QMSS Community Distinctions & Publications

QMSS encourages our students to actively engage in the scholarly community through publications and conference presentations.  This may include publishing or presenting research done for their Master's Thesis, or research conducted with professors through the QMSS Research Assistantship program. Listed below is a selection of recent student publications and presentations.

Current students can learn more about QMSS support for student presentations here

Recent Work

2022 GSAS/QASR Master's Thesis Competition Winners

Garda Ramadhito and Prajwal Seth

Congratulations to 2022 QMSS/QASR Master’s Thesis Competition winners, Garda Ramadhito and Prajwal Seth! Thank you for sharing your incisive thesis work at the QMSS/QASR Master’s Thesis Competition on May 11th, 2022@

Garda's thesis exploits large-scale mitigation measures as a natural experiment to study the effects of lockdowns on political attitudes, using Jordan as a test case due to its early success and uniqueness from existing case studies. Drawing from the Arab Barometer survey, I find that there are strong and significant positive effects from the militarized lockdown on satisfaction with and trust in the government among Jordanians during the first wave of the pandemic. The effects on support for democracy, however, are smaller and negative while still significant. I also found that the lockdown had a significant moderating effect on the pre-pandemic correlation between income and trust in government. These findings provide more supporting evidence of a rally 'round the flag effect from COVID-19 around the world and possible evidence of erosion of democratic attitudes from heavy-handed mitigation measures. Read more about Garda's thesis here.

Prajwal's thesis centers on ascertaining factors that contributed to poor drinking water quality in the continental US from 2009-2019. This is a pressing issue because according to estimates, in 2015 approximately 21 million people relied on community water systems which infringed health-based water quality standards. Water quality violations data was downloaded from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS). The analyzed dataset included 201,397 health-based violations from 28,644 Community Water Systems (CWS’s) serving approximately 94% of the population of the United States in some part. A probit regression analysis was conducted, incorporating additional county-level variables from the American Community Survey (ACS). Concerningly, increasing time trends were found for health-based violations and total coliform violations across almost all states. A map-based hot spot analysis (spatial clustering) was also conducted. Significant hot spots of health-based violations were detected in many regions, particularly in the south. Similarly, hot spots of total coliform violations were detected in the south and midwest. You can view the slides for my thesis presentation here or find my thesis here

2022 GSAS Master's Synthesis Competition Finalist

Shuo Huang

Graduating QMSS student, Shuo Huang, for presenting his thesis as a finalist in the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 2022 Master's Synthesis Competition on May 5th, 2022!

In "Does FinTech improve the investment efficiency of enterprises? Evidence from China’s small and medium-sized enterprises", Shuo uses the number of FinTech firms in each prefecture-level city to measure its development, this study explores the impact of FinTech on the investment efficiency of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The results show that FinTech development can significantly promote the investment efficiency of local SMEs. These results remain robust after conducting a series of robustness tests, including replacing alternative, dependent variables, controlling for firm fixed effects, controlling for time-varying fixed effects, and using the instrumental variable approach and Difference-in-difference (DID) methods. The mechanism analysis shows that FinTech alleviates the financing constraints of SMEs by reducing the information asymmetry between financial institutions and SMEs, thereby improving their investment efficiency. In addition, a heterogeneity analysis shows that the impact of FinTech on the investment efficiency of SMEs is more pronounced in small-scale private enterprises, industries lacking competition, and cities with slow marketization. Moreover, the findings have important practical significance in the form of policy suggestions for promoting the integration of FinTech and the real economy.

Read more about Shuo's thesis HERE! 

2022 Pershing Square Challenge Presentation

Chris Lee

Graduating QMSS students, Chris Lee and Joel I-Loong Nee, presented their work at Pershing Square Challenge on April 28th, 2022.

At this Columbia Business School's stock pitch competition sponsored by Pershing Square Capital Management, they were one of only five teams selected to present their work to Bill Ackman and other participating Wall Street investors.

Read more about the challegne HERE



Featured Presenter at 2022 Columbia Data Science Day

Bengusu Ozcan

Recent QMSS alumna, Bengusu Ozcan, presented her work at the 2022 Columbia Data Science Day on April 6th, 2022.

Bengusu's research explores whether users of paid streaming platforms like Spotify prefer an option to opt out of personalized recommendations. This concept is mostly researched for social media platforms under the name of "acceptability gap" and Bengusu's research expands it to different online platform models.

