Christy  Coulson

Christy Coulson

PhD Student

Department of Methodology

Connect with me

English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Conflict, Policymaking, Interpretable Machine Learning

About me

Christy is a first-year PhD candidate supervised by Dr. Thomas Robinson (Department of Methodology), Professor Ken Benoit (Data Science Institute) & Dr. Carl Müller-Crepon (Department of Government). He is also a Research Assistant at the University of Oxford’s DPIR. Christy holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Exeter (2016), an MSc in Conflict Resolution and Governance from the University of Amsterdam (2017) and an MSc in Applied Social Data Science from LSE’s Department of Methodology (2023).

Christy is a social data scientist and political scientist. His research focuses on translating, innovating, and applying advanced ML and interpretable ML methods to the study of social phenomena. Specifically, Christy is interested in the tension between explanation, inference, and prediction in the context of ML strategies and seeks to understand how we can leverage the predictive fidelity of advanced ML while maintaining the explanatory and inferential qualities of more deductive methods. Christy applies black-box ML methods and seeks to develop ways to substantively infer in the context of these models.

Christy’s current substantive research focus is conflict. He is concerned with understanding the determinants of intra and inter-state warfare, variations in actor strategies at differing levels of conflict, and the role that new technologies play in the onset, continuation, and resolution of conflicts. He is also interested in better understanding interstate aggression and competition through the lens of prediction and inference.

In addition to academia, Christy has spent several years in the data science and advanced analytics practices across a variety of industries, from capital markets to intellectual property.