PhD in Public Policy
Driven by her passion for data and cities, Talia Kaufmann is pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and is a Resident doctoral fellow at the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. As part of her research, Talia collaborates with International organizations, local and municipal governments to develop data-driven tools for decision-makers in city planning. Her goal is to illuminate spatial inequality in access to services and provide policy makers with the tools to improve the quality of life of underserved urban communities. Her research tackles questions such as: how many commercial/recreational/public amenities should be added to a given neighborhood or city and where should those amenities be most needed? And, how far should an urban resident walk/drive/take public transport rides to reach the closest park or supermarket from their home? Talia is trained as an Architect (B.Arch, Tel-Aviv University) and a City Planner (MCP, MIT). Before joining MIT for her Master degree, Talia served as a city planner and a planning information manager at the Tel Aviv-Yafo City Planning Department in Israel. Her research got international recognition by institutions as the World Bank, the OECD, the Government of Israel and more. Talia has been collaborating with the OECD for the past 3 years. She worked closely with the urban indicators team at the organization during summer and fall 2018 as an experiential fellow in Paris, France. At the OECD, Talia wrote a report titled ‘Measuring accessibility to services across cities: A framework for accessibility indicators by walking, driving and public transport’. The report demonstrated the potential of using Google’s fine-grained amenity data for accessibility indicators and was presented at the OECD Workshop on Modernising Statistical Systems for Better Data on Regions and Cities. Talia continues to work with the OECD to expand this framework and produce indicators for decision-makers. Talia’s current collaboration with the Government of Israel is dedicated to implementing accessibility metrics in decision-making processes. As an experiential fellow, Talia is working with The Israel Planning Administration (IPA) that is responsible for all spatial planning efforts throughout the country. The fellowship project goal is to incorporate Talia’s data-driven metrics in a tool for regional plan submission to produce plan evaluation and ‘accessibility insights’. This experiential opportunity is valuable to demonstrate how essential data-driven metrics can be for planning practices and support Talia’s dissertation work.
More Student Paths
- Motivated by the struggles of her upbringing, Urbashee pursued economics as her field of study as an undergraduate at Boston University.
- Before coming to Northeastern, Urbashee worked at a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C., and obtained a master’s degree in economics at the George Washington University.
- With the guidance of Prof. Alicia Modestino, Urbashee is analyzing the impact of private and public summer jobs programs on students’ academic and future employment outcomes.
- Specifically, Urbashee is investigating whether students placed in private, as opposed to public, sector summer jobs are likely to have better employment outcomes.
- Urbashee was recently awarded a grant from the William T. Grant Foundation, enabling her to participate in research training and purchase datasets for her dissertation.
- Urbashee's goal is to become an economist who studies and finds viable solutions to the deepening issues of poverty and inequality plaguing the youth in America.
- In July, Urbashee's first co-authored economics working paper "Politicians Avoid Tax Increases Around Elections", was posted on SSRN...
- Explored fields and methods of study he had not previously encountered through classroom experiences, engagement with faculty mentors, and research across the university.
- Had an “a-ha!” moment for his dissertation topic after writing about graffiti writing and neoliberal space for Prof. Gallagher’s Globalization & the Geopolitics of Writing class.
- Supported students and engaged in professional development as a Writing Center consultant and First-Year Writing instructor.
- Served as a graduate fellow for the Center of Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research (CATLR), where he conducted a university-wide assessment of the co-op program.
- With the help of Prof. Neal Lerner, Charles conducted assessment studies across the entire Writing Program while serving as the program’s Assistant Director.
- Developed the term “GeoEthnography” for his dissertation to look at the way Boston graffiti writers make, and remake, social and public space through their rhetorical work.
- Conferenced with Prof. Poe and Prof. Gallagher to develop a seminar paper into an article for publication in a flagship journal of Rhetoric and Composition...