Jake's Face

Jake Bowers

Political Science and Statistics and NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( [email protected] , CV )

I am also a Fellow at the Office of Evaluation Sciences in the General Services Administration of the US Federal Government.

I helped to start Research4Impact , an organization that aims to connect researchers and practicioners in the interests of improving public policy, governance, and advocacy.

I am an active member of EGAP , the Evidence in Governance and Politics network.

Wendy Tam Cho and I run the Methodology Speaker Series in our department.

You can see one measure of the impact of my work on Impact Story or my Google Scholar profile .

Current Projects in Progress

"Research Designs Do Not Generalize: Humans, do." (with Jim Kuklinski)

A machine learning based approach to design-based statistical inference for causal effects with an application to the civic effects of the London Bombing on 2005 (with Ben Hansen, Mark Fredrickson, Costas Panagopoulos)

Can television change social norms in Northern Nigeria? (with Chris Grady, Graham Couturier, Annette Brown)

Assessing agent-based models of voter registration fraud in Ghana (with Nahomi Ichino, Mark Fredrickson, Chris Grady)

How to design a statistically powerful randomized field experiment on a social network? (with Bruce Demarais, Nahomi Ichino, Mark Fredrickson, Wayne Lee, Simi Wang)

Assessing the political effects of perceptions of local communities using large scale hand-drawn maps on Google Maps (using the Canadian Mapping Communities survey, the British Election Study , and the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (USA) , (with Cara Wong, Daniel Rubenson, Jane Green, Ed Fieldhouse).

How should we articulate a formal model of the sporadic series of events that characterizes political activity by most ordinary people? (with Paul Testa)

What should we do when many matched designs produce comparable balance? (with Wendy Tam Cho)

Open Software Projects

I work with Ben Hansen and Mark Fredrickson as an author and maintainer of the RItools package for design-based omnibus balance tests before and after matching.

I contribute code to the Non-bipartite matching package for matching with continuous ``treatments'' (or, as Paul Rosenbaum puts it, ``matching without groups'').

I maintain a variety of smaller public projects on Github

Future Politics

William Gibson once said : "We live in an incomprehensible present. And that what I'm actually trying to do is illuminate the moment. And make the moment accessible. I am not even really trying to explain the moment. Just trying to make it accessible." If the aim of a teacher is to help students ready themselves for a future or thrive in a present, then, as a teacher, I worry about how to best live in and shape this present and future. Politics will and should change in the face of other changes (in technology, the environment and populations). So far, some undergraduate students at the University of Illinois and I have been seeking ways to understand and judge the politics of an incomprehensible present and unpredictable future by reading and discussing canonical political theorists paired with science fiction authors. We aim to practice imagining a future politics in an effort to develop a flexible political imagination following Jamais Cascio's idea that futurism is not about prediction but about mental readiness . We had some minutes of fame.

Politics of the Future

I was be a part of a group of political scientists who met to discuss the future of politics and what new questions new politics raises for political science at the Politics of the Future Workshop in June of 2014.

Admiravel Mundo Novo

I played a role in in the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation funded conference "Brave New World" at the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal in June of 2014.

Bruce Sterling and I had a conversation to wrap up the conference shown in this video .

I had an interview about science fiction and political theory as ways to train the mind to confront the future in the Portuguese newspaper, Público here .

Other Activities

I discussed how science fiction can help us train ourselves to think about future politics (with some digressions on the utility of reading Marx along with science fiction authors) on Australia National Radio's Science Fiction: Earth's repair manual?