Recent Bulletins

QSS Alumnus Published in the New Journal of Physics
Posted on: 09/14/2018

Herbert Chang '18 recently published his QSS honors thesis in the New Journal of Physics.  Herbert completed and defended his thesis in May 2018 and in the summer after developed it further with his advisor, Feng Fu of the Department of Mathematics at Dartmouth College.  Titled "Co-diffusion of social contagions," Herbert's thesis explores multiple contagion processes which interact on a multiplex network. His work shows that intricate interdependencies give rise to new and fascinating phenomena that are applicable to wider contexts such as technological and product diffusion. Of Herbert, Professor Fu writes, “Thanks to the generous support of the QSS Program, his QSS thesis work is an important and innovative contribution at a time when dynamical channels and technologies influence each other. Hence there is a great desire to quantify synergy and how their inherent qualities influence each other."

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Herbert is presently studying artificial intelligence in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.  He is focusing on agents and knowledge representation and hopes further to study the governance of artificial intelligence for human-machine cooperation.

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QSS Steering committee member named Director of DCAL
Posted on: 09/07/2018

Mathematics Professor and QSS steering committee member Scott Pauls has been Named Director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL).

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Read more about his appointment here.

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QSS Director of Undergraduate Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
Posted on: 09/07/2018

QSS Director of Undergraduate Research Jeremy Ferwerda recently published an article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The article, titled, "Determinants of refugee naturalization in the United States," is a study of the naturalization rates of non-citizens in the United States.  PNAS describes the article as follows: "Despite the scale of the US refugee resettlement program, policymakers and the public lack systematic information on how refugees adapt to their new environment. We focus on naturalization as a key measure of integration and draw on administrative data to provide direct estimates of the naturalization rates among refugees. Our results show that, on average, refugees acquire citizenship faster than other lawful permanent residents. We also identify the set of factors that promote or constrain naturalization among refugees. These findings have implications for policymakers seeking to improve the integration of refugees within the United States."

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Professor Ferwerda, whose research focuses on immigration and related political issues, received his doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been at Dartmouth College since July 2016. Prior to his appointment in the Department of Government, Professor Ferwerda spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Watson Institute of Brown University. In the Department of Government, Professor Ferwerda teaches courses on statistics and course in comparative politics.

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QSS Postdoctoral fellow Jun Zhao presents at the 113th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Posted on: 08/22/2018

On August 13, Jun Zhao, a postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College presented a paper at the 113th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, recently held in Philadelphia, PA. Jun’s paper was titled, "Showing Remorse in Mock Criminal Trials,” and it shows that defendants’ expressed remorse influences jurors’ sentencing decisions. Men, especially white men, enjoy greater benefits (in terms of sentence reduction) of displaying remorse than similarly remorseful white women, black men, and black women. Jun and her supervisor at Dartmouth, Kimberly Rogers of the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth, both spoke at a panel at the American Sociological Association meeting that honored the work of Neil McKinnon of the University of Guelph, winner of this year's Emotion Section Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASA. 

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Jun has been at Dartmouth since the summer of 2017, and she is currently working on the role of emotion, gender, and culture in perpetuating workplace inequality and criminal injustice. She and Professor Rogers have a joint project exploring the social and psychological mechanisms that motivate self-organized collaborations. In particular, this project examines factors that determine the likelihood of success or failure in online collaborative networks (e.g. GitHub). Jun will be also working on modeling cross-cultural interactions with data collected from university undergraduates and from GitHub programmers. 

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Congratulations to Postdoctural Fellow, Yuki Shiraito
Posted on: 06/15/2018

Yuki Shiraito, a QSS postdoctoral fellow during the 2017-18 academic year, formally received his doctorate in Politics from Princeton University.  Yuki’s dissertation, titled "Essays in Political Methodology,” consists of a collection of papers on Bayesian statistical models with applications to treatment effect heterogeneity, text reuse, and citation networks.  Yuki’s work at Princeton was supervised by Kosuke Imai (chair), Marc Ratkovic, Kristopher Ramsay, and Brandon Stewart.  As of September 1, 2018, Yuki will be Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.  QSS congratulates Yuki on his accomplishments and looks forward to his next steps as a scholar.

