SICSS-South Florida

June 19 to June 30, 2023 | Florida Atlantic University



Image of Kat Albrecht
Kat Albrecht
Kat Albrecht is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Dr. Albrecht’s work sits at the intersection of computational social science and law, where she uses innovative computational techniques to study fear, violence, and data distortions. She is particularly interested in the nexus of fear and risk-taking behaviors, digital trace data, and the impact of law on decision-making. She frequently serves as a computational science expert for the defense on active legal cases about life without the opportunity of parole, felony murder, gang enhancements, and the Racial Justice Act. She is presently a Fellow with CJARS where she is conducting research on felony case processing speeds across the United States.
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AJ Alvero
AJ Alvero is a computational social scientist at the University of Florida Department of Sociology, Criminology & Law and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Data Science & Computing at the University of Miami. His primary interests are in in language, race/ethnicity, culture, and education. His current research uses computational techniques to analyze college admissions essays and model the social patterns within them. AJ’s future research plans include investigations into machine translation and multilingualism, social media and counter hate speech, and California parole hearing transcripts. Prior to entering academia, AJ was a high school teacher in Miami, FL.
Image of Kevin Lanning
Kevin Lanning
Kevin Lanning is a Professor of Psychology and Data Science at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. His research uses simple tools in natural language analysis and network analysis to understand complex social and psychological phenomena. In his spare time, he is training for his first marathon.


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Candace Cunningham
Candace Cunningham is an Assistant Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University, where she teaches courses in U.S. History, African American History, and Public History. Her research is on the 20th century African American experience with a special emphasis on civil rights, education, gender, and the South. She is currently working on a manuscript about African American teachers who were in the long civil rights movement.
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Ivan Garibay
Ivan Garibay is an Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida, where he directs a number of programs including the UCF AI and Big Data Initiative, the MS in Data Analytics program, and the Complex Adaptive Systems lab. He uses computational tools to model complex socio-technical systems such as social media and artificial social intelligence, and is interested in a wide range of methods and problems in computational social science.
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Jae Yeon Kim
Jae Yeon Kim is a Senior Quantitative Researcher at Code for America who helps team efforts to improve safety net experiences and outcomes. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley. His dissertation received the Best Dissertation Award in Urban and Local Politics from American Political Science Association. Since 2020, he has been involved in the Mapping Modern Agora Project at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, which uses big data and machine learning to map the US civil society at scale. In 2022, he was an assistant professor of data science at the KDI School of Public Policy and Management in South Korea. Jae loves using data to solve public problems and strengthen civic engagement.
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Mark Tunick
Mark Tunick teaches political theory, ethics, and constitutional law at FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously taught at Stanford University. Many of his publications apply key figures in the history of political philosophy—Hegel, Kant, Locke, Mill—to topics of current importance such as privacy, punishment, property rights, and the right to bear arms. He is interested in the threat posed to reasonable expectations of privacy by surveillance in public places, the use of facial recognition technologies, and widespread collection of data for later use. Recently he developed an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on ethical issues raised by artificial intelligence such as liability issues of self-driving cars or drones, economic impacts of artificial intelligence, ethical concerns with predictive analytics using big data, and the ethical status of robots.

