Isaac D. Mehlhaff


Postdoctoral Scholar

Data Science Institute

The University of Chicago

Welcome! I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Data Science Institute at The University of Chicago, where I am also affiliated with the Department of Political Science. Beginning in fall 2024, I will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University.

My research is driven by substantive questions in public opinion and political psychology: How and why do citizens change their attitudes on political issues? How do these attitude changes drive mass polarization? How is polarization causally related to other features of government and society? As a computational social scientist, I answer these questions by using and developing rigorous methods in natural language processing, Bayesian statistics, and causal inference, with a particular focus on high-quality measurement.

I received my PhD in 2023 from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in the social sciences. I also hold an MA from UNC-Chapel Hill and a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and American Political Science Association, among others, and published in venues such as the American Political Science Review and American Journal of Political Science.