Alexander M. Tahk

Contact Information

Department of Political Science
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1050 Bascom Mall, 212 North Hall
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
T (608) 263-2297
F (608) 265-2663

Academic Positions

University of Wisconsin–Madison
Madison, Wisconsin


Stanford University
Palo Alto, California
Stanford University
Palo Alto, California
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Professional Experience

Ellington Management Group
Old Greenwich, Connecticut


Refereed journal articles

“mHealth and Social Mediation: Mobile Support Among Stigmatized People Living with HIV and Substance Use Disorder” [with Ellie Fan Yang, Dhavan V Shah, Sarah Dietz, Klaren Pe-Romashko, Erika Bailey, Rachel E Gicquelais, Juwon Hwang, David H Gustafson, and Ryan Westergaard]. 2023. New Media & Society 25 (4): 702–731.

“Effect of an eHealth Intervention on Older Adults’ Quality of Life and Health-related Outcomes: A Randomized Clinical Trial” [with David H. Gustafson, Rachel Kornfield, Marie-Louise Mares, Darcie C. Johnston, Olivia J. Cody, Ellie Fan Yang, Juwon Hwang, Jane E. Mahoney, John J. Curtin, and Dhavan V. Shah]. 2022. Journal of General Internal Medicine 37 (3): 521–530.

“Moderation of Classic Social Psychological Effects by Demographics in the U.S. Adult Population: New Opportunities for Theoretical Advancement” [with David S. Yeager, Jon A. Krosnick, Penny S. Visser, and Allyson L. Holbrook]. 2019. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 117 (6): e84–e99.

“Nonparametric Ideal-Point Estimation and Inference.” 2018. Political Analysis 26 (2): 131–146.

“A Continuous-Time, Latent-Variable Model of Time-Series Data.” 2015. Political Analysis 23 (2): 278–298.

“Nominating Commissions, Judicial Retention, and Forward-Looking Behavior on State Supreme Courts: An Empirical Examination of Selection and Retention Methods” [with Ryan J. Owens, Patrick C. Wohlfarth, and Amanda C. Bryan]. 2015. State Politics & Policy Quarterly 15 (2): 211–238.

“Prevalence and Moderators of the Candidate Name-Order Effect: Evidence from All Statewide General Elections in California” [with Josh Pasek, Daniel Schneider, Jon A. Krosnick, Eyal Ophir, and Claire Milligan]. 2014. Public Opinion Quarterly 78 (2): 416–439.

“What Can We Learn About the Ideology of the Newest Supreme Court Justices?” [with Stephen Jessee]. 2011. PS: Political Science and Politics 44 (3): 524–529.

“Specification Issues in Assessing the Moderating Role of Issue Importance: A Comment on Grynaviski and Corrigan (2006)” [with Neil Malhotra]. 2011. Political Analysis 19 (3): 342–350.

“Determinants of Turnout and Candidate Choice in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election: Illuminating the Impact of Racial Prejudice and Other Considerations” [with Josh Pasek, Yphtach Lelkes, Jon A. Krosnick, Keith Payne, Omair Akhtar, and Trevor Tompson]. 2009. Public Opinion Quarterly 73 (5): 943–994.

“Institutions and Equilibrium in the United States Supreme Court” [with Robert Anderson]. 2007. American Political Science Review 101 (4): 811–825.

“Reconsidering the Impact of Behavior Prediction Questions on Illegal Drug Use: The Importance of Using Proper Analytical Methods” [with Daniel Schneider and Jon A. Krosnick]. 2007. Social Influence 2 (3): 178–196.

Book chapters

“The Impact of Policy Change Threat on Financial Contributions to Interest Groups” [with Joanne M. Miller, Jon A. Krosnick, Allyson Holbrook, and Laura Dionne]. 2016. In Political Psychology: New Explorations, ed. Jon A. Krosnick, I-Chant A. Chiang, and Tobias H. Stark. New York: Psychology Press.

Research in progress

Working papers

“Taking the Action Space Seriously: A Dirichlet-Process Ideal-Point Model.”

“Properties of Ideal-Point Estimators.”

