2021 Scholars | 2020 Scholars | Selected 2020 Proposals | 2020 Publications | 2020 Speaker Series | The Leadership
The JURIST Digital Scholars Program is JURIST’s first incubator program, designed to identify, cultivate and promote rising interdisciplinary talent at the crossroads of law, technology and public policy. JURIST piloted the program in the summer of 2020 as part of its ongoing commitment to connecting students for the greater good.
Soliciting junior scholars in the initial round, we received high-quality applications from students across the US proposing projects that would benefit the public and contribute to ongoing conversations in law, technology, and policy. Each member of the entering class of JURIST Digital Scholars designed their own research project and received mentoring in their chosen specialties. They built meaningful relationships with other Scholars doing complementary work under JURIST’s auspices, are already sharing the results of their investigations with JURIST’s global audience.
Scholars doing more quantitative work used their technical skills to creatively answer complex questions at the intersection of law and policy. Their research explored algorithmic bias, modeled the effectiveness of police reforms, analyzed reader engagement with legal articles, and used analytics to study the public’s understanding of the US Supreme Court. Scholars engaged in more qualitative research explored questions related to data governance and AI, use data and analytics to support research related to competition law, sustainability and trends in media coverage and public support for LGBTQ+ rights.
Developing JDS into a longer-term initiative, JURIST invited project proposals for Summer 2021 that addressed an aspect of one of the following Challenge Areas:
- Last year we saw remote technologies provide virtual access to courts worldwide when physical buildings closed. How else can we leverage technology to improve access to justice, especially for marginalized groups?
- Big data is a double-edged sword. It improves health and safety and fuels economic growth. It also centralizes sensitive information, everything from biometric data to behavior patterns, accruing profits and power to those who control it. How do we encourage innovation while protecting privacy and preventing malfeasance?
- Lethal autonomous weapons – combat robots able to act independently of human control – have gone from science-fiction to simpler to develop than self-driving cars. How do we keep the world safe when there is no agreement on their development or use?
- The planet is in crisis. How can law and technology accelerate positive change and encourage a sweeping embrace of sustainability?
Selected scholars will work with mentors to refine and complete their projects between June and August 2021. You can read more about the 2021 cohort of JURIST Digital Scholars below and their projects.
The JURIST Digital Scholars Program would not be possible without the generous support of our dedicated team of external program mentors, who have had work and internship experience at Two Sigma, Datadog, Spotify, Facebook, JP Morgan and the US House of Representatives. Inside JURIST, support for the Digital Scholars Program has been provided by JURIST Executive Director Megan McKee and JURIST founder and Editor-in-Chief Professor Bernard Hibbitts of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. The JURIST Digital Scholars Program Managing Director is Ruth Wang.
If you are interested in partnering with the JURIST Digital Scholars Program, would like to learn more about it, or are interested in participating in a future round of the program, please contact Program Director Ruth Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org
JURIST is committed to a policy of non-discrimination. We encourage diversity in background and thought and are committed to creating an inclusive learning environment that fosters a range of thought. The ideas and views reflected in the program’s research do not necessarily reflect those of JURIST, its staff, or its donors.
Meet the 2021 JURIST Digital Scholars
Jessie (Ziyu) Lin is an incoming JD student at Harvard Law School. She graduated from Tsinghua University with a bachelor’s degree in law and economics.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Jessie will study the use of location data tracking in the control and prevention of COVID-19. Jessie will examine various location tracking approaches adopted by different countries, including centralized approaches adopted by Asian countries, and decentralized and user-centric approaches favored by European countries and the United States. Her research will analyze the cycle of collection, storage, management and destruction of the location data. Her project also intends to understand the legal barrier to the use of location data tracking technologies and will analyze the privacy concerns aroused by the application of such technologies and their implications under privacy laws (especially GDPR), criminal laws, and constitutional laws.
Madhur Bhatt, Lithin Mathew Thomas and Viraj Aditya have teamed up. Their research as JURIST Digital Scholars will seek to understand and formulate a comprehensive legal and policy framework outlook relating to AI-enabled medical devices. The primary objective of their research is to determine a roadmap that balances privacy challenges with economic growth, particularly in the context of India. For this, they shall be undertaking a comparative study to determine best practices from around the world with an aim to better understand the global perspective. The countries chosen for this exercise include the USA, China, and South Korea. These countries, while being leaders in AI development, possess features that are similar to India or include aspects that India seeks to emulate (E.g., China’s data localisation). To further understand the legal-policy framework and provide tools to objectively assess its viability, they shall be creating a questionnaire consisting of a set of parameters that would serve as a benchmark for evaluating present and future legislation in this field. This, they hope, shall assist in judging the impact of potential policy framework changes. The last leg of their research will focus on studying the aptitude of AI-enabled medical devices to bridge the urban-rural divide in access to healthcare.
