I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science and MSc in Statistics at University of California, Los Angeles. My research applies a mixture of machine learning, causal inference, and large-scale data to the study of communication technology’s effects on society and political behavior.
My dissertation explores the information tools employed by modern non-democratic leaders to maintain political control and their citizens’ probable responses to the strategies these tools make possible. My focus is primarily on non-democratic government hiring of agents to impersonate ordinary citizens and engage online and offline with members of the political opposition.
My other current projects cover a wide range of questions associated with collective behavior in the broadest sense. In collaboration with Keith Chen (UCLA and Uber), Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld (UCLA), and Jungseock Joo (UCLA), I am developing a set of spatial deep learning models to examine the diffusion of protest in the United States after the presidential election of 2016. In a separate paper, we detail our study of the accuracy of estimates of crowd sizes generated by social media data.
In another project co-authored with Dmitry Dagaev (Moscow, HSE), Natalia Lamberova (UCLA) and Konstantin Sonin (Univeristy of Chicago), I study how communication technology has changed the architecture of social movements worldwide.
My work has been published in World Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies, and Problems of Post-Communism. I published in American and Russian printed and electronic media, including The Monkey Cage Blog, the leading Russian business daily Vedomosti, and Forbes-Russia.
I have conducted field research in Russia, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Emory Univeristy, Moscow Higher School of Economics, Indiana University, and St Petersburg University. Before starting my PhD program at UCLA, I was a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (2013-14) and a lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Higher School of Economics in Moscow (2010-13). I received “The Best Lecturer of the Political Science Department” Award in 2012. I also was a visiting research fellow at Russian & East European Institute at Indiana University.