Jennifer Allen and Christopher Barrie to Join CSMaP and NYU Faculty

May 1, 2024  ·   News

At CSMaP, Allen and Barrie will serve as core faculty members leading research projects on urgent topics related to digital media and democracy.

A graphic welcoming Jennifer Allen and Christopher Barrie to CSMaP, with photos of both of them.

NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics (CSMaP) is thrilled to announce that we’ve recruited two new core faculty members — Jennifer Allen and Christopher Barrie — to NYU to join the Center and advance our research agenda.

Allen, a computational social scientist who studies digital persuasion, misinformation, and the wisdom of crowds, will join the NYU Stern School of Business in Fall 2025 as an Assistant Professor of Technology, Operations, and Statistics. She is currently finishing her PhD in Marketing at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Allen will spend the 2024-25 academic year as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Computational Social Science Lab before joining NYU the following year.

Barrie, a political sociologist of conflict, communication, and political attitudes, will join the NYU Department of Sociology in Fall 2024 as an Assistant Professor. He is currently a Lecturer in Computational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, where he founded the Social Data Science Hub. 

As an academic research institute studying the ever-shifting online environment at scale, CSMaP works to strengthen democracy by conducting rigorous research, advancing evidence-based public policy, and training the next generation of scholars. Allen and Barrie will help CSMaP advance this mission, serving as core faculty members leading research projects on urgent topics, including misinformation, political polarization, public opinion and media consumption, artificial intelligence, and more. 

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Jenny and Chris to NYU and CSMaP,” said Joshua A. Tucker, co-director of CSMaP. “In this time of rapid technological change, it’s more important than ever to conduct innovative research and advance evidence-based public policy about digital media and democracy, both in the United States and across the globe. Together, Jenny and Chris will strengthen CSMaP’s expertise and increase our capacity to study critical issues at the intersection of digital media, politics, and policy.”

Allen is expected to finish her PhD in Marketing this spring at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her research uses computational methods and real-world data to study how digital media contributes to societal problems, and how we can design scalable solutions. Combining experiments, crowdsourcing, and natural language processing, Allen’s recent research quantified how Covid-19 vaccine (mis)information on Facebook impacted vaccine refusal in the United States. Previously, Allen worked as a software engineer at Meta on the News and Civic teams, and as a research assistant at Microsoft Research with the Computational Social Science Group.

Barrie received his DPhil in Sociology from the University of Oxford in 2020. He specializes in natural language processing techniques, language models, and the repurposing of digital trace data for social science research. Barrie, an expert on Middle East politics, is particularly interested in advancing the use of social media, news, and communications data to study populations that have traditionally been 'hard-to-reach' in the empirical social sciences. In a recent working paper, he introduces a new method to measure media freedom within authoritarian and democratizing settings.

“I'm thrilled to join NYU and work with the Center for Social Media and Politics,” said Allen. “CSMaP is at the forefront of social media research, and I'm excited to collaborate with such a fantastic team to better understand the impact of social media and digital technology on society.”

“CSMaP has established itself as the leading social scientific institute worldwide for the study of computational methods and digital data,” added Barrie. “It is the most exciting opportunity of my career so far to get to work alongside this team.”