Tyler Simko
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Hi! I'm Tyler.

I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University and a Research Fellow at Harvard University's Program on Education Policy and Governance. I am an affiliate at the Center for American Political Studies and a member of the Algorithm-Assisted Redistricting Methodology (ALARM) Project.

I am also a Data Scientist at the Office of Evaluation Sciences, where I work in an interdisciplinary team that conducts policy evaluations of US federal, state, and local programs to help government partners build and use evidence in crafting public policy. Our work is available here. In this role, I regularly design causal evaluations of government programs using methods like field experiments and quasi-experimental designs.

My research focuses on measuring and improving equity in American state and local public policy-making. First, I specialize in the creation and evaluation of large-scale datasets about subnational politics. For example, I co-created LocalView — the largest video and text database of local government meetings in the United States — with Soubhik Barari. In another series of papers, my co-authors and I evaluate how changes to the design of the US Census could influence research and policy decisions (e.g. 2023a, 2023b , 2021). Second, I use methodological tools from causal inference, algorithmic simulations, and machine learning to evaluate inequality and how it can be reduced. For example, my co-authors and I at the ALARM Project evaluate partisan gerrymandering across the United States using simulated district maps that incorporate locally relevant legal constraints. I regularly partner with federal, state, and local policy-makers to improve program design and reduce administrative burdens. My job market paper focuses on policy solutions to US school segregation.

I regularly teach in data science and American politics at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels. For example, I created my own course on US Local Policymaking in Spring 2022 for Harvard undergraduates, re-designed the summer data science training for MPA/ID students at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2022, and created an Introduction to Data Science (in R) in Summer 2021 for high school students in New Jersey.

Before graduate school, I served as the President of the South Amboy Board of Education in New Jersey. I was elected to two terms on the board and served on every committee, including Education & Curriculum, Budget & Finance, and Personnel.

I received a B.A. in Politics and a Certificate in Statistics & Machine Learning from Princeton University.

If you have any questions / comments, here is my e-mail: tsimko@g.harvard.edu.