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    This space will be kept updated with links to recent conference papers, articles, graphics, and ideas-in-progress.

    See below for the latest.

Mapping Public Opinion: A Tutorial

At the upcoming 2012 summer meeting of the Society of Political Methodology, I will be presenting a poster on Isarithmic Maps of Public Opinion. Since last posting on the topic, I have made major improvements to the code and robustness of the modeling approach, and written a tutorial that illustrates the production of such maps. This … Continue reading

Isarithmic Maps of Public Opinion Data

As a follow-up to my isarithmic maps of county electoral data, I have attempted to experiment with extending the technique in two ways. First, where the electoral maps are based on data aggregated to the county level, I have sought to generalize the method to accept individual responses for which only zip code data is … Continue reading

Ideological extremity in social networks

Update: Make sure to read Joshua Brustein’s nice write-up of our research at the New York Times, as well as Dr. Seth Masket’s impressions. At the upcoming meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Aaron King, Frank Orlando, and I will be presenting a paper that investigates the determinants of success in Senate primary elections. We … Continue reading

The Deep South, electoral choropleth

Choropleth tutorial and regression coefficient plots

About two weeks ago, I gave short talk at Duke, wherein I presented a brief tutorial on creating choropleth maps in R using ggplot2. Since the code is already written, and the data and shapefiles already hosted online, I thought I would share the tutorial more widely. A .ZIP file containing all the files necessary … Continue reading

High Dimension Visualization in Political Science

Last Friday, I gave a talk illustrating some examples of high-dimension visualization in Political Science. I structured the talk around three arbitrary categories of information visualization: infographics (factoid-packed, inefficient), statistical graphics (argument-making, minimal), and data displays (multidimensional, deep). The slides below are long on examples and short on text, but should be mostly self-explanatory. Header … Continue reading

2008 County Voting Marimekko

Electoral Marimekko Plots

To be reductive, visual displays of quantitative information might be reasonably categorized on a continuum between “data display” and “statistical graphics.” By statistical graphics, I mean a plot that displays some summary of or relationship amongst several variables, likely having undergone some processing or analysis. This may be as simple as a scatterplot of a … Continue reading

1980 Isarithmic Map

Isarithmic History of the Two-Party Vote

A few weeks ago, I shared a series of choropleth maps of U.S. presidential election returns, illustrating the relative support for Democratic, Republican, and third Party candidates since 1920. The granularity of these county level results led me to wonder whether it would be possible to develop an isarithmic map of presidential voting using the … Continue reading

Choropleth Maps of Presidential Voting

Having always appreciated the red and blue cartograms and cartographs of geographic electoral preferences, such as those made available by Mark Newman, I sought to produce similar maps, but include information about support for non-“state-sponsored” parties, and to extend the coverage back in time. I was able to find county-level presidential election returns going as … Continue reading

K-Means Redistricting

U.S. Congressional districts are today drawn with the aim of maximizing the electoral advantage of the state’s majority party, subject to some constraints, including compactness (which can be measured in numerous ways) and a “one person, one vote” standard. What if, instead of minimizing population variance across districts, we aimed to minimize the mean distance between … Continue reading

Dimensionality in Congress

Update: A revised version of this paper, given as a poster at the 2011 Summer Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology, is available here (PDF).   In collaboration with Jacob Montgomery and John Aldrich, I am interested in understanding the relationship between observed (measured) and unobserved (true) dimensionality in Congress. In an ongoing project, … Continue reading

A thousand words

While in Washington, DC for the 2010 APSA meeting, I gave an invited talk at the Optical Technology Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, on techniques for visualizing data with large numbers of observations in multiple dimensions. My thesis, in essence, is that the value of a graphic is a function of … Continue reading

Regionalization via network-constrained clustering

I was interested in applications for a clustering algorithm that works along a network, identifying contiguous partitions, and thought that a good place to start would be identifying regional patterns in electoral preferences. This project represents the early products of this inquiry. I chose county-level data, as counties are small enough to make “interesting” regions, … Continue reading

Partisan structure in online social networks

As part of a continuing project which makes use of data from the social microblogging service Twitter, I presented a paper at the 2010 MPSA in which I derived inferences about elite partisanship and ideology from only the patterns of connections between Twitter users. That is, given only knowledge of which of Twitter’s millions of users were … Continue reading

Party control and political agendas

At the 2010 annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, I presented a paper in which I used a time-series clustering algorithm to identify eras in Congress based on the substantive nature of the Congressional agenda. I found that it was possible to correctly identify changes in party control in the Senate and House, … Continue reading

Racial attitudes and candidate evaluation

In November, 2009, Candis Watts and I were invited to the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences (REGSS) at Duke University, to present our work on the effect of racial attitudes on candidate evaluations. Our findings, generally, are that racial attitudes have a significant impact on voter evaluations of … Continue reading