Scott A. Hale
I am a mid-career researcher in computational social science, with research expertise spanning computer science and political science, communications, and other social science disciplines. My scientific background provides me with understanding of the algorithms and mathematics used to analyse large-scale data while my social science training and postgraduate work have given me expertise in developing understandings of human behaviour from the digital, social data that they now generate. My cross-disciplinary research develops and applies new techniques in the computational sciences to social science questions and puts these results into practice with industry
and policy partners. I am particularly interested in mobilization/collective action, agenda setting, and antisocial behaviour (e.g., hate speech) and have a strong track record in building tools and teaching programmes that enable social science researchers to access new methods and forms of data.
University of Oxford, DPhil/PhD 2016, MSc. 2010: I completed my doctorate at the Oxford Internet Institute (2010-2015) after previously earning my Master of Science at the same department (2009-2010). My Master’s thesis on analyzing cross-language information sharing between bloggers earned distinction. My doctoral research focused more broadly on how platform design and social factors affect the amount of information shared between speakers of different languages on user-generated content platforms.
Eckerd College, BSc. 2008: I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Science and majors in Computer Science, Spanish, and Mathematics with minors in Law & Justice and Computational Science (2004-2008). My cumulative GPA was 4.0 on a scale of 4.0.
Associate Professor (2020–present) and Senior Research Fellow (2018–present): I analyze structured and unstructured large-scale data in order to answer social science and computer science research questions at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. I supervise postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers, develop and execute my own independent research, teach postgraduate students, and publish in top-tier computer science conferences and social science journals.
Director of Research, Meedan (2019–present): Meedan is a non-profit charity building digital tools for global journalism and translation, and I set strategy and oversee research on widening access to quality information online. I seek to foster greater academic–industry collaboration through chairing multistakeholder groups, developing and releasing real-world datasets, and connecting academic and industry organizations.
Social Data Science Programme Director (2017–2019): I led the design, development, and approval of new MSc and DPhil (PhD) programmes in Social Data Science at the University of Oxford. These multi-disciplinary, multi-department programmes bring together expertise in the Oxford Internet Institute, Engineering Science, Statistics and other University departments. I developed pedagogy, formulated policy, and chaired the admissions committees. I served as Course Director for the inaugural MSc cohort of 25 students in the 2018/19 academic year.
Turing Fellow (2016–present): I am a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, a new, national center of excellence in data science. Founded by five universities (Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Edinburgh, and Warwick) and the EPSRC, the Institute has grown to more than 13 British universities.
Senior Data Scientist and Research Fellow (2016–2018): I developed and executed my own independent research, supervised postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and taught postgraduate students in this role.
Data Scientist (2015–2016): In this role at the Oxford Internet Institute I developed my own independent research agenda on multilingualism and user experience, mobilization and collective action, visualization, and network analysis. I also supervised postgraduate students and teach courses on statistics (using R), accessing research data using Python, and information visualization.
Research Assistant (2010–2015): I worked as a Research Assistant with Professor Helen Margetts during which time I authored multiple successful grant proposals as well as worked on a three-year research program funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The research included developing interactive HTML5 visualizations and tools to create such visualizations, analyzing multi-terabyte datasets of Internet Archive data, gathering and cleaning large-scale datasets from the Web, and developing methodologies to study online behavior. I also ran the Oxford Experimental Laboratory, which conducted economic and political science laboratory and field experiments to investigate the effects of different information environments on collective action, the impacts of different types of government provision on citizens’ information seeking behavior, and deadline effects in auction design.
Oxford University Computing Services (2010–2013): I worked as a Course Instructor within the IT Learning Programme of Oxford University Computing Services. I taught non-credit courses on programming with Java, network visualization, PDF manipulation and other software topics to members of the University of Oxford community.
Consultant (2012–2014): I consulted for one year with Human Digital, a social media analysis company in London, in order to develop and oversee implementation of more robust data collection and sampling methodologies for social media data.
JET Program Instructor (2008–2009): My interest in leveraging technology for education took me to Japan for a one year program where I worked at the Okinawa Prefectural Education Center with public school teachers to develop English immersion curricula and with IT professionals to deliver continuing education training through the Internet to staff members living on outlying islands. Additionally, I was responsible for maintaining a 20-person computer laboratory.
Sole Proprietor of HyperWeb Technologies (1998–present): I have wrestled with the implications of the Internet upon small businesses in the work I have done as the sole proprietor of HyperWeb Technologies, which offers web-enabled application design, development, and support to a select number of small business clients. Working with three independent music instructors, I developed and implemented an online lesson scheduling, purchasing, and management system. In addition to small businesses, I also donate services and support to Tinkuy Peru and Peru Luz de Esperanza, two non-profit volunteer organizations in Huancayo, Peru.