Read more about the 2022 Data Science Day HERE


Climate Change Challenge Winners

Cindy Chen, Cindy Xinyue, Jian Tong Chua, Yanlin Zhang

Current QMSS students places in among three levels of Prof. Michael Parrott's AI Model Share Climate Challenge in April 2022:

QMSS Bronze medalists (15th percentile or higher on leaderboard):Cindy Chen, Cindy Xinyue, Jian Tong Chua, Yanlin Zhang

Silver medalists (5th percentile or higher on leaderboard): Pruthvi Reddy PanatiPrajwal Seth

Gold medalists (1st percentile or higher on leaderboard): Nicholas Milinkovich

The university wide competition involved over 300 participants from across Columbia including Quantitive Methods for the Social Sciences, Statistics, The Data Science Institute, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Industrial Operations Research and more. Read more about the competition and its outcomeds HERE

2022 DSI Student Project Competition Winners

Shreyans Kothari, Bo Ria Julius Crauwels, Pengyun (Carol) Li, Dan (Jessica) Li, Rui Lu, Hanzhang Hu

QMSS Students Shreyans KothariBo Ria Julius CrauwelsPengyun (Carol) LiDan (Jessica) LiRui LuHanzhang Hu were recognized as finalists in the 2022 Data Science Institute Student Project Competition for their work in the QMSS Practicum class on their project entitled "Trend R: Digital Tool To Enable Decision-making Using Census Data" under the instructor of QMSS Faculty, Aracelis Torres.

TrendR is a multi-functional user dashboard that enables community organizations to visualize changes and trends in data through maps and graphs. It aims to empower community organizations to utilize the potential of publicly available resources to facilitate data-driven decision making.

Read more about the competition and their work HERE

R Story

Michelle A. Zee and alumna Alisha Gurnani

Michele A. Zee & Alisha Gurnani

Current student Michelle A. Zee and alumna Alisha Gurnani won two prizes from the U.S. Census Bureau Grand Prize Challenge:

  1. Best Tool for Equity and Inclusion and
  2. Student Prize in the category of Climate, Resilience, and the Natural Environment for their R Story Dashboard.

We're so excited to see what they will do with $20,000 prize in the future of their project. Check out the @R story dashboard HERE.


Nathan Fabius

Nathan Fabius

Nathan Fabius and the LatAm Macro Economist at Compass Group published a report entitled "ESG in Latin America: Highlights and the Compass Approach in May 2021" discussing the current landscape for environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices within Latin America and how the region fares against other parts of the world. You can read the full report HERE. 

Nathan graduated from QMSS in 2018 and is a financial and economic analyst with a professional background as a trader and economist in international markets. His expertise focuses on financial research, economic analysis and political risk in Latin American markets. You can connect with him on LinkedIn HERE.

Jeff Chen

Jeff Chen

Jeff Chen published book Data Science for Public Policy in collaboration with Edward Rubin (U of Oregon) and Gary Cornwall, Ph.D. in June 2021. You can order the book HERE. 

Jeff graduated from QMSS in 2011 and is a computational statistician with experience leading data science initiatives in over 40 fields. He is currently the VP of data science for streaming services at Nordic Entertainment Group/Viaplay in Northern Europe and also an affiliated researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. You can connect with him on LinkedIn HERE.

 Samikshya Siwakoti

Samikshya Siwakoti

Samikshya Siwakoti co-authored a report on "Gender, Cybersecurity and Fraud in DFS" with Research Scholar, Michael Wechsler in December 21, 2020 as well as a report on "COVID-19 misinformation trends around the world" in March 2021 

You can read the full "Gender, Cybersecurity and Fraud in DFS" report HERE.

You can read the full "COVID-19 misinformation trends around the world" report HERE.

Samikshya graduated from QMSS in 2020 and is currently working as a Data Research Specialist at Princeton University under Prof. Jacob Shapiro's supervision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn HERE an read more about her projects at the links below...




 Julia Tache

Julia Tache

Julia Tache named 2021 GSAS Master's SynThesis finalist! 

You can check out Julia's thesis work HERE.

Julia is graduating from QMSS in May 2021. She has a demonstrated history of research and working in education, communication, and the online media industry currently seeking positions in data science/analytics. She is actively seeking full-time data scientist/analyst/researcher role. You can connect with through her LinkedIn HERE.


Sarah (Wenjun) Sun

Sarah (Wenjun) Sun

Sarah (Wenjun) Sun named GSAS Davis Fellow in December 2020!

The Davis Fellowship carries provides a small monetary award presented to outstanding academic achievement and is funded by a $10 million bequest from the late Kathryn Wasserman Davis, ’31 GSAS.

