Daniel T. O’Brien
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Criminology and Criminal Justice
Ph.D., 2010, Binghamton University
Dan O’Brien joined the Northeastern faculty in 2014 from Harvard University where he was the research director for the Boston Area Research Initiative. In this role he led and coordinated a range of interdisciplinary projects that bring together local researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the study of Boston.
His research uses large, administrative data sets (i.e., “Big Data”) in conjunction with traditional methodologies to explore the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods, particularly surrounding “broken windows theory.”
Much of his current work builds on a recent paper, “Ecometrics in the Age of Big Data,” (co-authored with Robert J. Sampson and Christopher Winship) that presents a methodology for measuring neighborhood characteristics in the digital age.