PhD in Public Policy
Talia Kaufmann is a PhD student in Public Policy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, with a concentration in Urban and Regional Studies. She is also 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
- Law school is a big investment. That’s why Chinma was attracted to NU and the co-op process, which has allowed her to experience the legal environment before committing to the practice.
- Chinma’s long-held love of reading and writing, specifically poetry, led to her to decision to major in English for her undergraduate education.
- In her first year, Chinma took Early African American Literature with Professor Nicole Aljoe. It was the first time she had a Black professor and the opportunity to share lived experiences in a new way.
- Chinma took Contemporary Poetry with Professor Eunsong Kim which explored readings that Chinma still uses today. She learned how poetry and art can affect real change, like through the Black Arts Movement.
- Chinma is co-president of Our Voices: Women of Color, which is run through the Social Justice Resource Center and the Center for Intercultural Engagement and allows her to facilitate vital conversations.
- Through Our Voices: Women of Color, Chinma attended Northeastern’s EMPOWER conference for students of color in 2019, where she gave a presentation about intersectionality.
- In her second year, Chinma took Intro to Law, Policy, and Society with Professor Daniel Urman, which gave her the chance to explore the intersection between current events and law, furthering her interest...
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between the high school and college experiences.
- Initially indecisive, Yasser’s interest in traveling and experience exploring different religious texts in high school led him to a double major in international affairs and religious studies.
- Yasser took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightening look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser’s first co-op was at the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant. He worked on inventory, public relations, directed brewery events, and maintained workspace organization.
- Yasser went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Europe in Summer 2019 and took Engineering Principles in Nature with Professor Sandra Shefelbine.
- Yasser implemented and maintained community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser began working at the Food Project and at a farm in Dorchester, he maintained the farm, harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics...
Benjamin Cooper Gould
- Cooper’s dialogue, Challenges in Coastal Sustainability, and the course Ethics and Evolutionary games with Prof. Smead have been very impactful to him.
- As part of a class with Prof. Kelting on harm and aid he was able to write and submit real anti-racist curriculum for pre-schools in Boston.
- Cooper has been a PPE Peer Mentor, and he has also served as the PPE representative on the CSSH Student Advisory Council for three years.
- Cooper spent much of the summer in 2019 in Hong Kong and Malaysia on dialogue, exploring challenges for coastal sustainability.
- Cooper has had two co-ops, the first at Boston After School & Beyond, and the second at Dynasty Financial Partners, in New York City.
- He has conducted independent research projects with the Marine Science Center, for which he received a grant, as well as in philosophy.
- After graduation, Cooper is hoping to specialize in education justice, first by pursuing a Master’s in Education before teaching, and ultimately going into policy...