“What Roll-Call Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ideology.”

“Tax-Embedded Programs and the Politics of Public Policy” [with Susannah Tahk].

“Do the News Media Shape How Americans Think About Politics? New Statistical Procedures Cast New Light on an Old Hypothesis” [with Jon A. Krosnick, Dean Lacy, and Laura Dionne].

“Lower Court (Non)Compliance With Supreme Court Jurisprudential Regimes” [with Christopher Krewson and Ryan J. Owens].

“Are Policy Makers Out of Step with Their Constituency When It Comes to Immigration?” [with Margaret Peters].

“Evolution of Public Discourse” [with Jennifer Brookhart].

“Nonparametric Estimation of Ideal Points using Locally Linear Embedding.”

“Examining the Quality of Supreme Court Opinions” [with Ryan J. Owens].

“Using ‘Words as Data’ to Estimate Supreme Court Nominees’ Ideology” [with Ryan Owens and Justin Wedeking].

“Categorizing Judicial Opinions using Citation Data.”

“The Optimal Length of Rating Scales to Maximize Reliability and Validity” [with Jon A. Krosnick].

Other Research


npideal: Nonparametric Ideal-Point Estimation and Inference.

bucky: Bucky’s Archive for Data Analysis in the Social Sciences.

CARMAgeddon: MONOCAR and Other CARMA Models.

pscl: Political Science Computational Laboratory [created by Simon Jackman].


Supreme Court Ideology Project [with Stephen Jessee].


Ph.D. Dissertation Committee Chair – Department of Political Science

Sarah Bouchat (Ph.D. 2017)

Blake Reynolds (ABD)

Ph.D. Dissertation Committee Member – Department of Political Science

Marc Ratkovic (Ph.D. 2011)

Nick Judge (Ph.D. 2013)

Pär Jason Engle (Ph.D. 2015)

Kyle Marquardt (Ph.D. 2015)

James Sieja (Ph.D. 2015)

Ruoxi Li (Ph.D. 2015)

Brad Jones (Ph.D. 2016)

Steven Wilson (Ph.D. 2016)

Jennifer Brookhart (Ph.D. 2016)

Chris Krewson (Ph.D. 2018)

Zachary Barnett-Howell (Ph.D. 2018)

Michael DeCrescenzo (Ph.D. 2020)

Evan Morier (Ph.D. 2021)

Devin Judge-Lord (Ph.D. 2021)

Marcy Shieh (Ph.D. 2023)

Kyler Hudson (Ph.D. 2023)

Alex Alduncin (ABD)

Ph.D. Dissertation Committee Member – Department of Statistics

John Davis (Ph.D. 2016)

Mike Wurm (Ph.D. 2017)


University of Wisconsin–Madison

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Conference Participation and Invited Talks

Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology

Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association

Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association

Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association

Annual Meeting of the European Political Science Association

Annual Meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research

Latent Variable Modeling Week, V–Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg, 2016.

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Statistics, 2015.

Conference on Ideal-Point Models, 2016.

Political Methodology Research Seminar, Princeton University, 2013.

United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 2009.

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Political Science, 2009.

Professional Service

Program Committee, 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology.

Host and Program Committees, 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology.

Co-organizer, Conference on Ideal-Point Models.

Committee, Statistical Software Award, Society for Political Methodology.

Grant reviewer: National Science Foundation

Manuscript referee: American Journal of Political Science; American Political Science Review; American Politics Research; British Journal of Political Science; Comparative Political Studies; International Journal of Public Opinion Research; Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization; Journal of Politics; Journal of the American Statistical Association; Legislative Studies Quarterly; Public Choice; Public Opinion Quarterly; Quarterly Journal of Political Science; Political Analysis; Statistics and Public Policy; Springer; Routledge

University Service

Director, Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership.

Field chair, Political methodology.

Coordinator, American Politics Workshop.

Coordinator, Models and Data reading group.

Member, Advisory Board, Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy.

Member, Fall research committee.

Member, Graduate program committee.

Member, Preliminary examination appeals committee.

Member, Joel Dean Reading Room committee.

Member, Computer services committee.

Member, Publicity and website committee.