Benjamin Soltoff bio photo

Benjamin Soltoff

Father, husband, political scientist, data nerd

Email Twitter Github


As a teacher, I believe my primary mission is to prepare students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives. Our society depends on educated individuals capable of participating in all aspects of our society. The explosive growth in digital data and its increasing use throughout government, academia, business, and non-profits require skilled practicioners who can perform the major components of data science: computer programming, data wrangling, exploratory analysis, data visualization, advanced analytical approaches, etc. However these skills must also be paired with a rigorous education in the funamental approaches of computational social science, such as research design, theory-building, and adhering to ethical standards of practice. All of my course objectives support these approaches approach by developing both practical programming and analytical skills, as well as training students to approach their research questions as scientists. I recognize that teaching is a skill which is best honed by training, research, and application, and continually seek to improve my skills as an educator.

Teaching Experience

Computational Social Science

  • MACS 30000: Perspectives on Computational Analysis, with Rick Evans (Autumn 2016)
  • MACS 30100: Perspectives on Computational Modeling, with Rick Evans (Winter 2017)
  • MACS 30200: Perspectives on Advanced Computational Topics, with Rick Evans (Spring 2017)
  • MACS 30500: Computing for the Social Sciences (Autumn 2016; Winter 2017)
  • MACS 40700: Data Visualization (Spring 2017)
  • PL SC 309: Quantitative Political Analysis (Spring 2015)

American Politics

Graduate Methods Preceptor

  • PL SC 502: Statistical Methods for Political Research, with Luke Keele (Fall 2012)
  • PL SC 503: Multivariate Analysis for Political Research, with Professor Christopher Zorn (Spring 2013)
  • PL SC 597G: Advanced Topics in Political Methodology, with Christopher Zorn (Fall 2012)

Teaching Assistant

  • PL SC 001: Introduction to American Government, with Michael Berkman (Spring 2012)
  • PL SC 001: Introduction to American Government, with Zachary Baumann (Fall 2011)