Jake's Face

Jake Bowers

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

About Me

From 2015 to 2020 and starting again in 2022 I have been working with the Office of Evaluation Sciences in the General Services Administration of the US Federal Government. During the 2015 year the OES was publically known as the White House Social and Behavioral Policy Team.

From 2019 to 2021, I was a Senior Scientist at The Policy Lab working on coordinated RCTs focusing on early childhood language learning , COVID related projects, and processes for reproducible data analysis for teams using multiple data analysis languages .

I worked on projects at the intersection of the social and behavioral sciences and public policy as a Research Affiliate and Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Social And Behavioral Sciences such as the Causal Inference for Social Impact lab.

From 2018 to 2022, I was the Methods Director of the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network.

Some of my work with EGAP led to an online textbook for people who want to teach about field experiments. You can see the book at The Theory and Practice of Field Experiments: An Introduction from the EGAP Learning Days . We also have translations of this book into Spanish and French to help scholars throughout the Spanish and French speaking world learn about statistics and experiments.

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

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


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. You can see our syllabi from 2021 2020 and 2013 . You can see an overview of the Future Politics class here .

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 2015.

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 .

Cara Wong and I drafted an essay on what you'd want in child's room in an Internet of Things (IoT) home after we visited Casa Jasmina in Turin.

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?

I helped my friend John Ahlquist envision the UCSD San Diego 2049 event.