Projects


Reddit Comment Analysis

As an ecologist, I’m fascinated with the way in which people about environmental issues. Scientists have increasingly distanced themselves from the term “global warming” in favor of “climate change” when discussing the effects of elevated CO2, but a large fraction of the public still uses the term “global warming” – particularly when casting doubt on the phenomenon.

In this project, I took a look at Google Trends data and scraped Reddit comments to determine how the use of these terms changes depending on time and context. As one might expect, communities that were more skeptical of climate science favored the term “global warming”.


Government Border Spending

Recent political campaigns in the United States have highlighted divisions over the need to change immigration and border security policy. In particular, two agencies – CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) – are the subject of calls to increase their budgets or eliminate these agencies entirely. As a way to better understand how these agencies spend their budgets (and practice big data analysis), I explored patterns of spending using the USAspending dataset of recorded government transactions. Like most agencies, both CBP and ICE seem to spend comparatively little on active enforcement, instead investing more in technology and information services.


Quidstats

In college, I was a member of the University of Michigan Muggle Quidditch team. Together with a couple of my former teammates, I ran a sports statistics style blog (ala FiveThirtyEight) analyzing patterns of play and performance in the US Quidditch League.