My Research

Here are a few of my recent and upcoming events and talks:

Soon to be updated to include APHA, NHPC, AAPOR, and DC-AAPOR

2017 & on Events and Talks:

2017 November APHA meeting in San Diego:

2016 Events and Talks:


Professional Research in Media Measurement, MLC Speaker series


In May I will contribute to two presentations and one poster at the AAPOR conference in Austin, TX.

Language Negotiation on a Bilingual (English/Spanish) Telephone Survey in the U.S.

An Exploration of the Relationship between Usability Testing and Data Verification

The best of both worlds:  utilizing best practices from web and survey design

2015 Events and Talks:


In May I will contribute to three presentations at the AAPOR conference in Hollywood, FL.

Understanding Paralinguistic and Linguistic Strategies in Research Interviews

Evaluating visual design elements for data collection and panelist engagement

Potential Applications of Text Analytics and Math-based Coding Strategies for Write-in Responses

2014 Events and Talks:

From February 18th – 25th I participated in MLC to Tech, a special program for sociolinguistics students interested in tech jobs.

Toward the end of February I hosted the third Online Research, Offline lunch.
These lunches are designed to welcome professionals and students in the Washington DC area who are involved in online research across a variety of disciplines, fields and sectors. Past attendees have had a wide array of interests and specialties, including usability and interface design, data science, natural language processing, social network analysis, social media monitoring, discourse analysis, netnography, digital humanities and library science.


In early March (march 5-6) the Free Range Research blog covered the Sentiment Analysis Symposium + Human Analytics Workshops in New York

On March 12 I presented a work in progress at the DC-Natural Language Processing meetup. My talk was on a work in progress that I am preparing for a panel on the Practical Applications for Social Media in Survey Research at the AAPOR conference in May 2014 (more detail below). In the panel I will discuss Reporting Data in the Social Media World. My goal is to use the “women physics” Twitter search stream to analyze the interpretations, misinterpretations and trajectories of published findings in survey research. I hope ultimately to generate helpful, data-driven guidelines for researchers who are hoping to stem misinformation and misreports of their results. At the meetup I discussed the unique complications of the project.


On April 1st I acted as a peer mentor at the MLC Career Expo. I graduated from the MLC (a professionally-oriented degree program, whose focus is on finding professional application of training in sociolinguistics) last year, and I really love to stay close with the program. MLC students and alumni have a wide variety of very cool interests and career paths!

Later in April the Free Range Research blog headed to Japan.


In May I presented a paper and participated in a panel at the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers (AAPOR) conference

Panel: Practical Applications for Social Media in Survey Research
my presentation: Reporting Data in the Social Media World AAPOR Social Media Panel-slides
abstract: In the Fall of 2013 the persistently low proportion of women in physics became a hot topic of discussion. This discussion was in part fueled by a series of reports that grew additional lives once they were published, echoing among individual blog posts, news sites such as the Huffington Post and the New York Times, and reverberating into scientific magazines. The published pieces generated countless comments and tweets among readers and interested parties. What follows is an analysis of the interpretations, misinterpretations and trajectories of published findings, anchored in the “women physics” keyword search on Twitter. This goal of this analysis is to generate helpful, data-driven guidelines for researchers who are now forced into a social media space and hoping to stem misinformation and misreports of their results.

Paper: Can a survey of U.S. High Schools be Replaced or Reduced through Web Searches? The Successes and Complications of an Experimental Strategy AAPOR Web Search Method slides
abstract: Because physics is such a small field, data about physics in high schools is not readily available from traditional sources. As a result, in 1986 the American Institute of Physics began a quadrennial survey of high school physics. This survey has two phases. In the first phase, we contact a random sample of the public and private schools in the U.S. to find out whether the school offers physics and to collect teacher contact information from those that do. In the second phase, we contact the teachers we have identified directly with more detailed questions. This survey effort has traditionally included a combination of notification letters, paper, phone and web surveys for schools and then for the teachers. In the past our school survey has enjoyed a consistently high coverage rate, with only a handful of refusals to participate and a response rate over 95%. However, we have encountered new challenges over the past few survey rounds, including more refusals to participate at both the district and school levels, due in part to a rapid increase in school surveys from a number of other sources. In the 2012-2013 academic year, we experimented with a new strategy, beginning our effort first with a series of web searches to see if the information we traditionally collect from the school survey was available online. The goal of this strategy was to eliminate or dramatically reduce the size of the school survey. We will explore the viability, successes, unique complications and lessons learned from this effort.


In June I completed a report on the textbooks, resources and resourcefulness of high school physics teachers. This report is an opportunity to highlight some of the extra effort that teachers put into their work, and it was developed using my evolving strategies for analyzing the text in open ended survey responses. I am very proud of both the methodology and the findings!


In July I presented my Twitter study about the dissemination of survey data regarding women in physics at the DC-AAPOR WSS Summer Conference.


In August I presented new analysis on the Global Survey of Physicists at the International Conference for Women in Physics. ICWIP slides

In late August I started a demanding new position at Nielsen. It is very interesting work, and it is inspiring to be surrounded by such enthusiastic, hardworking people! But, admittedly, I have slacked on the blog a little since-

Some of my other past projects (all of which I’m happy to discuss!):

–  a study of the migration patterns of physicists

– making over survey data cleaning and analysis strategies to make use of text analytic strategies (saving time and adding depth)

–  an ethnography based strategy to improve working relationships between survey research organizations and their clients.

– ways to use organic data to complement survey analyses

– avoiding medical errors through conversational awareness or structuring in a hospital setting

– AAPOR taskforce on new and emerging technologies

9 to 5

My professional publications from my (15 years) at the American Institute of Physics (AIP) can be accessed at the Statistical Research Center (SRC) website: Areas of study include: The Global Survey of Physicists, Physics in High Schools, Physics Bachelors degree recipients, project based learning, and women in physics.

Here are a few of my past publications and presentations. Enjoy!

Mobile Technologies for Conducting, Augmenting and Potentially Replacing Surveys: Report of the AAPOR Task Force on Emerging Technologies in Public Opinion Research

Is there a Quick Fix for Open-ended Questions? A Comparison of Qualitative Analysis Techniques (presented at DC-AAPOR, 2012)


Women in physics: A tale of limits (published in Physics Today, 2012)

(also available in Croatian: and available in Simplified Chinese)

Is there a Greater Analytic Potential for Open-ended Survey Questions?A Comparison of Analytic Strategies (presented at MAPOR, 2011)

The Global Survey of Physicists: Challenges and Lessons Learned from an Evolving Multilingual Multinational Survey Effort. (presented at AAPOR, 2010)

Research through the MLC

– A closer examination of the social impact of differences between cultural expectations for greetings and experienced greetings

– A closer examination of the ways new moms use bulletin boards

– A study of conversation among coworkers- specifically: the use of shared, short stories in building and maintaining group cohesion

– A study of listserv use among professionals- specifically: differences in language use that reflect internal differences between professional and academically oriented researchers

– An analysis of answers to open ended survey questions using natural language processing techniques

– An analysis of Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi as an instance of intercultural communication

– An ethnography of DC taxi drivers focusing on their lack of voice in the public sphere

– An examination of responses on facebook to news articles and the ways in which people can reframe the framing of events in the media


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