SMaPP: Social Media and Political Participation

Graduate Students, Post Docs, and Staff

031Drew Dimmery

Drew Dimmery is a Ph.D. student at the Wilf Family Department of Politics, New York University. Drew is interested in using machine learning and other computational techniques to improve experimental design, especially in internet or social media based experiments.


IMG_0448Sean Kates

Sean is a Ph.D. student at the Wilf Family Department of Politics, New York University. His studies focus on political behavior and party politics, particularly as they relate to far right parties in Europe. He holds bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.


Melanie Langer



Melanie Langer received a B.S. in Psychology with a focus on Philosophy from Yale University and an M.A. in French Cultural Studies from Columbia University. She is​ currently​ a ​doctoral student in ​Social Psychology​ at New York University. ​She is interested in values, beliefs, and preferences, how ideology motivates positions on particular issues and behaviors​​, and ​the mechanisms by which people’s attachment and resistance to certain attitudes and behaviors​ are altered​.​



Megan MacDuffee Metzger



Megan Metzger is a PhD student in the Politics Department at NYU. Her research interests include social movements, political violence, public protest, revolution and nationalist politics. Her previous work has focused on Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and she has spent time in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Bosnia, as well as in Spain. Megan holds a Bachelors in Anthropology and International Studies from Macalester College and a Masters in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



mungerKevinKevin Munger

Kevin Munger is a 5th year PhD Candidate in Politics. His research analyses the way that new media technologies have changed elite political communication and mass political behavior in the US by dramatically lowering barriers to entry and going around traditional gatekeepers, not always for the better.


Sergey Sanovich



Sergey Sanovich is a Ph.D. student in the Wilf Family Department of Politics at NYU. He studies institutions and policies that enable authoritarian regimes to stay in power. Specifically he is interested how governments manage potential threats from organised opposition through election fraud as well as formal electoral rules manipulation. In the SMaPP lab he studies tools employed to counter opposition activity in social media. Sergey holds Bachelor in Economics and Masters in Public Policy from Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.


linked_in_jan_2016Alexandra Siegel


Alexandra Siegel is a PhD student in the Department of Politics at NYU. Her research uses social media data, social network analysis, and textual analysis to explore mass political behavior in the Arab World. Prior to starting graduate school, Alexandra was a Junior Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a CASA Fellow at the American University in Cairo. She holds a Bachelors in International Relations and Arabic from Tufts University.


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Joanna Sterling
Personal Site



Joanna Sterling received her BA at the University of Pittsburgh in both Psychology and International and Area Studies. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Social Psychology at New York University. Joanna is interested in how underlying cognitive and motivational differences between liberals and conservatives might manifest themselves in language. Her other research interests include system justification theory, stereotyping, and social perception.



Denis Stukal
Personal Site



Denis Stukal is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Politics at NYU. He is doing research in the fields of Comparative Politics and Political Methodology. His primary focus is the use of machine learning techniques to study political misinformation in post-communist countries (especially, in Russia)

Post Docs

barberaPabloPablo Barberá
Personal Site

Pablo Barberá is a Moore-Sloan Fellow at the NYU Center for Data Science. In July 2016, he will be joining the faculty of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California as an Assistant Professor. He received his PhD in Political Science from New York University in 2015. His primary areas of research include social media and politics, quantitative methods, and electoral behavior and political representation. For more information and recent publications, check his website:


B&W51Andrew Guess

Andrew Guess is a postdoctoral researcher at SMaPP. He is at work on numerous projects with the lab, such as investigating the spread of rumors on Twitter and using social media data to study the dynamics of opinion change during the primary election season. His research explores the intersection of political psychology and political communication in the context of the online media environment. For more, click here.




Duncan Penfold-Brown


Ducan Penfold-Brown designed this website together with Peihong. He thinks science is awesome, and dictates all his code to a parrot he trained to type during his jungle adolescence (this last is not strictly true).

Interests: bioinformatics, self-organizing (multiagent, swarm, autonomic, self-adaptive) systems, cloud computing.

Yvan Scher

yvan scher is a programmer who likes humans (he assures us he does). he likes javascript. he likes architecting software. he dislikes buzzwords. he dislikes expectations. he is having a good time building data software at the SMaPP lab.