Matt Childers, Ph.D.

About Matt

I am a data scientist and political scientist who loves to use data to solve complex problems. I have over fifteen years of experience collecting, compiling, and modeling data to gain interesting insights about what drives people to do what they do. I am a former academic and the co-founder and Director of Research and Policy at the Florida Health Justice Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit policy advocacy organization dedicated to improving access to affordable healthcare for Florida’s most vulnerable populations. One of my passions is using my expertise to improve our community and I regularly advise local elected officials and the other influencers about how federal, state, and local policies will affect their constituents and what they can do to help.

My expertise is in political and social behavior, election campaigns, American government institutions, government relations, and healthcare policy. My data science specialties include wrangling, feature selection, feature extraction, machine learning, Python, Pandas, Numpy, Sci-kit Learn, Natural Language Processing, Word2Vec, Spacy, hyperparameter tuning, A/B testing, and research design.

I am also an independent research consultant to civic engagement organizations in the Miami metropolitan area. For example, I co-designed a social pressure mailer field experiment targeting low propensity voters during the 2018 general election campaign. The experiment was a success, showing a modest positive and statistically significant difference in turnout rates between the treatment and control groups.

I have also served as a politics and policy expert for more more than several media outlets across Florida since 2014, including: the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Florida Politics, NBC 6 Miami, WJCT in Jacksonville, Action News Jax, and “The Chat” in Jacksonville. In the picture above, I’m being interviewed about how recent changes in immigration policy will affect public health conditions in South Florida.

My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals like Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Affective Disorders, and also the Chapman Law Review. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, San Diego. I also have a Master of Public Policy and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago.