Wendy K. Tam Cho


Wendy K. Tam Cho was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Cho is a professor with appointments in the departments of Political Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Asian-American Studies, and the College of Law; a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications; a Guggenheim Fellow (2015­16); faculty at the Illinois Informatics Institute; and affiliate of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, the Computational Science and Engineering Program, and the Program on Law, Behavior, and Social Science—all at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her general research interests are in the development and application of computational and statistical models in the social sciences. Her research is driven by a desire to discover creative and important ways for social scientific progress and societal advances to march alongside scientific and technological growth. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, capitalizing on the strengths of many individual disciplines by recognizing and integrating them into a collective approach. Her aim is to harness the power of information by developing statistical and mathematical models to guide computing technology toward intelligent information extraction.

Her scholarly publications have appeared in the fields of Political Science, Geography, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science, High Performance Computing, Operations Research, Physics, Asian-American Studies, Racial and Ethnic Politics, and Law. Her research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (political science, statistics, and engineering programs) as well as computing allocation grants on the Blue Waters Supercomputer.

She has been a member of a number of advisory boards, including the Committee of Visitors for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Social, Behavior, and Economic Sciences Division; PI4, an NSF funded program to broaden the research background and career prospects of mathematics graduate students; and President Obama's Commission on Election Administration; as well as a member of seven different NSF Review Panels spanning directorates in political science, statistics, big data, and engineering. She has served on the Executive Council of the American Political Science Association; as editor of the journal, Political Analysis; as a member of the editorial board for ten different journals; and as a reviewer for over ninety different academic journals, agencies, foundations, or presses spanning a dozen disciplines.

She has a passion for beautiful mathematics and regularly teaches mathematics to children in math circles and summer camps. When not thinking about math or research, you can find her in pursuit of her youth—doing triathlons or working on her ball handling skills on the soccer field.

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Recent Commentary

Human-Centered Redistricting Automation In The Age Of AI

by Bruce Cain, Wendy K. Tam Cho
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Redistricting—the constitutionally mandated, decennial redrawing of electoral district boundaries—can distort representative democracy.