Madhur Bhatt is a third-year student pursuing a BA, LLB (Honours) at Hidayatullah National Law University, majoring in Political Science.
Madhur is interested in public policy, health law, insolvency and bankruptcy laws. He has previously worked at NITI Aayog, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Centre for Civil Society, on topics related to sustainability, anti-doping and education. He also works as a Senior Editor in his university’s journal. He is passionate about the intersection of law and policy to solve long-standing problems of access to health, sustainability and education. His non-academic interests include art, philosophy and quizzing.
Lithin Mathew Thomas is a third-year student pursuing a BA, LLB (Honours) at Hidayatullah National Law University, majoring in Political Science.
Lithin is the Deputy Team Leader for Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA, Chhattisgarh Chapter), a non-profit dedicated to empowering marginalized and underprivileged students in the field of legal education. He takes a keen interest in the intersection of law and technology, financial crimes and foreign policy. He is also a fledgling graphic designer and has worked with multiple organizations in the said capacity. In his free time, he engages in a futile battle with the ever-growing and scattered to-be-read lists in his possession.
Viraj Aditya is a third-year student pursuing a BA, LLB (Honours) at Hidayatullah National Law University, majoring in Political Science.
Viraj has worked with the Centre for Civil Society, Centre for Policy Research, and the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy on projects related to education laws, land laws, and sports laws. He is currently working as a Researcher at the Institute for Internet and the Just Society, Berlin in the Digital Constitutionalism cycle. Recently, he has started exploring the field of legal data analytics and hopes to resolve some complex legal challenges plaguing the justice system by extracting and analysing some interesting datasets. Apart from his interests in law, history, astronomy, technology, and psychology deeply excite him. He is an avid runner and an ardent bicyclist. In his free time, he reads legal history and practices his ukulele.
Peter Busscher is a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh where he is pursuing a BPhil in History and International & Area Studies.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Peter will investigate whether the United States and Russia will be able to set up a regime of arms control for emerging weapons technologies. I will be evaluating legal texts, speeches, and articles using computational linguistics and creating infographic material for a two-part series on this topic, to be published on Jurist. I will employ a mixture of Russian and English texts in my research, to obtain valuable linguistic data on a political topic. Going forward, we could either be headed towards an international arms regime which is stable and based on rules, or one which is thoroughly chaotic. My research will evaluate the sorts of formal or informal understandings which could mitigate the deterioration of strategic stability between the two most advanced military powers and exporters.
Xinming Liu, Gloria Ren and Brian Liu have teamed up. Their research as JURIST Digital Scholars will focus on consumer privacy. Regulations governing the collection of personally identifiable information (PII) are ineffective towards protecting consumer privacy. As data-gathering technologies become more pervasive in everyday life, non-personal data can be easily leveraged to identify consumers. They aim to develop a regulatory framework based on differential privacy. This framework will better protect user privacy while preserving the performance of tools that depend on user data.
Xinming (Lily) Liu is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Operations Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to embarking on her PhD, she completed her bachelor of science in Operations Research and Information Engineering & Computer Science at Cornell University in 2020.
Gloria Ren is currently working as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman in New York, New York. She graduated from Cornell University’s Operations Research & Engineering School with a bachelor of science in May 2020. She plans to apply for law school in the fall, combining her background in engineering and technology with law.
Brian Liu works as a data and applied scientist at Microsoft in Bellevue, Washington.He graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Operations Research in 2020.
Meet the 2020 JURIST Digital Scholars
Catherine Chang recently graduated from Yale University, where she studied Economics and Statistics & Data Science.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Catherine’s goal is to broaden public understanding of legal change, expand access to primary sources and encourage civic engagement. To this end, she will analyze JURIST’s most-read and least read articles, writing functions that extract information related to article length, topic, author, and national focus and merging that dataset with Google Analytics. Through her research, she hopes to better understand the attributes that make certain articles more widely read than others and that her findings promote publishing practices that make legal issues and developments more accessible to the public.
