Quant & Qual on Common Ground: Collaboration among Researchers of All Stripes

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An EPIC Talk with ALEX HUGHES (UC Berkeley), JENNY LO (Uber) & WILL MONGE (Good Research)

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Qual and quant are so divided these days—by academic discipline, language, communities of practice, job titles. In many organizations, there’s also a hierarchy based on misconceptions about research and the kind of evidence that’s suitable to “act on.” But EPIC people are leading the charge to bridge these divides, and this EPIC Talk advances that agenda.

In an interactive session, Alex Hughes, Jenny Lo, and Will Monge share core concerns shared by all researchers, arguing that this common ground establishes a basis for closer collaboration among researchers of all stripes. In breakouts and group discussions, we discuss the constraints we experience as qualitative and mixed methods researchers; vocabulary for communicating the value of ethnographic work to quantitative colleagues; and strategies for more fully and effectively integrating ethnographic work into research and business cycles.


Alex Hughes researches how group identity shapes political access and how social connections shape political behavior. His research has been published in The Lancet, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, the Journal of Experimental Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, and field journals; the research has been supported by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, USAID, and others. Dr. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information.

Jenny Lo currently leads the User Research team for the Rides Business lines at Uber. She has led many large-scale design projects and experiment projects that span across functions. Jenny specializes in the study of quantitative research and information technology in developing countries (ICTD). Jenny received her Masters of Information Management and Systems from the School of Information at University of California, Berkeley and Bachelors from Wesleyan University.

Will Monge is a researcher at Good Research, where he focuses on privacy, fairness, and model accountability by applying data science, ethnography, and UX research methods. Will is intent on bringing more people from different backgrounds and methodologies into the “data conversation”. For this purpose, Will enjoys serving as a consultant on several legal and regulatory organizations, where he helps bridge the gap between technology and policy. Will has a background in mathematics (Complutense University in Madrid), risk modeling (ICADE), and data science (University of California, Berkeley).