Technology and public policy (TPP) Scholars Maitreyi Natarajan (MPP/MBA'24), Kiviana Rawls (MPP'24), Talia Stringfellow (MPP'25), Sanha Tahir (MS-DSPP'24), and Santiago Vidal Calvo (MPP'25) were matched. . With leading Georgetown faculty and researchers to examine and develop human-centered policy solutions to the challenges posed by current and future technologies.
In May 2023, McCourt School students joined The inaugural class of technology and public policy scholarseach receives a partial scholarship, paid research assistance, and access to special events, discussions, and mentorship opportunities through the McCourt School. Technology and public policy program.
Track threats against election officials
Santiago Vidal Calvo (MPP'25) works with John Ziugasassistant teaching professor and assistant research professor at the McCourt School Big Data Institute In a project titled “Tracking Threats Against Election Officials.” In collaboration with Dr. Leah Mirevaki (Mississippi State University) and Dr. Colleen Sinclair (Louisiana State University), Ziogas and Vidal Calvo will compile a database of more than 60 media outlets, primarily online newspapers, to analyze threats to election officials and subsequent charges brought by the Department of American Justice. The database will include information on election officials and perpetrators, methods of making threats, party affiliation, and specific words or threats, and will also contribute to a larger project on election protection and threats to the electoral system by the media.
“I come from Venezuela, where technology has been used to promote corruption, control the population, and stabilize a dictatorship known for committing thousands of human rights violations,” Vidal Calvo said. “I want to examine the effects of authoritarian government restrictions on the Internet and their role in controlling and suppressing freedom of expression.”
Spread of misinformation
In partnership with an assistant professor and TPP grantee Thiago VenturaMaiti Natarajan (MPP/MBA'24) studies the causal effect of exposure to misinformation on political beliefs and attitudes. Ventura and Natarajan will conduct a study, where users will be randomly assigned to deactivate multimedia on WhatsApp, where participants turn off automatic downloading of any multimedia (image, video or audio) on WhatsApp and are incentivized not to access any multimedia content for weeks Ahead of India's 2024 elections. Ventura and Natarajan hope to identify any changes in political activity among WhatsApp users who have been unable to download multimedia and later share it on the platform.
“Before pursuing my dual degree at Georgetown, I worked in technology and predictive algorithms in India,” Natarajan said. “I have experience in this area and understand the need for regulation in technology, especially with the rapid growth of artificial intelligence.”
Cancerous ideology in schools
Kiviana Rawls (MPP'24) is an Assistant Professor Nalet Broadnaxthat Education policy expert, to examine the extent to which incarceration ideology—an orientation toward punitive practices—serves as a structural barrier to reducing persistent educational inequalities for black students. broadnax anRawls will use advanced text analysis techniques in public school manuals to determine the relationship between the school environment—daily routines, practices, and policies—that influence racial disparities in disciplinary and academic outcomes.
“I have lived most of my life in communities where discrimination and bias against communities of color were prevalent,” Rawls said. “These circumstances have motivated me to understand ‘why?’ and to take advantage of my opportunities to draw attention to these disparities.
Dataline for the Study of School Boards and K-12 Inequality
In partnership with an assistant professor and TPP grantee Rebecca A. Johnson, Talia Stringfellow (MPP'25) will support the development and dissemination of DistrictView, a data pipeline intended to shed light on field-based discussions that underlie U.S. K-12 inequality. In cooperation with a team of researchers including Sobek Barararesearch methodology specialist at NORC, Tyler Simko, A Ph.D. Student at Harvard University, Hannah Whitea postdoctoral fellow at the New York University Center for Social Media and Politics, and MDI Scholars Maggie Sullivan and Corinna Kalanock. The research team expands on Tyler and Subhek's work in building LocalView, a database of local government meetings, including nearly 125,000 videos and transcripts of meetings from more than 1,500 school districts spanning multiple school years, reflecting a rise in meeting transparency due to virtual hubs during Corona Virus. -19 pandemic.
Stringfellow will support improvement of the database and focus on disseminating actionable data and findings to both academic audiences studying K-12 inequality and civil society actors intervening to reduce disparities. The research team aims to submit an academic paper focusing on data pipelines for peer review by the end of fall 2023, a substantive paper examining polarization in debates by summer 2024, and to host a “Datathon” during the 2024-2025 academic year where researchers and practitioners will exchange ideas about practical uses of data.
Sanha Tahir (MS-DSPP'24) works with the assistant professors Nalet Broadnax And Andrea Headley To identify patterns of racism in the actions of New York Police officers. They will use Google's OCR technology, powered by Google Computer Vision AI, to extract data from police files to analyze citations issued to anyone who has committed a criminal act and determine whether some officers issue more citations to people of color.
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