Michael Chau is a rising senior at Yale, majoring in Statistics and Economics.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Michael will use machine learning (word embeddings and clustering) to generate news timelines from a search term. This model will take a broad subject (Ex. FCC) and break it down into several subcategories (Ex. Robocalls, Net Neutrality, etc.) to generate timelines using JURIST articles about these subcategories. Readers will then be able to interact with and adjust these timelines to suit their needs. Anyone who wishes to explore more can simply click on an event in the timeline and be taken directly to the JURIST article. The goal of this project is to facilitate the reader’s understanding of various news and legal topics through a visual and clean representation. Too often, anyone who wants to understand the development of a particular topic has to go through multiple news articles to connect the dots. This project aims to streamline this process for readers.
Alex Chen is a rising sophomore at Yale, double majoring in Computer Science and Ethics, Politics & Economics.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Alex will focus his research on how agent-based models (ABMs) can be used in policing reform efforts.
Alex first discovered ABMs, a class of computational models used to simulate the actions of autonomous agents, in high school, when he created a community-building simulator. It was very ugly, but he thought it was super cool. Excited by their potential to illuminate complex social dynamics, Alex was nevertheless wary. He noticed that many police organizations used ABMs to fight crime, but that few to none acknowledged the risk they posed of perpetuating oppression and inequality, embodying a callousness that he is, frankly, really tired of.
Alex realized that ABMs could help to explain why some police reforms work and others do not, particularly because ABMs excel at identifying underlying micro-processes within systems. So he has decided to create an ABM framework for modeling police reform efforts! He hopes to engage in meticulous scientific analysis without losing sight of the deep human impact of such an important issue.
Everest Fang graduated this May from Yale University with a BA in Economics and Mathematics. He was admitted to Harvard Law School through its Junior Deferral Program and plans to begin his studies in the fall of 2022. In August, Everest will begin working at Deloitte’s Government/Public Services Consulting Office in Washington. DC.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Everest will study the recent evolution of antitrust issues in the US, and their consequences in the COVID age. He seeks to describe the consequences of consolidation in various industries, particularly in the context of today’s crisis. He also intends to understand how public attention to antitrust issues has developed in recent years by analyzing data on JURIST readership. Everest hopes to spark more interest in competition law by articulating how it has shaped the society we live in today, and how individuals can make an impact in this arena.
Arka Gupta is a recent graduate of Yale University and an incoming student at Harvard Law School.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Arka hopes to leverage technology to make public policy more accessible. His research will analyze sentiment towards medical marijuana legislation over time in the context of the opioid epidemic. With overdose deaths steadily progressing since the early 2000s, Arka will investigate to what extent a public health crisis influences sentiments towards public policy, especially given marijuana’s history of criminalization. In particular, he seeks to examine whether growing support for medical marijuana can be attributed to an increased focus on criminal justice reform, its use as a tool in palliative care, or other factors. Using natural language processing, Arka hopes to extract keywords and trends in medical marijuana legislation and package this information into a format accessible to all.
Connor Haaland graduated from South Dakota State University in 2019, earning degrees in Spanish and Global Studies with minors in Economics and French. Most recently, Connor has been a research assistant at The Mercatus Center, where his primary research was on the intersection of law and emerging technology, publishing numerous articles and working papers on the subject. Connor will attend Harvard Law School this fall.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Connor will research data governance paradigms, focusing specifically on China, the US, and Europe. These three entities have unique data governance structures and illustrate well the various paths down which countries may proceed. Moreover, for countries like the US that lack a clear governance strategy, analyzing existing regimes can inform future legislation and policy goals. Creating successful data governance structures is of paramount importance today because there is an intimate link between data and AI, which is where the most exciting technological breakthroughs are happening. For instance, driverless vehicles alone could reduce vehicular accidents so much so that it might well be the greatest public health breakthrough in our lifetimes. Likewise, AI could be used to complement healthcare workers and create superior patient outcomes. The realization of these groundbreaking applications, however, relies on data aggregation. The link between AI and data and the benefits it may allow must be understood. But, these benefits must be tempered by the understanding that data is sensitive and ought to be governed with the utmost care. Striking a balance between the aggregation of data, using it to power groundbreaking technologies, and the very real privacy concerns that accompany that aggregation is what Connor’s research will flesh out.
