Features

Mating Market Trumps Biology in Relationships

Mating Market Trumps Biology in Relationships

By Jeffrey Day - The popularly held sexual stereotype concludes that men want as many partners as possible, and women want stability and commitment. But what men and women want from relationships also depends heavily on the supply of potential partners, according to a University of California, Davis, study.

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Doublets Network Analysis Reveals the Complexity of the English Language

Doublets Network Analysis Reveals the Complexity of the English Language

By Alex Russell - Patrick Farrell, a professor of linguistics, recently wrapped up a joint project with statistics professor Fushing Hsieh that used a language game from the 1870s to build a visual representation of the English language as a network.

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GPS Tracking Shows Differences Between Human and Primate Societies

GPS Tracking Shows Differences Between Human and Primate Societies

By Alex Russell - Compared to other animals, humans have highly stratified societies. Birds, fish and other animals have this, too—as do other primates—but it’s not as pronounced as it is with humans. UC Davis anthropologist Margaret Crofoot, a member of the ISS Executive Committee, is working to understand what primate societies can tell us about humans and also the changing global environment.

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Turning Big Data into Big Knowledge

Turning Big Data into Big Knowledge

By Alex Russell - The major challenge of big data for social scientists today is in figuring out how to turn this wealth of information into knowledge, according to Martin Hilbert, an assistant professor of communication at UC Davis. Hilbert studies information technology, big data and what it means for human societies.

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Red-baiting and the Birth of Modern Conservatism

Red-baiting and the Birth of Modern Conservatism

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Did Herbert Hoover's hostile response to the unionization efforts of farmers in New Deal-era California sow the seeds of today's ultra-conservative politics? That's the question Kathryn Olmsted, Chair of the Department of History at UC Davis, seeks to answer in her new book.

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Looking for Utopia: Smriti Srinivas

Looking for Utopia: Smriti Srinivas

By Tory Brykalski - Anthropologist Smriti Srinivas is searching for alternative futures—in the present. With today's urban spaces facing problems of waste, pollution, and uncontrolled growth, how, she asks, can we lay the foundations for humane and livable cities of tomorrow?

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Migrations of the Mind: David Kyle

Migrations of the Mind: David Kyle

By Loren Michael Mortimer - What does it take to leave one’s homeland in search of an uncertain future? Why do entire communities migrate to faraway lands in ways not explained by rational self-interest? Such questions have long intrigued David Kyle, associate professor of sociology and founding member of the Temporary Migration research cluster at UC Davis. In a recent paper, he offers some potential answers.

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Ruling the Russian Frontier: Ian Campbell's Knowledge and the Ends of Empire

Ruling the Russian Frontier: Ian Campbell's Knowledge and the Ends of Empire

By Rebecca Egli - In his first book, Assistant Professor of History Ian Campbell examines how imperial Russian bureaucrats and local Kazak intermediaries worked together to produce knowledge about the strategically important but isolated Kazak steppe in the nineteenth century. Campbell’s work highlights the fundamental weakness of the Russian Empire on its borderlands, and the limits of what it could know and do.

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Confronting "Crimmigration": Caitlin Patler

Confronting "Crimmigration": Caitlin Patler

By Phyllis Jeffrey - Caitlin Patler’s passion for immigration research was sparked by a very particular time and place. Bringing together approaches from sociology of law, race and ethnicity, as well as literature on immigration, she channels her experiences of 1990s California into work with wide-reaching resonances.

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Extraordinary Responsibility: Shalini Satkunanandan

Extraordinary Responsibility: Shalini Satkunanandan

By Phyllis Jeffrey - Does “being responsible” simply mean fulfilling our duties, or paying what we owe? In her first book, Assistant Professor of Political Science Shalini Satkunanandan explores the history of calculative thinking in ethics and politics—a history with profound implications.

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The Future of Climate Change: John R. Hall

The Future of Climate Change: John R. Hall

By Phyllis Jeffrey - With new physical evidence appearing every day, why does climate change remain a subject of contention, confusion—even flat-out denialism? Approaching climate change through collective orientations toward time and imaginings of the future, Research Professor of Sociology John R. Hall seeks to shed light on the sociological side of the climate change conundrum.

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Migration and Morality: Jeffrey S. Kahn

Migration and Morality: Jeffrey S. Kahn

By Tanzeen R. Doha – Jeffrey S. Kahn is an assistant professor of anthropology at UC Davis and a legal scholar interested in migration, mobility, and border policing. His research focuses on Haiti, the Guantánamo Naval Base, the United States, and the Republic of Bénin. Here, Kahn, who earned his PhD at the University of Chicago and his JD at Yale Law School, and who served as an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, talks to ISS about how he is shaping these interests into two forthcoming books.

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The Economics of Assimilation: Katherine Eriksson

The Economics of Assimilation: Katherine Eriksson

By Tanzeen R. Doha – Economics, migration, and labor markets: the relationship between these three fields fascinates Katherine Eriksson, assistant professor of economics. Specializing in economic history, Eriksson places particular emphasis on the early 20th century in the United States. In a recent co-authored paper, she explores how the cultural practice of naming children can affect their future placement within the labor market.

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Gender and Colonialism: Corrie Decker

Gender and Colonialism: Corrie Decker

By Griselda Jarquin – In colonial East Africa, young women faced intense scrutiny in their personal and professional lives. Today, in a series of connected projects, Associate Professor of History Corrie Decker investigates how those lives played out in Zanzibar, Kenya, and beyond.

