about politics. The fellowship also provides me an opportunity to mentor students and to help them achieve their academic and professional goals.
Through my role at NBC News I work on the Decision Desk team, which is responsible for projecting the winner in primary, special, and general elections for federal and statewide offices. One of my major responsibilities throughout the year is the development of new statistical models to use on Election Day. I designed, tested, and implemented multiple models that our team used for the first time in the 2018 midterm election cycle. I am currently working on several additional models for use in 2020. In addition to model development, I have helped to update and improve our team’s Election Night software. Through that work, I have redesigned the user interface on multiple parts of the software, and have worked with our team’s software engineers to implement the changes.
Prior to beginning at Penn and NBC News, I received my PhD in political science in 2017 from Harvard University. My political science research applies statistics and machine learning methods to timely questions about voting accessibility and the way we administer elections in the United States. My work informs broader discussions about access to the ballot, race, representation, and effective governance. I have published my research in several peer-reviewed journals including Science, Electoral Studies, and Political Science Quarterly.
In addition to my work in political science, I have applied my data science skills to research about analytics in football, basketball, hockey and the Olympic games. This research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and I am a freelance contributor to the Wall Street Journal, FiveThirtyEight, and Deadspin.
I received a Masters degree in statistics from Harvard in 2013. I am a proud graduate of University of Georgia, receiving a Masters degree in political science and Bachelors degrees in political science and history. I worked as a project manager and data scientist with the MIT Election Data and Science Lab.