June 2021 – Present

Research Engineer

Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security

Responsibilities include:

  • Leads development of a prototype experimental social media simulator used to study online misinformation, manipulation and ways to reduce user vulnerability
  • Contributes to Apache Flagon’s UserALE, a light-weight front-end instrumentation and telemetry library
  • Collaborates with the Artificial Intelligence, Autonomy, and Augmentation (AAA) team on developing an analytic dashboard for UserALE
December 2020 – Present

Research Assistant

Government and Politics, University of Maryland

Working with Prof. Kathleen Cunningham

Responsibilities include:

  • Building a historical database of rebel & separatist group propaganda
  • Analyzing evolution of propaganda with NLP
  • Tracking and coding rebel & separatist group tactics

My Research

Empirically, I seek to understand the different instruments China wields to influence other countries’ domestic and foreign policies. Specifically, my work explores the conditions under which exposure to China’s economic instruments such as foreign aid and investment or media propaganda drive people to see China more positively (or negatively).

Theoretically, I am inspired by models of bounded rationality whereby individuals can simultaneously hold incongruent beliefs; respond to environmental triggers such as frames, priming, and cues; and are susceptible to myriad cognitive biases. Much of my past and current work situates these micro-level mechanisms in the context of international relations.

Methodologically, I believe the correct, and best, approach to causal inference depends on the question and context. As a result, I strive to constantly learn new research methods and develop novel techniques when necessary. Knowledge advances as our collective toolkit grows. I therefore maintain open source standards for all my work.

Working Papers


Beyond the Assembly

I develop a flexible, non-parametric model that allows researchers to combine multi-modal data, such as speeches and votes, and extract ideal points along as many dimensions as are stably present and apply the model to United Nations Voting, Speech, and Period Review Data.

Money, Morals, or Might?

Across the globe, states vary greatly in their willingness to accommodate China’s interests. How can we explain this variation?

Winning Hearts and Minds or Stoking Resentment?

One facet of China’s foreign economic activities at the center of scholarly and policy debates is its foreign aid practices. Does Chinese aid bolster or tarnish China’s image?

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Does Chinese aid bolster or tarnish China’s image? I recently presented results of my working paper of the same name.

Conventional approaches to estimating latent preferences face numerous constraints. I develop a flexible, non-parametric model that …

With all the new concepts, assumptions, different frameworks, notation, and research designs, learning causal inference can be daunting …

In this talk, I teach the essentials of web scraping via a custom-built R package, how2scrape, available from my github. I introduce …

Does Chinese aid bolster or tarnish China’s image? I recently presented preliminary results of my working paper of the same name.

Web scraping is a powerful tool for mining large amounts of data. Though Python has traditionally been the preferred language for …

Recent Posts

Two and a half years ago I subscribed to Bill Bishop’s Sinocism Newsletter to aggregate and streamline my news consumption on China and …