Yuu can check out Sarah's data-blog HERE.

You can connect with through her LinkedIn HERE.


 Thomas Bilach

Thomas Bilach

"The Effects of the Summer All Out Foot Patrol Initiative in New York City: A Difference-in-Differences Approach"

In collaboration with emeritus QMSS Director, Greg Wawro, Thomas Bilach's research was published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology in September 2020. You can read more HERE.

Abstract: The New York City Police Department’s “Summer All Out” (SAO) initiative was a 90-day, presence-based foot patrol program in a subset of the city’s patrol jurisdictions. Methods: We assessed the effectiveness of SAO initiative in reducing crime and gun violence using a difference-in-differences (DiD) approach. Results: Results indicate the SAO initiative was only associated with significant reductions in specific property offenses, not violent crime rates. Foot patrols did not have a strong, isolating impact on violent street crime in 2014 or 2015. Deployments on foot across expansive geographies also has a weak, negligible influence on open-air shootings. Conclusions: The findings suggest saturating jurisdictions with high-visibility foot patrols has little influence on street-level offending, with no anticipatory or persistent effects. Police departments should exercise caution in deploying foot patrols over large patrol jurisdictions.

You can connect with Thomas through his LinkedIn HERE.

 Xiaoxuan Yang

Xiaoxuan Yang

The State of Corruption in Latin America” 

Xiaoxuan Yang is a senior consultant at Edgeworth. At Columbia, she worked as a research assistant conducting statistical tests for a field experiment on corruption control in Peru. She also studied the relationship between corruption and economic outcomes. Yang received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the University of California, San Diego, and master’s degree at the quantitative methods in the social sciences program from Columbia University.

Her research was featured in a eport by the Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. Connor's research can be read in full HERE.

You can connect with Xiaoxuan through her LinkedIn HERE.

 Connor Wahrman

Connor Wahrman

Competing to be Corrupt: The Multinational Dynamics of Public Procurement Bribery in Latin America” 

Connor’s master's thesis analyzes public procurement sectors throughout Latin America, investigating whether Odebrecht, the Brazilian industrial conglomerate implicated in Operation Car Wash, chose countries in which to do business based on their perceived corruptability. 

This research was featured in a Policy Brief by the Center on Global and Economic Governance. Connor's research can be read in full HERE,

You can connect with Connor through his LinkedIn HERE.

 Langyi Tian

Langyi Tian

"Unifying prosperity or segregated heterogeneity? An inquiry into consumption practices of leisure and appearance in China"

This paper investigates into the potential divergence of leisure and physical appearance consumption practices, and its relevance with social distinctions and structural factors in China. Utilizing a longitudinal observation from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), the authors first illustrate an overall growing trend of entertainment and appearance consumption, which is nevertheless supported by only a small population fraction. Next, differentiating factors of this consumption are examined, highlighting relevant social constraints. Reassessing excess attention paid to the emerging consumer culture, the authors integrate not only the middle class but also other social groups to depict a full picture of stratified consumption in contemporary China.

Langyi will present his work at the 2018 Asian Conference of the International Chinese Sociological Association (ICSA). He is a first-semester student in the QMSS Program. You can connect with Steven through his LinkedIn HERE.

 Steven Andrew McAlpine

Steven Andrew McAlpine

"Estimating Recent Local Impacts of Sea‑Level Rise on Current Real‑Estate Losses: A Housing Market Case Study in Miami‑Dade, Florida"

Sea-Level Rise (SLR) Projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) indicate increasing, and imminent, risk to coastal communities from tidal flooding and hurricane storm surge. Building on recent research related to the potential demographic impacts of such changes, localized flooding projections in the Miami Beach area and projected economic losses associated with this rise in projected SLR; this research investigates the accrued current cost, in terms of real-estate dollars lost, due to recurrent tidal flooding and projected increases of flooding in Miami-Dade County. Most directly related to this line of research, Keenan et al. (2018) have recently produced results indicating that Climate Gentrification is taking place in Miami, FL with higher elevations in flood-prone areas appreciating at a higher rate. In that vein of thinking, we seek to answer a question posed by such research: What is the actual accrued loss to sea-level rise over the recent past? To answer this question, we replicate well-documented estimation methods by combining publicly available sea-level rise projections, tide gauge trends, and property lot elevation data to identify areas regularly at risk of flooding. Combining recent patterns of flooding inundation with future forecasts, we find that properties projected to be inundated with tidal flooding in 2032 have lost $3.08 each year on each square foot of living area, and properties near roads that will be inundated with tidal flooding in 2032 have lost $3.71 each year on each square foot of living area. These effects total over $465 million in lost real-estate market value between 2005 and 2016 in the Miami-Dade area.