Teaching Assistants


Image of Ahmad Abdelnabi
Ahmad Abdelnabi
Ahmad Abdelnabi is a doctoral student in Modeling and Simulation at University of Central Florida. His research interests include Human Centered Engineering, Agent-Based Modeling, Machine Learning, and Operations Research. He holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Yarmouk University and a MSc in Industrial Engineering from Jordan University of Science & Technology
Image of Sina Abdidizaji
Sina Abdidizaji
I am a PhD student in the Industrial Engineering and Management Systems department at the University of Central Florida. I work in the Complex Adaptive Systems laboratory which focuses on using computational algorithms to explore complex networks. Before my PhD, I worked as a system analyst of online trading platforms. As I majored in Financial Engineering for my master’s, I did my dissertation on identifying statistical arbitrage opportunities in stock markets.
Image of Seun Ajoseh
Seun Ajoseh
Seun Ajoseh is a sociology doctoral student at the University of Florida. His research interests include social determinants of health, maternal health, and migration. He seeks to employ computational methods to understand health narratives on social media. Seun holds an MS and BS in sociology from Lagos State University.
Image of Abhay Alaukik
Abhay Alaukik
Abhay Alaukik is a Social Psychology doctoral student at the University of Florida in the Attitudes & Political Cognition, and Cognition & Decision Modeling labs. He is broadly interested in political and moral psychology, with a focus on the spread polarization and extremism based on rational decision processes. He received his BA in Psychology from the University of Kansas and his MS in Psychology from the University of Florida. He is interested in using computational formal models to specify theories about complex social processes.
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Debarshi Datta
Dr. Debarshi Datta is a Senior Research Fellow at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He holds a doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology from the Behavioral Science Department at FAU. He has experience working as an AI-driven decision support system in different domains, including healthcare, business, insurance, and image processing. He possesses technical skills in the complete data science cycle: problem statement, data disputes, exploratory data analysis, modeling, evaluation, data visualization, and data storytelling. During his tenure as a Senior Research Fellow, he analyzed data from electronic medical records (EMRs), survey data, and various cross-sectional and retrospective datasets to understand disease prevalence. Moving forward, it focuses on utilizing data-driven domains, such as machine learning, on understanding a population-based prognosis for modeling disease progression.
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Ansley Davis
Ansley Davis is a Ph.D. student in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida. She studies the interaction of cognition and language in learning patterns for school-aged children and adolescents. She is particularly interested in using eye-tracking methodology to study language processing.
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Jonathan Doriscar
Jonathan Doriscar is a social psychology doctoral student at Northwestern University. He researches how people regulate threats to the moral self. Most of his work focuses on white people's defensiveness to conversations/information that suggests they might be racist. In addition to his doctorates he is pursuing a masters in statistics. This masters focuses on data science, as his he utilizes a variety of computational methodology in his work. Before joining, Northwestern he received his B.A. from Knox college in psychology with a minor in composition & rhetoric.
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Coral Flanagan
Coral Flanagan is a doctoral student studying higher education policy at Vanderbilt University. Her work focuses on how state- and institution-level policies impact postsecondary access and success, particularly for multilingual students. She is interested in using natural language processing to study the role of text-based elements in undergraduate admissions. Prior to graduate school, Coral taught high school English in Providence, Rhode Island.
Chad Forbes
Chad E. Forbes, Ph.D., is a social neuroscientist, associate professor of psychology, and the Associate Director and Director of Research Development and Diversity for the FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute. Dr. Forbes has studied the consequences of bias on stigmatized individuals’ career pursuits and health for more than 20 years.
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Madhwa Galgali
Madhwa Galgali is a doctoral student at University of Missouri. His mostly concerned with existential motivations underlying shared belief systems such as religion and conspiracy beliefs and his work has examined regulation of religious intuitions following mortality salience and of interpersonal isolation, moral intuitions and ideology underlying conspiratorial mindsets.
Image of Dilara Hekimci-Adak
Dilara Hekimci-Adak
Dilara Hekimci-Adak is a part-time lecturer in political science at both Florida International University and the University of Miami. She teaches courses in American government, comparative politics, democratic erosion, populism, and political institutions. Dr. Hekimci-Adak recently earned her Ph.D. in political science at FIU. Her dissertation focused on the opposition strategies against populist exclusion in Turkey and Hungary. Her research interests include political parties, populism, opposition, and de-democratization in developing nations. She is currently conducting research on the use of social media as an alternative platform for opposition campaigns in hybrid regimes, where populists are in power, utilizing computational techniques.