Alissa Ji is a recent graduate from Yale University, where she received a BA in Statistics & Data Science and Economics.
Hailing from the suburbs of Atlanta, she is interested in technology policy, data journalism, and affordable housing. Alissa has interned for the National Center for Health Statistics, a federal statistical agency, and Bain & Company, a management consulting firm. She has also conducted independent research on federal housing programs for AAPI Data, an organization that publishes policy research and demographic data on AAPI communities.
Samantha Thorne graduated from the University of Utah with an honors BA in International Studies and a BS in Economics. A Truman Scholar, she will begin studies at Harvard Law School this fall.
Samantha is interested in the ethical and legal ramifications of AI and is passionate about the role of government and public policy in maximizing its benefits while mitigating its long-term risks. In her previous role as a correspondent, Samantha authored the inaugural US-China AI Tech Summit report and covered technology policy in Washington. DC, She worked for Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company and conducted AI policy research while in Melbourne to start an interdisciplinary AI task force in the city.
Alissa and Samantha have teamed up. Their research as JURIST Digital Scholars will seek to understand the public’s perception of the US Supreme Court. The news media play a critical role in shaping the public’s knowledge of the court, but studies demonstrate that press coverage is oftentimes limited in scope and quality. Because JURIST serves as a unique non-mass media source of legal news, Samantha and Alissa hope to use the past two decades of its Supreme Court coverage to gauge trends in reporting and reader interest in and engagement with articles related to the court. Using natural language processing methods, they will investigate changes in Supreme Court coverage in the following areas: case salience, coverage language in reference to partisanship and ‘game-frame,’ and reader engagement. The final product will be a digital visual essay that relies on a combination of data visualizations and written analysis to inform legal scholars, professionals, and members of the public of their findings.
Philos Kim is a rising sophomore at Yale, studying Mathematics.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Philos will examine the extent of algorithmic bias in deep learning models by using JURIST articles as testing data. In particular, he will design sentiment classification networks with both convolutional and recurrent architectures in PyTorch, using Captum to interpret and visualize their parameters and results. He also plans to use statistical methods to draw conclusions about the significance of his results, as well as to compare the performance and bias of complex deep learning models to simpler statistical ones. Ultimately, he wants to draw conclusions about the extent of demographic and ideological bias in cutting-edge artificial intelligence models, and how that manifests when legal news and commentary articles are the test data. Although his project is on the technical side, Philos wants to make the tools he creates and the results of his research accessible to people with primarily qualitative backgrounds. To that end, he will delve into the political and philosophical implications of his research as much as its mathematical implications. And, if time permits, he will also try to make a user-friendly library in Python with the tools he has made.
Brent Mobbs graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He will begin studies at Harvard Law School this fall.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Brent will research how solar technology can be further incentivized in the US, for individuals, businesses, and utility companies. He plans to use data from the Energy Information Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among other sources, to investigate the effects of implementing Renewable Portfolio Standards on emissions and economies of different states. Using this data, I hope to identify and advocate for the best method of improving these Renewable Portfolio Standards.
Agnes Poplawski is a fourth-year student studying Political Science and Economics at Stony Brook University.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Agnes will focus her research on the evolution of sex and sexual orientation as a protected class in the US, particularly examining the behavior of consumers and producers of the news. She will analyze JURIST’s archive and Google Analytics data, as well as outside sources, to better understand the public’s interest in and media representation of LGBTQ+ rights at moments leading up to milestone achievements in the struggle for greater recognition of LGBTQ+ rights in the courts and legislation.
Agasha Ratam is a rising senior at Yale, primarily studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Agasha aims to study how readability and other related factors affect the accessibility of legal articles. Popular websites often emphasize the readability of articles as a means to reach a wider audience. Especially for legal news articles where field-specific terminologies are ubiquitous, improving readability may be important to ensure that an article is accessible to the general public.
The goal of this project is to extract insights from JURIST’s historical articles and Google Analytics data and to inform legal-news writers of possible writing strategies they can implement in their articles to reach a broader audience. The first step of this project is establishing a scale that captures how accessible a legal news or commentary article is to the general public. This scale will likely take into account user engagement metrics, including page views, time spent on the page, and exit rate. Afterward, predictors related to readability will be used to predict the accessibility of articles. This project will also explore the use of neural nets in the prediction process.
