Benjamin Soltoff

Assistant Instructional Professor of Computational Social Science

University of Chicago

I am an assistant instructional professor in computational social science and assistant director of the Masters in Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago. I teach learners social scientific research design, computational modeling, data science, math/statistics, and data visualization.

I enjoy working with individuals from all backgrounds interested in applying computational methods to extract knowledge and inferences from a wide-range of domains. I have training and experience in data science and policy evaluation. In addition to my academic work, I offer consulting services for organizations interested in data science, including research and analysis as well as tailored workshops teaching programming skills to your employees.


  • Computational social science
  • American politics
  • Programming in R
  • Data visualization


  • PhD in Political Science, 2015

    The Pennsylvania State University

  • MA in Political Science, 2012

    The Pennsylvania State University

  • BA in Political Science, 2010

    James Madison University

Recent Posts

Can You Find The Fish In State Names?

The recent Riddler classic offered this intriguing challenge: Ohio is the only state whose name doesnt share any letters with the word …

Can You Find The Best Dungeons & Dragons Strategy?

I enjoyed the recent Riddler challenger from May 15th: The fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons introduced a system of …

How Good Are You At Guess Who?

The most recent Riddler Express gave me an opportunity to refresh some base R notation, as well as combine it with a technique I …

How Many More Palindrome Dates Will You See?

I'm currently on paternity leave and in search of quick but interesting programming challenges to stay fresh. The latest Riddler …

Winning the World Chess Championship

This week's Riddler Express from FiveThirtyEight: The World Chess Championship is underway. It is a 12-game match between the world’s …