Preceptor in Computational Social Science

1155 East 60th Street, Room 215A
(773) 834-6207

Sanja is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. She is a graduate of Li Po Chun United World College, holds a BA, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College, has received her MA at the University of Chicago, and was a Graduate Fellow at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. Sanja has received interdisciplinary training spanning anthropology, sociology and psychology, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. She is interested in the production of knowledge about social problems and, more broadly, in both the micro and the macro-level process through which we define and seek to impact the world around us.

In her doctoral research, Sanja focuses on suicide-related research and activism. She explores these through a mixed-methods approach that includes ethnography and interviews, archival research, as well as computational analysis of texts and science article publication data. First, she asks how ‘suicide’ has developed as a concept throughout history and how it is mobilized today by different stakeholder groups. Second, by looking at patterns of publication of and citation in articles on suicide, she argues that despite continuous efforts to make it so, suicide research is not truly ‘interdisciplinary’ and in fact faces significant obstacles in crossing distinct fields of inquiry. She then builds on this analysis by drawing on her interview day as well as network analysis of co-authorship, arguing that discipline-specific paths of professionalization as well inevitably produce the dominance of psy-sciences in study of suicide, as well as the tension between different kinds of experts. Finally, she analyzes narratives of suicide attempt survivors collected through three different existing projects to compare and contrast ‘scientific’ and ‘lay’ knowledge production.

As a result of her dissertation work, as well as her work as a project manager in her advisor’s lab and the courses she has taken in the MACSS program, Sanja has developed familiarity with a variety of methods and datasets that could be of use to students. In the realm of health, she has in-depth knowledge of a variety of mental health and well-being measures, and has experience working with CDC mortality data (aggregate and individual level), as well as Add Health and NSHAP datasets. In the realm of knowledge production, she has worked with both Scopus and Web of Science publication data, as well as the Google Ngram datasets. Sanja has experience with network analysis, web scraping, text analysis, analysis of publications, and a variety of modeling strategies. She works predominantly in R and strongly supports sharing of data, publications and open-source software.

Finally, with over four years of participation in the Social Science Core sequence as an intern and an instructor, Sanja has developed a strong passion for clear writing, productive use of theory, as well as advising and mentoring. She is familiar with a variety of resources both on-campus and on-line that can help students improve the scientific rigor of the work and the quality of their writing, and enjoys working with students to help them achieve their goals in these areas.

You can find out more about Sanja on her website.