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Upcoming Events:

Thursday, May 28, noon-1:30pm

Location: Rockefeller Center 1930s Room

Title: "The efficient measurement of personality: Adaptive personality inventories for survey research"
Seminar with Jacob Montgomery, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis.

Recent scholarship in political science has expanded our understanding of how personality affects political behaviors, attitudes, and learning. However, a major obstacle to expanding this research agenda is that many established personality inventories contain far too many questions for inclusion on surveys. In response, researchers typically select a subset of items to administer, a practice that can dramatically lower measurement precision and accuracy. In this paper, we outline an alternative method – adaptive personality inventories (APIs) – for including large personality batteries on surveys while minimizing the number of questions each respondent must answer. 


Monday, November 2, noon-1:30pm

Location:  TBA

Title: “Sovereign Debt, Migration Pressure, and Government Survival”
Seminar with David Leblang, a Chair of the Department of Politics and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia.

A specialist in political economy, Leblang has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, The Directorate of Finance and Economics of the European Commission, and the Department of Defense.


Past Events:

Thursday, April 23, 2015, noon-1:30pm

Location: Silsby 215

Title: "The Evolution of Conflict in the Lower Courts"
Seminar with Deborah Beim, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Yale University.

Conflicts between the Courts of Appeals are of central importance to the American judiciary. When circuits split, federal law is applied differently in different parts of the country. It has long been known that the existence of a circuit split is the best predictor of Supreme Court review, but data availability has constrained understanding of circuit splits to this fact. In this paper, we explore the ``lifecycle'' of an intercircuit split. We analyze an original dataset that comprises the universe of conflicts between Courts of Appeals that existed between 2005 and 2013, which includes both conflicts the Supreme Court resolved and conflicts it has not yet resolved. We show how long a conflict exists before it is resolved and how many go unresolved altogether, which conflicts are resolved soonest, and how a conflict grows across circuits.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 12:15-1:45pm

Location:  Silsby 215

Title: "Blocking Reduces, if not Removes, Attrition Bias"
Seminar with Kentaro Fukumoto, Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Gakushuin University, Japan, and Visiting Fellow, Department of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis.
If a unit is compromised (e.g. missing, non-compliance) in experimental data with blocking, some scholars recommend deleting the other units in the same block, saying this leads to unbiased estimates. Others, however, criticize the blockwise deletion, arguing that it can result in biased estimates if the compromising mechanism is not independent of the potential outcomes. This paper arbitrates this controversy by exact calculation of the simplest case and simulation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 12:30-2pm   CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER/TRAVEL COMPLICATIONS

Location:  Silsby 119

Title: "Are Surveys & Polls Passé'? Finding Our Way Along the New Big Frontier"
Seminar with Michael Link, Ph.D., SVP Measurement Science Institute, Nielsen & President, American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).
Are we in the midst of a paradigm shift in the way we conceptualize, collect and analyze data on opinions, attitudes and behaviors? As surveys and polls face increasing problems, researchers are exploring new alternatives leveraging social media and other forms of "Big Data" to gain insights into attitudes and behaviors. The seminar will explore opportunities and challenges along this road and explore where it may be leading.

Thursday, November 20, 2014, noon-1:30pm

Location: Silsby 119

Title: "Modeling the History of the American Judiciary"
Seminar with Allen Riddell, a William H. Neukom 1964 Fellow at Dartmouth College, who received his PhD in the Program in Literature at Duke University.
This presentation explores how probabilistic models of text can be used to address longstanding questions about the relationship between the circuit courts and the Supreme Court.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 12:30-2pm

Location: Silsby 119

Title: "Hacking the Electorate: How Campaigns Perceive Voters"
Seminar with Eitan Hersh, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University, who received his PhD from Harvard.
This presentation will show that the strategies political campaigns use to interact with voters are a result of the policy environment in which campaigns operate. Public policies about the collection and distribution of personal data affect campaign strategy and voter behavior.

Friday, September 12, 2014, 9-10am

Location: Silsby 113

First-Year-Orientation Open House: Mathematics and Social Sciences is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the use of statistics and computing in the social sciences. Students who want to combine interests in a social science field with courses that emphasize technical skills--with particular emphasis on data analysis and computation--should stop by to learn about this program and its plans for the future.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 2-4pm

Location: Leverone Field House

Orientation Information Expo: First-year students are invited to bring their parents and families to the very popular Expo where you can explore many different aspects of the College by stopping at the various tables and speaking with the representatives there. Do come by and learn more about the Mathematics and Social Sciences Program, and all that it can offer you in your studies!

Last Updated: 4/24/15