Associate Professor of Political Science

University at Albany, SUNY

Matt’s research examines institutional change in Latin America and the Caribbean — primarily in the justice and security sectors — as well as violence and insecurity across the Americas. Matt’s teachingincludes related courses on Justice Reform in Latin America, Comparative Criminal Procedure, and Introduction to Public Law, as well as research methods at undergraduate and graduate levels, including advanced methods courses in spatial analysis and network analysis. In his methods teaching, Matt emphasizes the normative and practical importance of free, open-source tools, including R, Python, and LaTeX. He teaches a core graduate course in Stata due to coordination with other core courses, so he is comfortable moving back and forth between R and Stata and conveys to students the value of being able to work in different software environments for the sake of working with different collaborators and reaching varied audiences.

Prior to joining UAlbany in 2012, Matt was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego (2009-2010), an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (2010-2011), and a postdoctoral fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame (2011-2012). He holds a Ph.D. in political science and a law degree (J.D.), both from the University of New Mexico, and a B.A. from Pomona College.

AS A TIER FELLOW... Matt ran a series of workshops on computing tools for workflow and research transparency for graduate students and faculty. There was a total of eight workshops spread out over four days across the fall semester, covering Python, R, Stata, LaTeX, and integration tools like MarkDoc, knitr, Sweave, and the Jupyter notebook environment. These workshops covered a total of 12 hours (3 hours on each of 4 days).

Matt was elected chair of a university-wide Open Access working group that is charged with designing an open access policy for the the University at Albany and strengthening its digital repository.

In his RPOS 527, Quantitative Methods graduate level-course in applied statistics, Matt emphasized the TIER principles and protocol, and put these principles into practice using command files that required students to set their environment, set a working directory, use relative file paths, and ensure that all of their work -- including weekly homework assignments and a replication exercise -- ran both on their own machines as well as his own.

Matt helped organize an event on research transparency featuring Project TIER that will take place at the University at Albany in Fall 2019.

Matt agreed to write a chapter for a new edited volume entitled Teaching Research Methods in Political Science (ed. Jeffrey Bernstein; Edward Elgar Publishing) on teaching research methods. Matt's chapter will focus on integrating research transparency in methods courses, and will include Project TIER principles and the TIER protocol specifically.

Matt has also been working on an article-length manuscript with two students on lessons learned from teaching workflow and research transparency with Stata and MarkDoc, R and Sweave, and Python in the Jupyter environment.