Nathaniel D. Porter

Nathaniel D. Porter
PhD Candidate
Research Associate, The Association of Religion Data Archives

Curriculum Vitae


PhD, Sociology. Penn State University. Expected May 2017.
MA, Sociology. Penn State University. May 2013.
MA, Systematic Theology & Ministry in Daily Life. Luther Seminary. June 2008.
BS, Sociology, Western Washington University. June 2005.
BA, East Asian Studies, Western Washington University. June 2005.

Professional Bio


My work focuses on making new methods and non-traditional data accessible for mainstream sociologists and improving the communication of sociological findings across specialties and disciplines, as well as to relevant publics. I specialize in  network analysis and computational social science (big data), with experience with longitudinal social networks, event data, demographic data, experimental methods, crowdsourcing (e.g. Mechanical Turk) and cultural networks. I rely primarily on Python and Stata for analysis but also work in R, SAS, SQL, SPSS and Excel as well as producing custom interactive visualizations in d3 (JavaScript).

My substantive interests include sociology of religion, innovative methodology and social psychology. Recent projects include a measurement experiment on counting irreligious individuals, an evaluation of alternative clergy preparation, and mapping the contexts of new age and alternative sprirituality through book purchase networks. My dissertation combines book co-purchasing on with existing data sources to find otherwise invisible bodies of shared ideas between religious groups and to understand the differences between official and informal religious beliefs and practices. In addition, I am currently engaged in collaborative projects related to online data collection with Mechanical Turk, including a review of past academic research with Mechanical Turk, a set of evidence-based best practices, and original experimental and secondary data collections.
Nathaniel D. Porter
(360) 489-8420