McAlpine, S.A. & Porter, J.R. Popul Res Policy Rev (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11113-018-9473-5

Steven's recent publication is based on the Master's Thesis he produced during his time in the QMSS Program. The underlying methodology for identifying properties at risk been converted into this interactive: http://floodiq.com

You can connect with Steven through his LinkedIn HERE.

Miriam McKinney

Miriam McKinney

"Dialectic and Idiomatic Sensitivity in Text Analysis: The Importance of Constructing Inclusive Algorithms for 311 Data Normalization"

Miriam will present her research on text analysis at the 4th Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science in July, 2018. 

You can connect with Miriam through her LinkedIn HERE.



 Yu-Ya Rong

Yu-Ya Rong

"The Relationship between Work-Family Conflict and Work Stress: Effect of Supervisor Support and Gender"

Yu-ya will present her research on work-life balance at the 4th Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science in July, 2018. 

You can read her full abstract HERE.



 Hana Konradova

Hana Konradova

"Humans v.s. Machines: Who knows us better? Understanding personality judgment using Facebook Data and machine-learning algorithms"

Hana presented her research on machine learning and social media at the 2018 Women in Science at Columbia Research Symposium. You can view her poster HERE.

You can connect with Hana through her LinkedIn HERE.



 Kangxin Bao

Kangxin Bao

"From First Meeting to Marriage: Mate Sorting and Marital Satisfaction in China"

Kangxin presented her research on relationship outcomes at the 2018 Women in Science at Columbia Research Symposium. You can view her poster HERE.

You can connect with Kangxin through her LinkedIn HERE.




 Cesar Eduardo Montiel Olea

Cesar Eduardo Montiel Olea

Cesar Eduardo Montiel Olea currently works in the Inter-American Development Bank in D.C., where he specializes in data analytics and impact evaluation on urban and rural development and natural resources. He majored in Political Science at ITAM in Mexico City and he also holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from NYU. In the past, he worked in Mexico’s public sector as well as a research assistant in NYU and Harvard University.

Larreguy, H., Montiel Olea, C. E., & Querubin, P. (2017). Political Brokers: Partisans or Agents? Evidence from the Mexican Teachers' Union. American Journal of Political Science, 61(4), 877-891.

You can view the working paper HERE.

You can view the published paper HERE.

 Yijia Zhou & Laura Uguccioni

Yijia Zhou & Laura Uguccioni

Yijia's and Laura's workt with the The Urban Design Lab at Columbia University, has won the m a best poster presentation at the 2017 Data Science Day. The "Next Generation Cognitive Mapping of New York City" project uses geolocated Twitter data to understand public space usage in urban cities, and we specifically focus on the potential interaction of green space with people's thoughts and emotions: what are people tweeting about when they are in parks like Bryant Park and Washington Square Park? How do they feel? We hope eventually we can offer well-founded advice to improve people's experience at parks and other public spaces. You can read more about the Urban Design Lab's work HERE.

Motzny, A., Tao, Y., Uguccioni , L., & Zhou, L. (2017, April). Next Generation Cognitive Mapping of New York City. Poster presented at Columbia University Data Science Day, New York City, NY.

 Amanda Gates

Amanda Gates

In this exploratory study, we examined the influence of traditional masculinity ideology on adults’ perceptions of a homophobic slur among youth. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 vignettes describing an incident in which a 5, 10, or 15-year-old boy overhears the word “fag.” Participants then answered questions regarding the acceptability of the word, likelihood of use, and likelihood of intervention by teachers and peers. They also completed the Male Role Norms Inventory–Short Form (MRNI-SF; Levant, Hall, & Rankin, 2013). Age of boys in the scenario affected participants’ perception of likelihood to happen and sexual orientation of participant affected intervention expectations. Novel to the study, results indicated that MRNI-SF scores significantly influenced the acceptability of the use of the word “fag,” as well as whether participants thought the teacher and peers should intervene. These findings strengthen literature suggesting a connection between endorsement of traditional masculinity ideology and homophobia. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Rosenberg, A., Gates, A., Richmond, K., & Sinno, S. (2016). It’s Not a Joke: Masculinity Ideology and Homophobic Language. Chicago, IL.

