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About Dr. Zhao

I am currently the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. I am interested in how the population composition of contexts, such as levels of diversity or inequality, shapes the ties and intergroup relations that underlie social cohesion. I am also interested in using networks to analyze the interpersonal relations that in turn influence behaviors and attitudes. My work spans many kinds of contexts (e.g., classrooms, workplaces, neighborhoods, and quasi-experimental populations). I am usually driven by a theoretically-motivated empirical research question that I then investigate using cutting-edge quantitative methods. My current research projects analyze social cohesion in local communities, interethnic and native-immigrant dynamics in classroom friendships, and officer racial homophily in police collaboration networks. I also teach courses on applied statistics, academic writing, and social network analysis.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, I was a Frank H.T. Rhodes Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cornell Population Center. I received a PhD in Sociology and MA in Statistics from Harvard, and a BA in Economics from Princeton.

Academic Communities

Here are some of the workshops, seminars, centers, and academic communities that I am either currently or formerly affiliated with: being a part of interdisciplinary communities like these helps to support, inspire, and improve my research.

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