AT&T/SBC Student Manager (summers 2004–2007): My work at SBC and then AT&T during the summers in the Technology Architecture and Standards group in the Information Technology Services department has given me great insight into the corporate IT culture. I worked as a member of a small development team to craft, deploy, and support several IT projects.
Muskego-Norway School District Webmaster (2000–2004): As Webmaster of Muskego-Norway School District, I implemented technologies, chaired committees, and provided training with the goal of facilitating parent-teacher-student interaction. I developed a web content management system, provided training in its use and other web development techniques, and maintained the district’s email and web servers. In addition, I provided user support for the district’s email and web services.
Publications, Grants, and Research
Please see my page on Selected Publications for information on my recent publications and grants.
Teaching Excellence Award, 2022: I was nominated by students and awarded by the University of Oxford, “Award in recognition of the outstanding contribution [I] made to teaching.”
Merit Award for Teaching, 2016: I received this competitive award and salary increase for excellence in teaching as part of my department’s Reward and Recognition Scheme. During the proceeding year, I created two new courses and helped transition our required statistics course from Stata to R.
Award for Excellence, 2013: Awarded for my work as a research assistant, Awards for Excellence are given to a small number of staff each year who have “performed well in all key areas of their jobs and have consistently demonstrated exceptional performance, significantly above that which might reasonably have been expected for their grades.”
Oxford Internet Institute Scholarship , 2010, 2011, 2012: I was awarded three departmental scholarships designed to offset tuition and fees for students within the department showing exceptional academic merit.
National Science Foundation GRFP Honorable Mention, 2010: The Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.
ODK Foundation Scholarship, 2009: The Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation awards 20 scholarships each year to outstanding student members attending graduate or professional school. The winners have achieved at the highest levels and have been identified as members who will continue to achieve throughout their graduate studies and future careers.
Truman Scholarship Finalist, 2007: This national scholarship competition is for college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service.
Goldwater Scholar, 2006: This national scholarship is for science, mathematics, and engineering students.
Philip J. Lee Honor Award, 2008: This award is presented during commencement to the senior student whose scholarly achievements at Eckerd College have demonstrated both exceptional accomplishment and superior promise.
Mark W. Smith Award, 2008: This award honors a senior student who has given outstanding service to the campus community and who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and initiative in the effort to enhance campus life.
Outstanding Student in Comparative Cultures Ring of Tolerance, 2008: This award recognizes an outstanding graduating student with a “Ring of Tolerance.” The ring, when worn in good faith, imparts to its owner grace and tolerance for all races and cultures; the ring enhances the good nature and inner beauty of the person to whom it is given.
Natural Sciences Collegium Scholarship and Service Award, 2008: This award is given to the senior student majoring in science who received more than two-thirds of the faculty vote for outstanding academic work in the classroom as well as showing initiative and promise for future work in the field of science.
Meacham Mathematics Memorial (M3) Award, 2008: This award is given by the Mathematics Department to an outstanding senior student for achievement in mathematical studies.
Senior Award for Academic Excellence in Computer Science, 2008: This award is presented by the Computer Science Department to an outstanding senior student for achievement in computer science.
John H. Sykes Award, 2008: This award is given to a graduating senior who has contributed greatly to religious life on campus through his/her involvement in organized religious programming as well as through her/his presence as a person of faith in the Eckerd College community.
Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) Outstanding Senior Award, 2008: This award is given to the senior who embodies the ASPEC goals of serving the community by devoting time and resources to community organizations, therefore enriching the lives of others as well as his or her own.
Ford Apprentice Scholar, Eckerd College, 2006: This program provides the opportunity for 20 select juniors each year to participate in a two-year enhanced program designed to develop the skills and habits of professional scholars and to encourage them to consider college and university teaching as a career.
Phi Beta Kappa, Academic Honor Society (inducted as a junior in 2007)
Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Honor Society (inducted as a sophomore in 2006)
Pi Mu Epsilon, Mathematics Honor Society (inducted as a junior in 2007)
Sigma Delta Pi, Spanish Honor Society (inducted as a senior in 2008)
Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), Leadership Honor Society (inducted as a sophomore in 2006)
English Native speaker with experience in both the United States and the United Kingdom
Spanish Advanced speaker with experience in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Cuba
Japanese Upper intermediate speaker with 2 years experience living in Japan
Service and Leadership
Oxford University Volleyball Team Captain, Member, Club Secretary, Webmaster: I played middle attacker for the Oxford Blue’s Volleyball and National Volleyball League teams (2009-2014), captained the National Volleyball League team (2010/11), served as the club secretary (2010/11), and served as the club’s webmaster (2012-2015).
Graduate Studies Committee and ICT Web Strategy Committee, Student representative: I was selected by my peers to represent student interests on these departmental committees for the 2011 calendar year.