Previous Publications

Melendez Martinez, A., and Campos Vazquez, R. M. (2013). Una estimacion semiparametrica de las pautas de consume e ingreso a lo largo del ciclo de vida para Mexico  (A semiparametric estimation of consumption and income over the life-cycle in Mexico). El Trimestre Economico. vol. LXXX (4), núm. 320, octubre-diciembre de 2013, p. 805-840.

Koide, N., A. Robertson, A. Ines, J. Qian, D. DeWitt, and A. Lucero (2012). Prediction of Rice Production in the Philippines using Seasonal Climate. Forecasts. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-11-0254.1.

Windawi, Jason (2011). Hunger, risk and financial markets: A study of the food crisis of 2008. Presented at the Conference of Globalization and Socio-Economic Development for the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.

Kugelmass, H., and Ready, D.D. (2011). Racial/ethnic disparities in collegiate cognitive gains: A multilevel analysis of institutional influences on learning and its equitable distribution. Research in Higher Education, 52(4).

Ferguson, J.L., and Ready, D.D. (2011). Expanding notions of social reproduction: Grandparents' educational attainment and grandchildren's cognitive skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Christensen, L.J., Parsons, H., and Jason Fairbourne (2009). Building entrepreneurship in subsistence markets: Microfranchising as an employment incubator. Journal of Business Research.

Messina, Nena P., Marinelli-Casey, P., Hillhouse, Maureen, Ang, Alfonso, Hunter Jeremy, and Richard Rawson (2008). Childhood adverse events and health outcomes among methamphetamine-dependent men and women. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction v6 (4). 

Chu, Y., Diamond, L., Nathan, A.J., and Doh Chull Shin (2008). How East Asians View Democracy. Columbia University Press: New York, NY. (student Takayoshi Wiesner helped Dr. Nathan as a research assistant for this book). 

Gelman, A. and Cai, C.J. (2006 working paper). Should Democrats move to the left on economic policy?Awarded  "Best of the Annals of Applied Statistics" at the Joint Statistical Meetings 2008 in Denver, CO. 

Lu, Shuye (2013) Abusive supervision, thriving, and counter-productive work behavior: the moderating role of positive effect. Southern Management Association. New Orleans, LA.

Op den Bosch, Saskia (2013). The Early Cognitive Environment: Influence on young children's exercise and nutrition practices. Presented at the Biennial Meeting for Society for Research in Child Development in Seattle, WA. 

Chen, Jeffrey C. (2011). Closure, Remediation and Maturation: The Case of Freshkills Landfill. Submitted for the 2011 annual meeting of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (June ‑July 2011) 

Koide, Naohisa (2010). Assessment of predictability of Philippine rice production with climate information.Presented at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, CA. 

Dun Jia (Calvin) (2010). What is beyond the purported inflation targeting for monetary policy, crisis, or stabilization? The econometric estimation of the Swedish Central Bank's Interest Rate Operation Rule. Presented at the Costa Rica Global Conference on Business and Finance.

Ricart-Huguet, Joan (2010).  New opportunities, new challenges: The CSES & EES data sets. Attended at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.

Porter, Daniel (2009). Do hitters and pitchers vary in their sensitivities to changes in the quality of opposition?Presented at the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports in Cambridge, MA.  

Rader, Kelly (2009). Dirty pool revisited: Applying randomization tests to the ‘Democratic Trade' hypothesis.Presented at the American Political Science Association Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Mamedova, Saida (2009). Educated unemployed: Story of mismatched resources, agendas, and aspirations. Presented at the Comparative International Education Society (CIES) Conference in Charleston, SC.

O'Neil, Meghan (2009). Children's habitual disposition: A comparison of career mother families versus non-career mother families. Presented at the Eastern Sociological Society in Baltimore, MD. 

Mara, Valentina (2008). Global patterns of urbanization vis-à-vis ecosystems. Presented at the Association of American Geographers Conference in Boston, MA.

Kwon, Min-A (2008). The effect of ‘Second Life' on consumer behavior in the ‘Real World'. Presented at the27th Annual Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

Amirapu, Amrit (2008). Social norms, rule of law, and gender reality. Presented at the Society for Empirical Legal Studies Conference at Cornell University Law School, Ithaca, NY.

Levine, Aaron (2007). The interpersonal implications of focalism in the evaluation of decisions. Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference. 

Chowdhury, Rumman (2007). Tar and taxes: Investigating state allocations of tobacco settlement funds. Presented at the Midwest Political Science Meetings

Parsons, Helen (2007). Entrepreneurship versus micro-franchising: A baseline study of small business owners and Fanmilk vendors in Accra, Ghana. Presented at the BYU Center for Economic Self-Reliance Conference in Provo, UT.