Alex Kindel

I am a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University.

I am interested in knowledge systems: the technical and organizational infrastructures, both large and small, through which knowledge and knowledgeability are created, circulated, and consumed.

Before graduate school, I spent two years building data infrastructure for research on online courses at the Center for Advanced Research through Online Learning at Stanford University.

Education

(in progress)

Ph.D. Sociology, Princeton University

2014

B.S. Symbolic Systems, Stanford University

Publications

Theses

Kindel, A. (2014). "Collective governance in student housing cooperatives." Honors thesis, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University.

Reports

Kindel, A. (2016). "Research at Asilomar II: Systems, institutions and autonomy." White paper for Responsible Use of Data in Higher Education. <http://gsd.su.domains/topics/research/>

Works in progress

Kindel, A. & Stevens, ML. "Engineering Credentialism: Negotiating the Expansion of Graduate Education at Stanford University, 1945-1970." In progress.

Kindel, A. "Discourse: A research platform for data labeling." Under review.

Presentations

Fellowships and grants

2016-2021

President's Fellowship, Princeton University

2013

Major Grant, Undergraduate Advising & Research, Stanford University

Technical skills

Programming (fluent): Python, SQL, R, LaTeX
Programming (rusty): Javascript, Java, C++, C
Specialized software: MongoDB, OpenEdX, ArcGIS, ENVI

Work experience

Data Analyst, Center for Advanced Research through Online Learning. 2014-2016.

Sundry research assistantships, Stanford University. 2011-2014.

I am a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University.

I am interested in knowledge systems: the technical and organizational infrastructures, both large and small, through which knowledge and knowledgeability are created, circulated, and consumed.


Engineering Credentials

Educational social science in the United States is principally concerned with estimating the effect of postsecondary education on social stratification and individual mobility. It inherits its basic premises from a mid-century theoretical consensus, in which schools were understood as passive backgrounds for the contested reproduction and distribution of social privilege. My work in this area is based on the opposite presumption: that schools themselves are interested parties in the social processes they supervise. I ask:


Discourse: A research platform for data labeling

Qualitative social scientists and machine learning researchers, typically considered academic opposites, share an interest in the reliable labeling (coding, annotation) of discussion data by human coders. Despite its popularity, this shared methodological approach has received surprisingly little empirical attention in its own right. Discourse is a software tool for content analysis built to bridge this gap. Discourse provides researchers with a set of lightweight tools for labeling qualities in discussion data (e.g. text, forum posts, images) and for understanding the labeling process as it unfolds. In the process, Discourse offers a unique window into the "how" of content analysis.