The director of the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology on campus
Posted on: 03/22/2018

Survey Methodology is an interdisciplinary field applying insights from Statistics, Data Science, Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction and Sociology, among other fields, to the measurement of areas such as public opinion, voter preference, consumer satisfaction, consumer sentiment, public health, unemployment.The Michigan Program in Survey Methodology offers MS and PhD degrees that emphasize either the statistical, social, or data science aspects of the field. Program Director Fred Conrad will meet with students Tuesday March 27 in Silsby 119. Coffee and light refreshments provided. Please RSVP to the QSS Program administrator at [email protected].

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QSS steering committee member active in the fight against fake news
Posted on: 03/22/2018

QSS steering committee member and Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan has joined in a multidisciplinary call for a new field of study focused on fighting the proliferation and effect of misinformation online. In a recent interview with Dartmouth News, Professor Nyhan discussed this proposal, which came out in a March 9 article in the journal Science. 

QSS postdoctoral fellow accepts position at IE University
Posted on: 03/21/2018

D.J. Flynn, currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Program in Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Political Science at IE University in Madrid, Spain. D.J. has spent two years at Dartmouth after completing his doctorate in political science at Northwestern University.  D.J. is currently working on several projects that examine how misinformation distorts important aspects of democratic politics, including public opinion, representation, and accountability. While at Dartmouth, he has conducted research into the psychology of misperceptions, people's responsiveness to fact-checks, and how politicians communicate with their misinformed constituents. Much of this work is joint with QSS students and affiliated faculty, including Brendan Nyhan, his postdoctoral supervisor and a professor in the Department of Government.

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According to Jamie Druckman, the chair of D.J.'s dissertation committee at Northwestern, "D.J. is unique in his ability to apply cutting-edge social science methods to address problems of great contemporary importance. He was studying misinformation well before it was so fashionable to do so, and his work has already had a substantial impact on what we know about the topic. His time at Dartmouth also has played a critical role in ensuring that he will be one of the leading scholars of his generation."

At IE University, D.J. will continue his research into the effects of misinformation and will be teaching courses on public opinion, political communication, and quantitative methods.

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QSS Postdoc wins Top Paper Award
Posted on: 03/05/2018

Jin Woo Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College, recently won the Top Paper Award from the Political Communication Division of the International Communication Association.  This award was for the paper Switching On and Off: Rethinking Partisan Selective Exposure.  The paper’s abstract is as follows:

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Despite concern that selective exposure to congenial sources drives partisans to disagree about even purely factual matters, existing empirical research finds little to mixed evidence that most Americans do seek out like-minded sources of information. In this paper, we suggest an alternative conceptualization of selective exposure; people choose when to pay attention to politics, instead of which ideological sources to follow, such that they avoid politics altogether in the times when they anticipate unpleasant information. We argue that presidential performance shapes such expectations, which would, in turn, create divergent overtime ebbs and flows in the levels of political engagement across partisan groups. Drawing on two multi-wave survey datasets, we find partisans display a lower level of political interest and media consumption during a politically disappointing period. Our findings suggest that that the stream of information that Democrats receive in the long run can be different from Republicans, even if partisans follow mostly central news sources.

Jin received his PhD in Communications in 2017 from the University of Pennsylvania, and he is working with Professor Brendan Nyhan on a series of studies that examine how debates on social media create misperceptions about the extremity and incivility of partisan outgroups and increase polarization and negative affect toward them. Jin's other projects include a study that draws on observational data to identify the effect of online rumoring and a study that examines the role of evidence strength in political persuasion.

 

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Nyhan quoted on CNN.com
Posted on: 02/23/2018

"It's easy to feel hopeless because the fringe won't listen. And it's true--the fringe won't listen. But there are a lot more people who are vulnerable to conspiracy theories, but don't necessarily believe them," says the QSS steering committee member and professor of government Brendan Nyhan in a February 22 CNN story about conspiracy theory 'pollution.'

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