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Matthew Denny

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. M.Sc. Resource Economics, UMass Amherst, 2013 (Applied Econometrics)
  2. M.A. Political Science, UMass Amherst, 2015
  3. M.A. Political Science, Penn State, 2017


I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science and Social Data Analytics at Penn State and an NSF Big Data Social Science IGERT fellow. I am advised by Bruce Desmarais. My research and teaching interests primarily center on statistical methods for analyzing text and network data, with applications to the study of American political institutions and a particular focus on Congress and the bureaucracy. From 2013--2015, I was  a statistical methods consultant for the Institute for Social Science Research at UMass Amherst, while completing Master's degrees in Applied Econometrics and Political Science.


My dissertation project, The Role of Bureaucratic Discretion in Congressional Politics, examines the provision of bureaucratic discretion as a policy tool in Congress. I begin by deriving theoretical expectations regarding how partisanship shapes the use of statutory constraint and delegation of authority to the bureaucracy. I then test these expectations by developing new methods for analyzing legislative texts.

Research Interests:

Political Methodology, Congress, Bureaucracy, Text As Data, Networks, Machine Learning