Imad Rizvi is a rising junior at Yale University, studying Computer Science and Economics.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Imad aims to gain a better understanding of how legal news and commentary content varies by country and region and article type. He plans to explore the different topics focused on at the national and regional levels, as well as how language and rhetoric used to discuss countries and regions might change. Imad will use different forms of sentiment analysis including positive/negative analyses, subjectivity/objectivity analyses, and feature/aspect identification to facilitate comparisons, and will use various Python libraries to create deep learning models to conduct much of the sentiment analysis. He also plans to produce visualizations to demonstrate his findings.
Kaitlyn Sandor is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science at Yale University.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Kaitlyn will research the relationship between key historic events and related legal action. For example, after the George Floyd protests, how long will it take to see an uptick in news articles featuring legal action stemming from police brutality and racism? Her goal is to determine if clusters of legal action predictably follow historic events. She hopes this will help researchers, lawyers, and anyone interested, to find important articles and primary source documents by giving them a more precise time frame to research within. She plans to accomplish this by looking for clusters of cases within topics and mapping them to historic events related to that topic. If she discovers a predictable pattern, this correlation, she plans to create a neural network that, given the event topic, type, and size, predicts how long until legal action will be seen.
JDS-2020 Selected Proposals
- Not just “a few bad apples”: Building agent-based models to expose underlying micro-processes within American police organizations and their implications for police reforms (Alex Chen, JURIST Digital Scholars Proposal, 2020).
- Legal News Coverage and Public Understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court (Alissa Ji and Samantha Thorne, JURIST Digital Scholars Proposal, 2020).
- Using Sentiment Analysis to Detect Bias in Legal News (Philos Kim, JURIST Digital Scholars Proposal, 2020).
- Data Governance and Its Existing and Future Paradigms (Connor Haaland, JURIST Digital Scholars Proposal, 2020).
- Assessing Whether and How Readability Affects the Accessibility of Legal Articles (Agasha Ratam, JURIST Digital Scholars Proposal, 2020).
- Everest Fang, Antitrust and the People, (JURIST April 8, 2021).
- Brent Mobbs, The Effectiveness of Promoting Renewable Technology: Regression Analysis of Emissions, (JURIST, March 19, 2021).
- Connor Haaland, An American Data Governance System: In Support of Information Fiduciaries, (JURIST, March 2, 2021).
- Arka Gupta, Tracking Medical Marijuana Policies over Time Using Tf-idf, (JDS 2020 cohort).
- Imad Rizvi, Analyzing Sentiment and Detecting Potential Bias in News Articles, (JDS 2020 cohort).
- Alissa Ji & Samantha Thorne, JURIST v. Supreme Court Database: Using NLP to Identify Salience, Language, and Viewership Trends in Legal News Coverage (JDS 2020 cohort).
- Alex Chen, Modeling Systemic Inequality in Law Enforcement (JDS 2020 cohort).
- Connor Haaland, China and Europe Govern Their Data. Why Doesn’t the United States? (JURIST, September 30, 2020).
- Agasha Ratam, Using Writing Style to Predict Reader Engagement, A JURIST Digital Scholars Project (GitHub, September 27, 2020)
- Michael Chau, A JURIST Digital Scholar Reflects on Improving News Access with Technology (Medium, September 23, 2020)
- Everest Fang, Medication, Collusion, and the Pandemic (JURIST, September 18, 2020).
- Connor Haaland, Understanding the GDPR through the Lens of COVID-19 (JURIST, August 27, 2020).
- Everest Fang, Examining Airline Market Power in Light of COVID-19 Bailouts (JURIST, August 19, 2020).
- Connor Haaland, The TikTok Controversy Should Be a Catalyst for a Deeper Look at China’s Data Governance Policies (JURIST, August 7, 2020).
- Everest Fang, The Tipping Point in Antitrust Law (JURIST, July 30, 2020).
Follow the JDS-2020 Speaker Series
The JDS Speaker Series was organized by our JURIST Digital Scholars to bring professionals and students together in the interdisciplinary spirit of the JDS program. Throughout the series, we’re exploring a variety of topics at the nexus of the law, policy, and technology in order to promote the public good. All events are open to the public and free to attend, but pre-registration is required. Please find more information about our previous and upcoming episodes below!
