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The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,

but wiser people are so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell

In conjunction with my dissertation, I am working on a range of research projects

Dropout study

Decision tree student dropout

Decision tree model of student dropout

For a couple of years I served as a CO-PI (with Gad Yair) in a student attrition study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (funded by The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, Israel). With data going back a decade, we utilized machine learning models to investigate the phenomenon of student dropout at both the undergraduate and master’s degree level. We encountered the riddle of existential dropout, namely, those students who leave despite an adequate academic record.  Subsequently, we explored the Israeli program of affirmative action and found that students admitted through this route had a similar ratio of graduation as the general student population. Thus we called upon universities to open their gates wide. Lastly, we turned out attention to the objective and subjective reasons for M.A. students’ departure before completion of their degree.

The "other" other

Another project I have been involved in recently scrutinizes white anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views in America (with Joseph Gerteis). Using nationally representative survey data (Boundaries in the American Mosaic survey) from 2014, we examined these forms of ethno-religious exclusion.  Linking our findings to studies of Trumpism, we discovered that such attitudes are strongly correlated with political and religious affiliations. Published in The Sociological Quarterly and winner of The Guttman Best Article Award of the Israeli Sociological Society (2023), you can read the full paper here.


Latent classes - anti-Jews and anti-Muslim views

Global norms and beyond

walk and talk table.jpg

In two ongoing studies in collaboration with Liz Boyle, we use data from IPUMS-DHS to explore women’s rights and conflict prediction internationally. Based on a world society perspective, we investigate global scripts on the local level to identify the discordance and concordance of women’s rights attitudes and empowerment in the household. In the second study, we test the ability to predict local armed conflicts with community level indicators.

American science

From sociology of science and cultural sociology perspectives, in an ongoing project Gad Yair, Keith Goldstein, and I unpack the inner workings of American science. Using a unique dataset that covers the publication output of faculty in hundreds of research universities, we examine the idea that scientific work is dominated not by a singular logic but a plurality of cultures. In an article published in Scientometrics, we evaluated the idea that there are three main cultures in science (the natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences). Using data on productivity patterns, our results support this element of the “three cultures hypothesis,” showing highly distinct productivity norms. Currently, are we working to expand the analysis and use this unique data to examine differences in collaboration patterns and the effect of grants, while keeping sight of the cultural factors at hand.

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