Understanding complex social problems is easier when data scientists, social scientists, humanists, and other difference makers can be assembled around the same table. It also means drawing from diverse methods, theories, and perspectives.
At the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, we’re building an innovative community of scholars who not only pursue collaborative text analytics research using our data, software, and expertise, but are deeply invested in promoting societal well-being. The Cline Center affiliates network includes faculty, students, and staff from six colleges at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and from collaborating institutions spread across five continents.
The Cline Center is a collaborative enterprise that draws faculty, staff, students, and difference-makers from the public and private sectors into interdisciplinary research projects that address real-world problems. Core staff and faculty members working in our Research Park location manage day-to-day operations involving faculty fellows, graduate fellows, research assistants, interns, and analysts. We also support collaborative projects through our network of faculty and research affiliates spanning the Urbana-Champaign campus as well as other institutions across the globe.
Here’s who is making a difference with the Cline Center.
Director Scott Althaus joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1996 with a joint appointment in the departments of Political Science and Communication. He is currently the Charles J. and Ethel S. Merriam Professor of Political Science and Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois. He is also a faculty affiliate of the School of Information Sciences, the National Center for Supercomputer Applications, the Illinois Informatics Institute, and the Institute for Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor Althaus's research and teaching interests explore the communication processes that support political accountability in democratic societies and that empower political discontent in non-democratic societies. His interests focus on four areas of inquiry: (1) how journalists construct news coverage about public affairs, (2) how leaders attempt to shape news coverage for political advantage, (3) how citizens use news coverage for making sense of public affairs, and (4) how the opinions of citizens are communicated to leaders through collective preferences, such as the results of opinion polls, and through collective behaviors, such as civil unrest. He has particular interests in popular support for war, data science methods for extreme-scale analysis of news coverage, cross-national comparative research on political communication, the psychology of information processing, and communication concepts in democratic theory. Professor Althaus serves on the editorial boards of Critical Review, Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Political Communication, and Public Opinion Quarterly. His research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, Communication Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Communication. His book on the political uses of opinion surveys in democratic societies, Collective Preferences in Democratic Politics: Opinion Surveys and the Will of the People (Cambridge University Press, 2003) , was awarded a 2004 Goldsmith Book Prize by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, and a 2004 David Easton Book Prize by the Foundations of Political Theory section of the American Political Science Association. He was named 2014-15 Faculty Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC, a 2004-5 Beckman Associate by the UIUC Center for Advanced Studies, and a 2003-4 Helen Corley Petit Scholar by the UIUC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was honored with a Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIUC, and his undergraduate and graduate courses regularly appear on the university's "List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.
Jay Jennings is a research scientist at the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research and a research fellow at the Center for Media Engagement at University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University in 2015. He studies the media’s role in motivating, discouraging, and informing engagement with the political process. Jay’s work draws on the fields of political communication, public opinion, and political psychology to help us understand the ways the media influences political participation. His research has been published in academic journals such as Political Communication, Public Administration Review, Urban Affairs Review, and Journal of Information Technology & Politics and has been highlighted in such outlets as the Washington Post, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Nieman Journalism Lab, and City Lab.