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Grad students win awards for Roper Center projects

by Richard Veilleux - April 9, 2007

Three graduate students have been awarded the first Warren Jay Mitofsky Awards, presented to students who submitted the best proposals for an original research project using data from the Roper Center.

Jamie Gursang, a sociology student; Yazmin Garcia Trejo, a student in political science and Latin American studies; and Xia Wang, who is studying in the statistics department, were each awarded a $1,200 fellowship for this summer, says Mark Abrahamson, executive director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

The awards are named for the late Mitofsky, former chair of the Roper Center’s Board of Directors, a survey research innovator and, for many years, director of surveys for CBS News.

The center archives datasets from thousands of surveys with national adult, state, foreign, and special subpopulation samples.

The center includes the iPOLL, which is the most comprehensive, up-to-date source for nationwide public opinion available today.

It includes nearly 500,000 questions archived from national public opinion surveys since 1935, and is updated daily.

Gursang’s winning proposal involves researching data on “Abstinence Education: Parental and School Influences;” Trejo proposed researching surveys involving “Political Engagement and the Gender Gap Among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans;” and Wang suggested research on “Clustering, Variable Selection, and Bayesian Network: Analysis of Survey Data.”

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