Areas of Interest
- Political Behavior; Elections
- Political Geography; Redistricting
Degree TypePhDDegree DetailsUniversity of Chicago
At least some courses in the major should be designed around analytical techniques that are in demand by potential employers of B.A. degree holders. In the context of my courses, this means I teach research design, statistics and data analysis techniques widely used in the consulting and social science research communities in Washington.
Many of my undergraduate advisees have found work in the Washington policy community and in government. Others have worked their way into graduate school or law school. Two of my best undergraduate students completed Ph.D. programs at Harvard and the University of Colorado, Boulder, and are now tenured faculty. Recent graduates are currently pursuing Ph.D. level work at University of California, San Diego; UNC-Chapel Hill; Ohio State and Wisconsin. Maryland undergraduates have taken their training from my course sequence in GIS for Social Science and applied it in the fields of public health, information management, disaster management, business, political campaigning, and public policy.
My research in political behavior has involved the study of political geography and the analysis of contextual (local) effects on voting behavior, public opinion, and various forms of political participation, such as contributing time and money to political campaigns. People's political viewpoints and actions are not distributed randomly across the geographic terrain but vary in interesting ways by location. Sometimes these patterns are traceable to a particular collection of individual level traits that happen to have concentrated in an area, but other times there is structure and meaning imposed independently of a simple accounting of individual characteristics.
I am at the forefront of efforts to apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to the study of politics and policy, not only in the obvious area of redistricting, but for other subject matter, including voting, fundraising, population mobility, campaign travel and resource use, and other social science subject matter in sociology, economics, education, and other domains.
I have been qualified by U.S. Federal Courts as an expert witness in several redistricting and voting cases. I have been commissioned to write expert reports for federal and state level cases in California, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin.