Hi, I'm Will.

I'm a PhD student in MIT's IDSS and the Lab for Social Machines in the MIT Media Lab. I'm interested in the theory and practice of statistical learning, and in its applications to socially meaningful questions. I also have a fair bit of software engineering experience, most of it acquired in the course of productionizing my research work.

Before returning to academia, I worked in Democratic politics for several years. I had data science or analytics roles on the 2012 Obama campaign, the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, and at the DNC and the Analyst Institute.

Some things I've worked on over the years (mostly proprietary rather than published) are:

  • predictive models of voter behavior,
  • randomized field experiments, especially ones that'll survive contact with election season,
  • sampling, weighting and analyzing opinion polls.

At the moment, I'm working on understanding how memes and ideas travel between social and traditional media, especially Twitter and talk radio, and how they influence public opinion.