Ari Decter-Frain, a rising third-year PhD student in PAM, and Canadian citizen was recently awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship. This fellowship supports high-caliber students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. Its support allows scholars to fully focus on their doctoral studies, seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields, and contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.
Ari’s research involves using non-traditional data and computational methods to construct novel demographic measures. This includes developing population and migration estimates from massive commercial datasets, and using machine learning techniques to enable the study of racial inequality in settings where race is not measured. Ari also works as a machine learning engineer at Graphika, a firm specializing in online social network analysis. There, he applies state-of-the-art tools for stance detection and network clustering to analyze the composition of networks on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. In the summer of 2020, Ari was a Data Science for Social Good Fellow at the University of Washington, where his team developed a software package to quantify vote dilution in U.S. elections that is now being used by researchers at advocacy organizations like the ACLU.
Ari also co-leads the Cornell Population Center Computational Policy Working Group (CPWG)—a forum open to all for discussions of digital and computational approaches to population policy research. The CPWG will kick off the fall semester with a grad student meet and greet after CPC Innovations speaker, Ridhi Kashyap’s talk on 9/17.