26 June 2018

Big-data study leads to prize from American Sociological Association

Big data

Merlin Schaeffer, Associate Professor with the Department of Sociology, receives 'Outstanding Article Publication in Mathematical Sociology Award 2018' from ASA.

The American Sociological Association yearly announces an outstanding publication to win a prize in mathematical sociology. Associate Professor Merlin Schaeffer is the co-winner of this years’ prize together with Joscha Legewie from Yale University.

The winning publication is on the application of edge detection algorithms to social data science. The algorithm identifies interstitial areas sandwiched between ethnic or socioeconomic neighborhood enclaves.

- We also show, how the areas are characterized by increased levels of neighborhood complaints, Merlin Schaeffer says.

The complaints could be on neighbors making noise or blocking driveways. To identify the complaints between neighbors, the researchers use nearly 8 million geocoded complaint calls from New York City (2009-2013).

The research was published in American Journal of Sociology, 2016. June 2018 it received the ASA Outstanding Article Publication in Mathematical Sociology Award 2018.