Student Profile: Chase Hommeyer ’19 merges sociology and data science

Thursday, Aug 2, 2018
by Sharon Adarlo

Chase Hommeyer, 22, Class of 2019:

Studies: Hommeyer is on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology and is enrolled in the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning’s (CSML) Undergraduate Certificate in Statistics and Machine Learning and the Certificate of Proficiency in Theater. She has been taking courses at CSML since her sophomore year.

Research: Hommeyer came to Princeton with an interest in studying humanities and social science, but a sociology class piqued her interest in the application of data science in that field. She started taking data science classes and found the work enjoyable and thought provoking.

For her junior paper, she participated in a large sociology project, “The Fragile Families Challenge,” where social and data scientists team up to look over a trove of data on disadvantaged children and predict outcomes of individuals in the research cohort, from academic achievement to eviction rates. The end goal is to inform future policy. In her junior paper, Hommeyer delved into whether machine learning models were dealing with the data sets in a reliable and ethically sound way.

This summer, Hommeyer is working as a research assistant at Princeton’s Eviction Lab, a social science research group that uses computational methods to study eviction in America.  “I am really excited because the lab integrates statistics, and the researchers are using those tools to think about how our society doles out resources and creates inequality,” Hommeyer said. “It’s also an example of how statistics and machine learning can be applied in different disciplines.”

Extracurricular activities: Hommeyer is a member of the Terrace Club, acts in campus theater shows, was a fellow at the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality + Cultural Understanding, and a Tiger Challenge fellow. She also participated in Princeton's Bridge Year Program in India. She lived in Varanasi, where she learned Hindi and volunteered at Guria, an organization dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking and prostitution.

For fun: Hommeyer likes hanging out with her friends and writing poetry and pieces for the stage.