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Intergenerational Economics: Marianne Page

Intergenerational Economics: Marianne Page

By Griselda Jarquin – How do we end the cycle of poverty in the United States? How can children’s health and nutrition services reduce destitution among minors? What are the long-term benefits of safety net programs? On the eve of her Bacon Public Lectureship at UC Center Sacramento, Professor of Economics Marianne Page explains.

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Manipulating Memory: Brian Wiltgen

Manipulating Memory: Brian Wiltgen

By Andrew McCullough - How does memory work? How do neurons in the brain allow us to remember past experiences? Understanding how the brain encodes and retrieves memories fascinates Brian Wiltgen, associate professor of psychology. Wiltgen and his colleagues use cutting-edge tools and techniques to understand how the brain remembers.

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Cyber Support: Bo Feng

Cyber Support: Bo Feng

By Miguel A. Novoa Cipriani – How do people respond to advice? How do their responses vary when that advice comes from cyberspace? Associate Professor of Communication Bo Feng explores what factors improve the effectiveness of supportive cyber-messaging.

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Interacting with Intent: Nicholas A. Palomares

Interacting with Intent: Nicholas A. Palomares

By Andrew McCullough - Every social interaction is shaped by goals—our own, and those of the other people involved. As we interact, we draw inferences about the goals of others, both consciously and unconsciously. Nicholas A. Palomares, associate professor of communication, studies these inferences, including the extent to which they can influence a given goal’s “outcome success.”

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Recognizing Reconstruction: Gregory Downs

Recognizing Reconstruction: Gregory Downs

By Michael Haggerty – On January 12, 2017, President Barack Obama officially designated the first national monument recognizing the Reconstruction Era. Gregory Downs, associate professor of history at UC Davis, played an integral part in the development of that monument. Here, he explains how he came to be involved, and why he believes the project is so important.

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Sounds, Statistics, and Software: Santiago Barreda

Sounds, Statistics, and Software: Santiago Barreda

By Alan Wong – Phonologists, psycholinguists, syntacticians: there’s more than one type of linguist. Santiago Barreda is best categorized as a phonetician, but his broader contributions to computational and quantitative methodologies give his work an interdisciplinary dimension.

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Monitoring Militarization: Erin Hamilton

Monitoring Militarization: Erin Hamilton

By Michael Haggerty – At a time when the issue of immigration is more fiercely debated than ever, how does border militarization affect migrant families? In a recent paper, Associate Professor of Sociology Erin Hamilton seeks to find out.

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Processing Language: Kenji Sagae

Processing Language: Kenji Sagae

By Alan Wong - For decades, linguists, philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists and more have explored how language "works". Today, computational linguists like Kenji Sagae are using cutting-edge techniques to ask fundamental questions about the nature of language.

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Analyzing Arms: Brandon Kinne

Analyzing Arms: Brandon Kinne

By Griselda Jarquin and Ben Hinshaw – In the fight against domestic terrorism and other non-traditional threats, the efficacy of traditional weapons is limited. But since the end of the Cold War, global arms trading has increased. In a recent paper, Assistant Professor of Political Science Brandon Kinne traces that increase in part to a surge in bilateral defense treaties called "weapons cooperation agreements."

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Hidden Histories: Susan Gilson Miller

Hidden Histories: Susan Gilson Miller

By Miguel A. Novoa Cipriani – Professor of History Susan Gilson Miller explores the margins of history. The gaps she finds in our knowledge of the past resonate with the questions and needs of people in the present.

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Scrutinizing Crime: Chris Smith

Scrutinizing Crime: Chris Smith

By M. Rossi - Assistant Professor of Sociology Chris Smith researches crime and inequality, criminal relationships, and criminal organizations. She is also deeply committed to supporting and mentoring students—especially those typically underrepresented in academia.

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Economics, Past and Present: Christopher M. Meissner

Economics, Past and Present: Christopher M. Meissner

By Miguel A. Novoa Cipriani – What can financial crises reveal about institutional stability? How can history help us to weather future recessions? Professor of Economics Christopher M. Meissner examines the rise of political radicalism, applying lessons from economic history.

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Pondering Perception: Zoe Drayson

Pondering Perception: Zoe Drayson

By Maya Weeks - Assistant Professor of Philosophy Zoe Drayson adopts an interdisciplinary, naturalist approach at the intersection of philosophy and the mind sciences.

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Possible Personalities: Wiebke Bleidorn

Possible Personalities: Wiebke Bleidorn

By Maya Weeks - How do different environments change the way we act, think, and feel? What lasting impacts do experiences have on our behavior and mindset? Associate Professor of Psychology Wiebke Bleidorn studies the relationships between genes and their environments, environmental influences on personalities, and personality-trait change in relation to life events.

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Getting to Grips with Groups: Cristina Moya

Getting to Grips with Groups: Cristina Moya

By Ashley Serpa – Why do humans form social groups? What do group boundaries mean? Assistant Professor of Anthropology Cristina Moya examines the symbolic and linguistic markers humans use to determine group boundaries, and investigates why they encourage certain behaviors.

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Translating Data into Knowledge: The Data Science Initiative

Translating Data into Knowledge: The Data Science Initiative

By Ashley Serpa – Mining, organizing, interpreting, and analyzing data presents challenges for researchers of every stripe. Interdisciplinary and multifaceted, the UC Davis Data Science Initiative (DSI) is here to help.

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