The Little Dataset That Could functions as an outlet/workshop for a young researcher, Alex, who likes asking questions about numbers and, occasionally, finding answers.
Alex Albright, the individual shown defending her thesis above, is a 2014 graduate of Williams College currently pursuing her PhD in economics at Harvard. Prior to her start at Harvard, Alex worked at Stanford Law School with Professor John Donohue on projects associated with the empirical revolution in law and economics and the modern American crime decline. Her research team focused on developing the synthetic controls methodology (developed by Abadie & Gardeazabal (2003) and Abadie, Diamond, & Hainmueller (2009)) to investigate the impact of right-to-carry laws on crime. (For more on the growth of empiricists such as Alex in law schools, check out the article “The New Empiricists” from the Harvard Law Review.)
When she is not busy with Bellman equations in Littauer basement or amusing side projects (the scope of this blog), she can be found tasting wine and/or diving (falling slowly) for frisbees.
Alex was recently awarded a prestigious $15 grant for her work predicting Angus Deaton’s 2015 Nobel win (from a fellow economics enthusiast, who humors her enough to respond to her article criticisms with his own feedback):
In addition to this Venmo grant, Alex is also very proud of the fact that (using an admittedly flexible definition of authorship) her Erdös Number is 6:
- She coauthored with Bob Mankoff. [Which U.S. State Performs Best in the New Yorker Caption Contest?] (Sure, this wasn’t a rigorous mathematical paper, but, hey, it involved numbers!)
- Bob Mankoff coauthored with Rahul Jha. [Humor in Collective Discourse: Unsupervised Funniness Detection in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.]
- Rahul Jha coauthored with Ruth Gregory. [Astrophysical black holes in screened modified gravity.]
- Ruth Gregory coauthored with Graham R. Brightwell. [Structure of random discrete spacetime.]
- Graham R. Brightwell coauthored with Alexandr V. Kostochka. [The dimension of suborders of the Boolean lattice.]
- Alexandr V. Kostochka coauthored with Paul Erdös. [Small transversals in uniform hypergraphs.]