IUSE Research Team

David Harding, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology & Faculty Director, Social Sciences D-Lab

David Harding studies poverty and inequality, urban neighborhoods, education, adolescents and young adults, incarceration, and prisoner reentry. He uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. His current projects include the social and economic reintegration of former prisoners, the transition to adulthood after prison, the effects of incarceration on crime, employment, and health, and causal inference for contextual effects research.

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Claudia von Vacano, Ph.D.

Founding Executive Director, Sr. Research Associate, P.I.

Dr. Claudia von Vacano is the Founding Executive Director and Senior Research Associate of D-Lab and Digital Humanities at Berkeley and is on the boards of the Social Science Matrix and Berkeley Center for New Media. She has worked in policy and educational administration since 2000, and at the UC Office of the President and UC Berkeley since 2008. She received a Master’s degree from Stanford University in Learning, Design, and Technology. Her doctorate is in Policy, Organizations, Measurement, and Evaluation from UC Berkeley. Her expertise is in organizational theory and...

Aaron Culich

Deputy Director of D-Lab; Cyberinfrastructure Architect and Consulting Lead

Aaron Culich is a staff member at the D-Lab with expertise in Cloud Computing, High Performance Computing (HPC), Databases (SQL and NoSQL), JupyterHub and BinderHub infrastructure, and a variety of programming languages (Python, R, Java, C, C++, and more). His ongoing mission is to explore new compute possibilities, discovering useful tools and practices, and making them more accessible to researchers on campus and beyond.

Byeongdon Oh, Ph.D.


Byeongdon (Don) Oh studies social stratification/inequality, education, race/ethnicity, and quantitative methods. He works as a postdoctoral scholar in the Social Science D-Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. He also serves as a researcher at the US Census Bureau-administered Federal Statistical Research Data Center. His doctoral dissertation and two postdoctoral projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation. His work appears in peer-reviewed journals, including Social Problems, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Social Science Research....

Daniel Lobo

Computational Social Science Fellow

Daniel Lobo is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley and a Computational Social Science Fellow at the Berkeley Institute of Data Science. He believes that individuals make choices based on their preferences within a social context. Thus, his sociological project, like those of Émile Durkheim and Pierre Bourdieu, seeks to reveal the social in the apparently most individual forms of behavior. He is interested in how social conditions, both material and symbolic, shape the choices individuals make within our political economy–choices like where to live, who to...

Kanchana Samala

IUSE Undergraduate Advisory Board
Data Science

Kanchana Samala (she/her) is a third year studying Data Science and pursuing the CalTeach Minor. She is currently a uGSI for Data 8 and facilitates the 'Step Out of Overdrive' Decal about understanding the link between stress and human expression. She is curious and passionate about extracting value from big data in a way that will bring joy into people's lives.

Michael Ruiz

Senior Data Science Fellow

Michael earned his B.A.in Psychology from UC Berkeley and currently works as the manager of Professor Okonofua's Equity, Diversity, and Empathy Navigation Sciences Lab in the UC Berkeley Psychology department.

Patricia Quaye

GSR, IUSE Researcher
Blum Center for Developing Economies

Patricia has a Bachelor of Education (Social Studies) degree and is pursuing a Master of Development Engineering (Concentration: Sustainable Design Innovations) at UC Berkeley. She is concerned about the future, committed to leading and inspiring positive change in the world, and passionate about current issues such as poverty, food sovereignty, climate change, and sustainability. She hopes to be the kind of researcher, educator, social entrepreneur, and development engineer the twenty-first-century needs for a better world. Patricia leverages her passion to help make the world a...

Renee Starowicz, Ph.D.

Staff, Instructor
Graduate School of Education

Renee Starowicz, Ph.D., has been affiliated with the D-Lab since January 2020 when she joined the NSF IUSE, Undergraduate Data Science at Scale project. Renee’s research interests include Critical Disability Studies, Trauma-skilled inclusive practices and Multimodal Communication Access. At the DLab, Renee is an instructor for STATA FUNdamentals and Introduction to Qualtrics.

Seyi Olojo

Instructor, Researcher
School of Information

Seyi is a PhD Student in the School of Information and is a member of the Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity Group. Her research broadly explores the problem space of digital memory, specifically the social discourse surrounding algorithms, ethics, and engagement. Additionally, her work often explores histories of quantification and the politics of categories within emerging technologies. She uses a mixed methods approach to research; this includes ethnography, interviews, grounded theory, surveys, data analysis and values-based design. Here at the D-lab, she leads the qualitative...