University of Massachusetts Amherst

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ISSR Names Political Scientist as Associate Director

Bruce Desmarais

Assistant Professor Bruce Desmarais (Department of Political Science) has been named Associate Director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR).

The Institute, founded in 2012, promotes excellence in social science research across colleges and schools at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In his role as Associate Director, Desmarais will be responsible for developing many of the Institute’s technical skills workshops and training sessions that are available to UMass faculty and graduate students.

“I am excited to have Bruce on board and look forward to working with him to strengthen the focus on interdisciplinary research and methodological training opportunities that the institute provides,” said ISSR Director Laurel Smith-Doerr. “Bruce brings a strong background in computational science, which will help ISSR build connections with researchers that don’t usually partner with traditional social scientists.”

Desmarais joined the UMass political science department in 2010, after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is among the core faculty members of the Computational Social Science Initiative (CSSI), a collaborative organization of scholars in sociology, political science, statistics and computer science. Desmarais’ research combines political methodology, computational social science and American politics.

“I am delighted to take on the role of ISSR Associate Director,” Desmarais said. “From observation and experience of the Institute's initial activities, as well as from my understanding of Laurel’s near- and long-term plans, it is clear that ISSR will contribute substantially to UMass-Amherst’s standing as a globally renowned intellectual center for social science research. I am excited to bring my background in and affiliation with computational social science to ISSR's leadership team.”