About Procrustean Analytics   Leave a comment

This is the blog of Rob Jefferson, a public policy researcher, professional dilettante, and irrepressible flâneur.

About Me

I live in Philadelphia, working as a researcher at Solutions for Progress. My work covers a lot of areas, from federal tax policy to education, understanding the minutiae of health care policy to grappling with the frontiers of urban agriculture.

More recently, I have been wearing the hat of a “software engineer”, which largely means I’ve been learning to work on larger-scale applications than the sorts of things I’ve done to answer research questions.

Before that, I was a graduate student in Economics at Northwestern University in Evanston, where I was on a steady diet of sandwich estimators (biased and otherwise), Pareto equilibria, and Wiener processes. Sometimes I would delve into the world of economic history, going to seminars and conferences. I still maintain an interest in economic history, especially urban housing policy of the 1940s-1970s.

In my less recent past I was, among other things: a student at Carnegie Mellon (class of 2008); a teaching assistant and researcher; a system administrator and IT geek for various departments; a business analyst doing marketing research; and other jobs, short- and long-term. (You can find more information through either my résumé (PDF) or my LinkedIn page.)

About Procrustean Analytics

I called this blog Procrustean Analytics as a play on Procrustes analysis, a statistical method of applying transformations to a shape with reference to another shape to see where the differences lie. (The term itself is derived from Procrustes and his bed — he would either stretch a person out, or hack their limbs, either way so that the victim would fit the bed.)

Procrustean Analytics is ostensibly a public policy blog. But my interests are all over the map. I will likely write about:

  • Economics (especially micro)
  • Mathematics, especially statistics
  • Sports, especially (American) football and baseball
  • Geography and GIS
  • Random programming-related things, mostly Python, R, and Stata
  • Music, of all kinds
  • Electronics

One challenge will be trying to map all of these subjects together, possibly connecting them to public policy itself. We’ll see how that goes.


I hate writing disclaimers, and I am not sure how effective they are, but they appear to be customary, so here goes:

My views are my own. They do not represent those of my employer, Solutions for Progress, or my previous employers, or groups that I am affiliated with. I may mention other views, and agree and disagree with them, but I will take pains to be clear what is my view and what (at least I believe) are the other views I am mentioning and examining.

Posted March 25, 2012 by techstep

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