Episode One | Episode Two | Episode Three | Episode Four | Episode Five
Episode One: How to Study Law and Technology in Graduate School
On July 14th, 2020, JURIST hosted its first episode of the JURIST Digital Scholars Speaker Series. To launch the series, we invited three recent graduates to discuss how they navigated the intersection between law and technology in law school. This mission captures the essence of the Digital Scholars, who take an interdisciplinary approach to the world through their research and studies.
Shili Shao (Yale Law Class of 2020) was the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of Law and Technology in his 3L year. He graduated from Beijing International Studies University wtih a degree in Interpreting and Translation in 2017. At Yale Law, Shili specialized in studying technology, business, and competition law. Shili also spent time working for a judge in the Northern District of California, for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and for Cooley LLP.
Rebecca Weires (Stanford Law Class of 2020) was Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Journal of Law and Technology in her 3L year. She graduated from Vanderbilt in the class of 2017 with a degree in Bioengineering. At Stanford, she pursued a dual degree, receiving her MS in Bioengineering along her with JD. She specialized in studying technology, healthcare, and bioengineering. In addition, she a member of the Stanford Law School Musical. Rebecca spent time working for a Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization and for Fish and Richardson LLP.
King Xia (Harvard law Class of 2020) was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology in his 3L year. He graduated from the University of Washington’s Class of 2015 with degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration. Prior to his time at Harvard, King was a software engineer at Google. While at Harvard King also spent time working for Hogan Lovells LLP.
Episode Two: How Technology Impacts Access to Justice
In Episode Two, our speakers discuss their work related to technology and justice. Drawing from their experiences, they expand on how technology can improve access to justice in the modern world, as well as challenges that they’ve faced with equity as technology advances.
Dr. Anna Hoffman is an Assistant Professor with The Information School at the University of Washington working at the intersections of data, technology, culture, and ethics. Her work centers on issues in information, data, and ethics, paying specific attention to the ways discourse, design, and uses of information technology promote or hinder the pursuit of important human values like respect and justice.
Eduardo Gonzales is a Project Manager at the Self-represented Litigation Network in Washington, DC. A Northeastern University Law alumnus, he has created innovative projects to help ensure that pro-se (self-represented) defendants can attain equitable access to the courts. One of his projects involved making an interactive video game to explain the court process. Gonzalez also spent time at the Georgetown University Law Center as an Access to Justice Technology Fellow.
Episode Three: Race, Technology, and Justice
In Episode Three, our guest speakers explore the intersection of race, technology, and access to justice, including how digital advocacy has affected racial justice movements such as Black Lives Matter. Our guests also discuss big tech companies and the role that they place in racial inequality and inequity.
Dr. Deen Freelon is an associate professor in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research covers two major areas of scholarship: 1) political expression through digital media and 2) data science and computational methods for analyzing large digital datasets. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 journal articles, book chapters and public reports, in addition to co-editing one scholarly book. He has served as principal investigator on grants from the Knight Foundation, the Spencer Foundation and the US Institute of Peace. He has written research-grade software to calculate intercoder reliability for content analysis (ReCal), analyze large-scale network data from social media (TSM), and collect data from Facebook (fb_scrape_public). He formerly taught at American University in Washington, DC.
Cierra Robson is an alumna of Princeton University and a current doctoral student in sociology and social policy at Harvard University. Prior to beginning her Ph.D program, Cierra worked with Facebook on their Digital Rights Operations team and Intellectual Property Operations team. Robson has also spent time at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University as an Assembly Fellow. Robson’s research interests include the ways in which technological advancements impact the American racial order. She aims to use her research to conceptualize what meaningful regulation of Big Tech looks like.
Episode Four: Big Data and Misrepresentation
In Episode Four, our guest speaker argued that “as we grow more reliant on data, a greater level of technical and digital baseline knowledge is imperative for navigating the world. Without it, we run the risk of letting the data lie to us.”
“Empirical evidence and data are regarded among the highest orders of evidence in science and industry alike. However, with new data analysis techniques come new and more sophisticated ways of misleading or misdirecting data. The rise of big data has created a world where analytics can be presented truthfully but still be misleading because of underlying flaws in methodologies.
Jennifer Shin possesses a deep background in economics, mathematics, and statistics. Ms. Shin holds a BA in Economics, Math and Writing from Columbia University and a MA in Mathematical Statistics, also from Columbia University. Ms. Shin applied her skills to create her own company, 8 Path Solutions, a data science consulting firm, among many other endeavors. Ms. Shin is an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of Business, a Board Member at Coin Genius, active with her own company (8 Path Solution) and a Product Director at NBC Universal Media.