Teaching Assistant; Tutor: At Oxford, I served as a teaching assistant to masters candidates in the OII’s Internet Technology and Regulation course (2010). At Eckerd College, I was a teaching assistant for the Intro to Computer Science laboratory session (fall 2007), assisted students with lab assignments and homework in the Computer Science Lab (spring 2005, 2005/06), tutored Spanish (spring 2008), and served as a teaching assistant for the first year honors program (2005/06).
Ethics Bowl National Runner-Up, Coach, Captain, Member: The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl challenges teams of five students to study and apply classical moral reasoning in presenting and defending ethical critiques of 16 real-life case studies. The actual format of the bowl is similar to that of debate. I was one of five students representing Eckerd College to win the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl and to place second in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (2004/05). The following year (2005/06), I captained a team that placed second in the regional ethics bowl. In my senior year, I helped coach the team (2007/08) that won the southeast region and competed nationally.
Volunteer English Teacher (Mexico, Peru): I taught English in Huancayo, Peru (2006) during my spring break and summer vacation. In addition to teaching, I implemented a computer-typing program at a local orphanage and worked with mentally handicapped children at another orphanage.Upon returning to the US, I worked to increase awareness of the organization. I continue to host a website with volunteer information. The following summer (2007), I volunteered and taught English to about 100 students divided into five classes that met daily for six weeks in rural Mexico. My students ranged from young children to adults.
Intramural Captain, Player: Beyond personal physical fitness activities of running and weight training two or three times a week, I have played intramural flag football, volleyball, soccer, and basketball all four years of college. I captained basketball teams for both the fall 3v3 and spring 5v5 leagues.
Student Community Standards Board (Student Court) Chief Justice, Clerk, Justice: As Chief Justice (spring 2007, 2007/08), I oversaw SCSB which handles the majority of alleged disciplinary infractions at Eckerd College. I met with the administration weekly to discuss sanctions and develop policies. One major discussion focused on how Residence Life and Campus Safety would respond to evidence of policy violations displayed on the Internet and social networking sites. I served as a Justice (spring 2005, 2005/06) and Clerk (fall 2006) for this body as well.
Choir President, Member; Hand Bell Choir Member: The Eckerd choirs perform a variety of works from several stylistic periods on campus, in the community, nationally, and internationally (Italy and China during my time). As president of the voice choir (2006/07) I built community within the group, assisted the director with clerical duties, and acted as a liaison between choir members and the director. I sang bass (2004-07) and played hand bells (2006/07).
Triton Software Project Lead; Computer Policy Group Student Representative; Student Government (ECOS) Webmaster, ITS Liaison; Community Standards Incident Tracking System Project Manager: I leveraged my IT abilities in many different capacities to better campus community. As project lead for Triton Software (2006/07), I led a team of students to create a comprehensive event calendar system with text-message reminder functionality. I set policy and represented student views to the administration (2006-08) as the sole student member of the Computer Policy Group. I designed the student government website (2004/05), managed it for one year, and then trained student leaders to manage it. On the website, I conducted student government elections and opinion polls to gather input from students at large (2004-08). Separately, I championed an effort to improve the identification of and response to violations of campus conduct policies by leading the adoption and implementation of a computer-based incident tracking system (2006/07). I oversaw the vendor to implement the solution, customize the configuration, and correct usability problems. Additionally, I built a new intuitive and user-friendly incident report entry system for Campus Safety that saves time, reduces cost, and easily integrates into the new incident tracking system. The new system closely mirrors the previous paper-based system (which was important as many officers had little experience with computers). I also developed and led training for Eckerd Campus Safety staff. Finally, I oversaw issues of database access and maintenance to ensure student privacy.
Eckerd College Honor Code Student Liaison to the Administration: I worked closely with Eckerd College’s administration and board of trustees for three years (2005-08) to implement Eckerd’s new honor code and develop the process by which incoming students are introduced to it.
Student Ministries Coordinator: As a Student Ministries Coordinator (2005-07), I served students in the Eckerd College community through encouragement, friendship, and opportunities for growth in their spiritual lives. I formed and facilitated a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, led Bible studies, and assisted with weekly worship services.
PADI Professional, Divemaster; Triton Scuba Club President: As a PADI Divemaster I assist with scuba training classes and supervise students regularly over the summer. I have been diving since 2000 and have earned over 17 certifications and specialties. My interest and work in scuba diving instruction have let me observe the results of new online scuba diving certification classes. My freshmen year (2004/05) I joined a newly chartered scuba club. Two months after joining, club members asked me to serve as president. In this role I organized meetings, planned club activities, led trips, and collaborated with club officers, committees, members, student government officials, and the faculty sponsor.
Iota Council Chairperson and Founder: I founded and chaired this self-governance body for a newly built residence hall (2006/07) before stepping aside to take a more advisory role (2007/08). The council is responsible for administration of the residential complex: setting security access policy, overseeing funding of building enhancements and amenities, establishing community standards for the complex, and fostering community. It is the official liaison to the school administration and can collectively petition for redress of student grievances.
References are available upon request.