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Rafael Hurtado
Rafael Hurtado, formerly a naval officer in the Colombian Navy, obtained his MSc degree from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Security Studies at the University of Central Florida. Rafael's research interest is to explore the connection between marine ecosystem services and social phenomena, employing agent-based and other numerical models as analytical tools.
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Jinpeng Li
Jinpeng Li is an M.A. student in Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin. His passion lies in integrating journalism, finance, and computational methods to create investigative stories. He specializes in data analysis and visuals, drawing from his experience as a former business journalist intern at Yicai Media and Caixin Media in China. Jinpeng is a recipient of the Walt Disney Fellowship in China.
Image of Samantha McKinney (Gnall)
Samantha McKinney (Gnall)
Samantha is a PhD student in Experimental Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. Her research interests include impression formation, stereotype transmission, and intergroup helping behaviors. Currently, she is investigating the link between helping orientations and help seeking in underrepresented groups in STEM as it relates to identity and performance.
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Eli McKown-Dawson
Eli McKown-Dawson is an undergraduate student at Florida State University studying political science and statistics. He is also a Research Fellow with the LeRoy Collins Institute and a Contributor at YouGov. Eli's research focuses on survey methodology, U.S. voting behavior, and how election laws impact voters' confidence in election administration.
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Soyoung Park
Dr. Soyoung Park is an Assistant Professor of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program and an affiliate faculty member of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiative Center at Florida Atlantic University. With a Ph.D. in Tourism Management (graduate minor in Social Data Analytics) from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Economics from Korea University, she takes a computational social science approach to her teaching and research. Her research utilizes big data analytics to investigate social issues in tourism and hospitality, particularly those affecting marginalized populations.
Image of Maria Cristina (MC) Ramos
Maria Cristina (MC) Ramos
Maria Cristina Ramos is an Assistant Teaching Faculty at Florida State University’s Interdisciplinary Social Science Program. She obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University. Her research primarily focuses on exploring identity processes. She also uses network analysis to study diverse phenomena including social-ecological systems and health applications.
Image of Jieun Shin
Jieun Shin
Jieun Shin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Production, Management, and Technology in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She teaches and researches social media dynamics with a focus on the spread of misinformation and fact-checking.
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Inna Smirnova
Inna Smirnova is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan School of Information, holding PhD in Management from the University of Vienna in Austria. Her research explores how managers can use organizational design choices (e.g., the reward structure, evaluation processes, or delegation of authority) to improve the supply and retention of innovators and, ultimately, organizational performance. She examines these topics in settings ranging from online communities, including GitHub and Stack Overflow, to academic science, using methods ranging from quantitative data analysis to survey-based studies to online and field experiments.
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Jordan Thompson
Jordan Thompson is pursuing a PhD in Experimental Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. Her research focuses on political psychology, with an emphasis on affective polarization and prejudice. Jordan is interested in incorporating web scraping and "big data" into her research.
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Ben Trautman
Ben Trautman is a PhD Candidate at Florida Atlantic University's School of Public Administration. He has an interest in linguistic processes and communicative practices found in public sector organizations. His current research compares organizational culture with popular theories looking for similarities with the assistance of artificial intelligence tools based on semiotic models. Prior to his studies at FAU, Ben has had a two-decade career with the U.S. Coast Guard.
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Aaron Trujillo
Aaron Trujillo is a doctoral student at George Mason University. His work examines health campaigns. He wants to use big data and machine learning to understand immigrants’ navigation of the healthcare system, informatics and sentiment analysis of social media posts and information diffusion. His MA is in Communication from KSU.
Geoffrey Wetherell
Geoffrey Wetherell is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. His research examines how stereotypes about groups relate to public policy preferences and perceived value differences as a contributor to partisan conflict. He is also interested in the moral component of world views.
Image of Boyuan Zhao
Boyuan Zhao
Boyuan Zhao is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Administration at Florida International University. His research interests focus on electronic governance and science and technology in government. His dissertation examines how information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled online crowdsourcing system facilitates public services and civic engagement.

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