Alexander M. Tahk
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
University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Assistant Professor of Political Science, August 2010–Present
Palo Alto, California
- Ph.D. in Political Science, 2010
- Fields: Methodology, American Politics
- Committee: Simon Jackman (chair), Jon A. Krosnick, John Ferejohn, Kevin Quinn
- Dissertation: “Essays on the statistical analysis of roll-call votes and judicial citations.”
Palo Alto, California
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- S.B. in Mathematics, 2002
- S.B. in Political Science, 2002
- Award for outstanding undergraduate thesis in political science.
Ellington Management Group
Old Greenwich, Connecticut
- Portfolio Management Associate, April 2007–January 2009
- Developed and calibrated new statistical models of subprime mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Programmed model estimation routines in C++ and Python. Analyzed data using R and SQL.
Refereed journal articles
- “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.
- “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
Articles under review
- “Nonparametric Ideal-Point Estimation and Inference” (conditional acceptance at Political Analysis)
- “Lower Court (Non)Compliance With Supreme Court Jurisprudential Regimes” [with Christopher Krewson and Ryan J. Owens] (revise and resubmit at the Journal of Law and Courts)
- “Are Classic Psychological Findings Observed in Representative Samples of American Adults?” [with David Yeager, Jon A. Krosnick, Allyson Holbrook, and Penny Visser] (revise and resubmit at Perspectives on Psychological Science).
- “Taking the Action Space Seriously: A Dirichlet-Process Ideal-Point Model.”
- “Properties of Ideal-Point Estimators.”
- “Evolution of Public Discourse” [with Jennifer Brookhart].
- “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].
- “Nonparametric Estimation of Ideal Points using Locally Linear Embedding.”
- “Examining the Quality of Supreme Court Opinions” [with Ryan J. Owens].
- “Are Policy Makers Out of Step with Their Constituency When It Comes to Immigration?” [with Margaret Peters].
- “Using Nominees’ Words to Determine Their Ideologies” [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].
- Conference on Ideal-Point Models [co-organized with Devin Caughey, Bret Hanlon, Stephen Jessee, Chris Warshaw, and Teppei Yamamoto].
- Supreme Court Ideology Project [with Stephen Jessee].
- CARMAgeddon R package.
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Introduction to Statistics in Political Science
- Multivariate Statistical Inference
- Maximum Likelihood Estimation for the Social Sciences
- Game Theory and Political Analysis
- Bayesian Statistics for Social Science Models
- Introduction to the American Judicial System
- The Judicial Process
- Directed Reading on Bayesian Statistics
- Directed Reading on Advanced Bayesian Statistics
- Directed Reading on Latent Variable Models
- Stanford University
- Math Camp for Political Science (two-week refresher for incoming graduate students)
Ph.D. Dissertation Committees – Department of Political Science
- Marc Ratkovic (Ph.D. 2011)
- Placement: Princeton University
- Nick Judge (Ph.D. 2013)
- Placement: Revolution Analytics
- Pär Jason Engle (Ph.D. 2015)
- Placement: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- Kyle Marquardt (Ph.D. 2015)
- Placement: Research Fellow, V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg
- James Sieja (Ph.D. 2015)
- Placement: St. Lawrence University
- Ruoxi Li (Ph.D. 2015)
- Placement: California State University San Marcos
- Brad Jones (Ph.D. 2016)
- Placement: Research Associate, Pew Research Center
- Steven Wilson (Ph.D. 2016)
- Placement: University of Nevada
- Jennifer Brookhart (Ph.D. 2016)
- Sarah Bouchat (ABD)
- Placement: Northwestern University
- Chris Krewson (ABD)
- Zachary Barnett-Howell (ABD)
- Alex Alduncin (ABD)
Ph.D. Dissertation Committees – Department of Statistics
- John Davis (Ph.D. 2016)
- Placement: Civis Analytics
- Mike Wurm (ABD)
- Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology
- Paper presented: 2016, 2011, 2010.
- Poster presented: 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004.
- Discussant: 2015, 2013.
- Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
- Paper presented: 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008.
- Discussant: 2013, 2012, 2011.
- Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association
- Paper presented: 2015, 2012, 2007, 2006, 2005.
- Discussant: 2011.
- Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association
- Paper presented: 2015, 2014, 2012.
- 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.
- 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
- Coordinator, American Politics Workshop.
- Coordinator, Models and Data reading group.
- Member, Graduate program committee.
- Member, Preliminary examination appeals committee.
- Member, Joel Dean Reading Room committee.
- Member, Computer services committee.
- Member, Publicity and website committee.