SISRM Faculty

Paul Poast

Paul Poast

Director, Summer Institute in Social Research Methods; Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Paul Poast is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His research on international relations and quantitative methodology has been funded by the National Science Foundation and has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Political Analysis, among others. Paul received his PhD from the University of Michigan (where his dissertation won the Peace Science Society’s Walter Isard Award), an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA from Miami University. Prior to Chicago, Paul was an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University and, before beginning his PhD, Paul taught in the Department of Economics at The Ohio State University.

Course Faculty

Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela

Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela

Mansueto Fellow & Postdoctoral Scholar

Benjamin Fogarty Valenzuela is a Mansueto fellow and post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Sociology. He specializes in Cultural, Political, and Visual Anthropology, with an ethnographic focus on youth, education, the war on drugs and middle class identity. His research brings an anthropological perspective to social mobility, youth aspiration and the politics of free time in contemporary Brazil. In his anthropological studies, Benjamin has focused on the social and cultural effects of pedagogies of drug prohibition as they intersect with policies of social inclusion and citizenship formation in Latin America. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Princeton University.

Anne Henly

Anne Henly

Senior Lecturer in the College and the Department of Psychology Director of the Undergraduate Research Initiative in Psychology

Anne Henly is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology and the College and the director of the Undergraduate Research Initiative in Psychology (URIP). Her research investigates how we use language to communicate and its effects on thinking. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2004, focusing on the ambiguity inherent in language and the cognitive processes that allow us to quickly and easily understand one another during spoken language comprehension. Her research has addressed a range of issues from how we recognize words and understand their meanings to the importance of taking the perspective of others to avoid miscommunication. Her current research explores how different ways of speaking can affect not only how we think about the content a message conveys but perhaps also lead to more pervasive changes in thinking and social engagement. Dr. Henly’s longstanding interests in communication and perspective-taking have informed her approach to teaching and play a central to role in shaping her interactions with students.

Marynia Kolak

Marynia Kolak

Assistant Director for Health Informatics, Center for Spatial Data Science

Marynia Kolak, MS, MFA, PhD, is a health geographer using open science tools and an exploratory data analytic approach to investigate issues of equity across space and time. Her research centers on how “place” impacts health outcomes in different ways, for different people, from opioid risk environments to chronic disease clusters. She is the Assistant Director of Health Informatics and Lecturer in GIScience at the Center for Spatial Data Science, University of Chicago, and serves as a Public Service Intern at the Chicago Department of Public Health. Marynia additionally serves as an Health and Medical Specialty Group (AAG) board member, and chair of the Chicago Public Health GIS Network. She received her Ph.D in Geography at ASU, M.F.A in Writing from Roosevelt University, M.S. in GIS from John Hopkins University, and B.S. in Geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Christopher Roark

Christopher Roark

Assistant Instructional Professor, Department of Economics

Christopher Roark is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. His research interests include International Macroeconomics, International Finance, and Macroeconomic Labor. He holds a PhD in Economics from Duke University.

Yanyan Sheng

Yanyan Sheng

Senior Lecturer, Committee on Quantitative Methods in Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences

Yanyan Sheng is Senior Lecturer of the Committee on Quantitative Methods in Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005. Her primary research interests focus on modeling dichotomous responses in educational and psychological measurement using advanced modern statistics, specifically, on developing and applying complex, yet efficient Bayesian hierarchical item response models. She has also been collaborating with her colleagues in areas such as science assessment, game-based learning, health education where she applies statistical/measurement methods to real data conditions.

Prior to joining the university, Sheng was a Professor of Quantitative Methods at Southern Illinois University (SIU), where she has taught graduate-level courses in educational measurement and statistics for fourteen years. She was recipient of the 2006 APA Division 5 (Measurement, Evaluation & Statistics) Distinguished Dissertation Award, and the 2014 SIU COEHS Scholar Excellence Award. 

Benjamin Soltoff

Benjamin Soltoff

Assistant Director & Assistant Instructional Professor in Computational Social Science

Dr. Soltoff is Assistant Director & Assistant Instructional Professor in the Computational Social Science program. He is a political scientist with concentrations in American government, political methodology, and law and courts. Additionally, he has training and experience in data science, big data analytics, and policy evaluation. He completed his BA in political science at James Madison University and both his MA and PhD at Pennsylvania State University.

Faculty Mentors in the Research Assistantship Program

Luc Anselin

Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and the College; Director, Center for Spatial Data Science; Senior Fellow, NORC

Marc G. Berman

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Dan Black

Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

Mark P. Bradley

Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History and the College

Susan L. Burns

Professor of History, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College

Austin Carson

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Charlie Catlett

Senior Fellow, Harris School of Public Policy

Cathy Cohen

David and Mary Winton Green Professor, Department of Political Science

Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela

Mansueto Fellow and Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Sociology

Alexander Fouirnaies

Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

Robert Gulotty

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

James J. Heckman

The Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College; Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development; Co-Director, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, sponsored by Institute for New Economic Thinking

Faith Hillis

Associate Professor of Russian History and the College

Julia Koschinsky

Executive Director, Center for Spatial Data Science

Nicole P. Marwell

Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration

David Meltzer

Professor, Harris School of Public Policy; Director, Center for Health and the Social Sciences

Casey Mulligan

Professor in Economics and the College

Monica Nalepa

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Paul Staniland

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Robert Vargas

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Sociology; Director of the Violence, Law, and Politics Lab

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