Episode Five: Big Tech and Antitrust
In Episode Five, our guest speakers discuss how the rise of big tech has affected the application of antitrust laws in the United States, as well as their unprecedented growth during the pandemic. They also touch on issues outside of big business competition, such as misinformation and current politics.
Dr. Joshua Wright holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at San Diego, and both a JD and PhD in Economics from UCLA. He was appointed as FTC Commissioner by President Barack Obama in 2013, and has served on the faculty of George Mason University for 17 years. He has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, co-authoring a leading antitrust casebook and several volumes on these issues. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director for the Global Antitrust Institute.
Dr. Fiona Scott Morton holds a BA in Economics from Yale University and a PhD in Economics from MIT. She is the Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics at the Yale University School of Management, where she has been on the faculty since 1999. She specializes in industrial organization with a focus on empirical studies of competition, with published articles ranging from magazines to pharmaceuticals, and she maintains editing roles at various academic journals. From 2011 to 2012, she served as Deputy Assistant AG for Economics in the Antitrust Division of the DOJ.
Meet the JURIST Digital Scholars Leadership Team
Ruth Wang is the Director of the JURIST Digital Scholars Program. She graduated from Nanjing University with a BS in Computer Science and from Columbia University with an MS in Computer Science. She is currently a software engineer at Hudson River Trading, where she works on achieving ultra-low latency in trading infrastructure. Ruth is particularly interested in how old law applies to new technology and has done research on the evolution of First and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence in the digital world. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys learning new things. She is a beginner at violin playing and ballet.
Xiaoli Jin is the co-founder of the JURIST Digital Scholars Program. Her interests lie at the intersection of technology, law and public policy, and her writings have appeared in YaleGlobal, the Columbia Journal of International Affairs, the Columbia Public Policy Review and other peer-reviewed journals. Xiaoli has also developed two iOS apps, both aimed at bringing high-quality news coverage to a broad public. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College with a dual degree in Computer Science and Political Science and will enroll at Harvard Law School in 2021.
Megan McKee is the Executive Director of JURIST and the co-founder of the JURIST Digital Scholars Program. She graduated with first-class honors from McGill University with a BA (Hons.) in Hispanic Studies and International Development Studies. She studied law at the University of Pittsburgh before returning to McGill for an MA in History. She was admitted to the practice of law in New York and pursued doctoral studies in History at the University of Maryland as a Flagship Fellow before coming to JURIST.
Cameron Yick is a Mentor for the JURIST Digital Scholars Program. He is a software engineer and data visualization specialist based in New York. He is an active open-source contributor and presenter at meetups and conferences. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Yale and wishes he could have taken more cognitive science/design courses. He has built dashboards and visual analytics for the Yale Data-Driven EnviroLab and Rocky Mountain Institute’s Urban Mobility Lab and is always interested in building applications that let domain experts intuitively explore data. Presently, he works on tools for understanding the health of cloud applications at Datadog and co-maintains the public data mashup site covidcommitment.org. You can find his writing at serendipidata.com.
Alice Chen is a Mentor for the JURIST Digital Scholars Program. She graduated from Cornell Engineering summa cum laude in May 2019. Born and raised in China with little exposure to computer science prior to college, Alice managed to intern at Facebook, exchange at Oxford, and receive admission to Harvard Law School. She is currently coding happily at Two Sigma, a financial sciences company, and is grateful for the abundance of encouragement and help from her family, friends, and people at school and work. She is always seeking ways to give back and volunteers with Invisible Hands Deliver and serves as the Alumni Board Professional Development Chair for Rewriting the Code, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering college, graduate, and early-career women in tech. Outside of work, Alice enjoys singing and doing Wushu, a Chinese martial art.
Andy Gu is a Mentor for the JURIST Digital Scholars Program. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in Computer Science and BA in Philosophy from the University of Southern California. Andy is currently a security engineer at Spotify, where he focuses on intrusion detection and incident response. He cares deeply about policy issues related to privacy and security and technical applications of civic technology. In his free time, Andy has contributed to open source technology at CiviCRM and also worked on security tooling at Action Network. Andy likes reading, playing with crackmes, and playing with his cat, Peanut. He wishes he could visit Los Angeles more often.