Winter School in Empirical Research Methods


Learn more about the instructors who will be teaching during the Winter School in Empirical Research Methods.

Tim McDaniel 

Tim McDaniel is a tenured faculty member at Buena Vista University, a four-year college in the USA, with a joint appointment in the School of Business and the School of Science & Mathematics. He has taught courses in introductory and advanced statistical analysis, given presentations on pedagogy and on research methodology, and served as a consultant on a variety of academic and private sector projects.

He has been selected by professional colleagues and by students as the recipient of multiple teaching awards.

Brett Lantz 

Brett Lantz is a data scientist at the University of Michigan and the author of Machine Learning with R, a best-selling textbook praised for its beginner-friendly practical approach to the topic.

After studying sociology and machine learning at the University of Michigan (B.S.) and University of Notre Dame (M.A.), Brett has spent more than 10 years using innovative data methods to understand human behavior. First captivated by machine learning while studying a large database of teenagers’ social network profiles, Brett has since worked on interdisciplinary studies of cellular telephone calls, medical billing data, and philanthropic activity, among others.

Christopher Zorn 

Christopher Zorn is the Liberal Arts Research Professor of Political Science, Professor of Sociology and Crime, Law, and Justice (by courtesy), and Affiliate Professor of Law at Pennsylvania State University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State University (1997) and a B.A. in political science and philosophy from Truman State University (1991).

His research focuses on judicial politics and on statistics for the social and behavioral sciences. His work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Political Analysis, and numerous other journals. Professor Zorn is also the recipient of eight grants from the NSF, as well as numerous other fellowships and awards.

Paul Mihas 

Paul Mihas is the Assistant Director of Education and Qualitative Analysis at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC in the United States. In addition to planning the short course program at the Odum Institute, he also teaches campus-wide short courses on qualitative methods and software.

He is the former managing editor of Social Forces, a journal of sociology published at the University of North Carolina Press. He has lectured on qualitative methods at various universities and at the annual ResearchTalk Qualitative Research Summer Intensive since 2005. His interests include memo writing as a stand-alone method; his qualitative research focuses on cancer survivors and metaphors for illness and the body. Paul Mihas received an M.A. (1989) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Amanda Montoya 

Amanda K. Montoya is a PhD Candidate in Quantitative Psychology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Her primary adviser is Dr. Andrew F. Hayes, inventor of the PROCESS macro for SPSS and SAS.

Amanda’s research focuses on improving the ability of psychology researchers to answer their questions of interest using sound statistical methods and by developing easy to use tools to encourage researchers to use the most advanced methods available. She has focused her research on mediation, moderation, conditional process models, particularly in repeated-measures designs.

Amanda is also interested in improving our ability to conduct meta-science by developing statistical methods in meta-analysis, and understanding the impact of research practices on our ability to create replicable science. Her work can be found in journals such as Psychological Methods, Psychological Bulletin, Public Health Reports, the Journal of Experimental Psychology, at many others.

Amanda develops tools for researchers to implement complex analytical procedures, such as MEMORE (Mediation and Moderation for Repeated Measures Designs) and OGRS (Omnibus Groups Regions of Significance). Amanda has taught workshops on mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis at a variety of conferences such as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Southeastern Psychological Association as well as many universities including the University of Washington and University of San Francisco. Amanda’s research, teaching, and consulting services can be found online at

Mark Daku 

Mark Daku (Ph.D., McGill University 2015) is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University, where he teaches courses on Data Science, Political Methodology, and African Politics; he is also the sole instructor for the intensive Policy and Data Science (PODS) summer program at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.

Dr. Daku is the programmer of Lexicoder, a free tool for the analysis of large amounts of text data, and he is an active Monitoring & Evaluation consultant, who provides support for research design, methodology, and data analysis. His research interests are varied, but tend towards health and social outcomes in the Global South, political methodology, and research ethics. His work has appeared in Communication Research, the International Journal of Economic Law, Social Science & Medicine, BMC Medical Ethics, and others.

Tenko Raykov 

Tenko Raykov is Professor of Quantitative Methods at Michigan State University, Michigan, USA. His expertise areas include latent variable modeling, structural equation modeling, multivariate statistics, multilevel modeling, longitudinal data analysis, latent class (finite mixture) analysis, scale construction and development, psychometric theories, item response modeling, missing data analysis, survival (event history) analysis. He is on the Editorial Boards of several leading quantitative journals in the behavioral and social sciences field.

Professor Raykov has authored five textbooks in applied statistics and psychometrics/behavioral and social measurement (with Professor George A. Marcoulides, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA).