Dr. Gaurav SoodThe Massive Data Institute (MDI) at the McCourt School of Public Policy is excited to welcome Dr. Gaurav Sood as its first postdoctoral fellow.

Dr. Sood comes to the MDI from Sanford University, where he received his Ph.D. in Communication. He studies the role Americans’ partisan identities play in shaping how they judge politicians, and people who support the two main parties. In previous work on the topic, he has found that many partisans today hold negative stereotypes about supporters of the main opposing party.

In related research, he explores the role the media plays in increasing partisan rancor. As a first step in the study of the topic, he has used data from Twitter to estimate ideology of news sources. Dr. Sood also studies how motivation, ability, and opportunity affect how much people know about politics, and how various institutional designs can be used to overcome even deep rooted cleavages to encourage learning of opposing arguments.

While at the MDI, Dr. Sood will focus on estimating ideological position of media sources using an alternate method exploiting a novel dataset of more than 7 million news articles and TV news transcripts. Dr. Sood will also be using the data to study market and regulatory changes that affect the supply of various kinds of news.

Dr. Sood holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rutgers University. Before his Ph.D., he worked as a web developer at Harvard University to develop a version of the MOOC, Harvard@Home.