Meet the team

Samuel Wang

Samuel Wang

Director – Professor of Neuroscience

sswang@princeton.edu

Sam Wang has been a member of the Princeton faculty since 2000. He holds a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (1986) and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Stanford University School of Medicine (1993). A central feature of his laboratory research is the use and development of statistical tools for dealing with large, complex data sets, especially in regard to individual variation. In 2015, he was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to the New Jersey Governor's Council on Medical Research and Treatment of Autism.

Sam has a long-standing interest in elections. He pioneered statistical methods for analyzing U.S. presidential elections in 2004, when he developed tools for the aggregation of state polls. These tools led to the establishment of the Princeton Election Consortium. In 2012 he recognized new, systematic distortions in representation in the U.S. House. Understanding the causes of these distortions launched his interest in voting rights and led to the creation of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

Sam Wang's laboratory research focuses on learning from birth to adulthood, at levels ranging from single synapses to the whole brain. He is particularly curious about novel roles for the cerebellum in cognition, social thought processes, and autism. He studies these brain functions using optical neural imaging and big-data approaches to analyzing behavior. Sam is also the author of two popular books about the brain: Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life (2008) and Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (2011). Both books are available in over 20 languages.

Jonathan Cervas

Jonathan Cervas

Research Associate

cervas@cmu.edu

Jonathan Cervas serves as Research Associate for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. His projects include writing academic articles on communities of interest, overseeing the Initiative’s mapping project, and creating demonstrative redistricting plans for legislatures and commissions. Jonathan will also be co-teaching a class with Professor Wang on redistricting and gerrymandering for Spring 2021.

Jonathan has served as assistant to the special master in three federal court cases, including Bethune-Hill vs. VA Board of Election, where he, along with Bernard Grofman, redrew 25% of the Virginia state legislature. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and a masters and PhD from the University of California Irvine. Jonathan specializes in American politics and has published in numerous scholarly journals on the Electoral College and Redistricting.

Rick Ober

Rick Ober

Legal Analyst

rober@princeton.edu

Rick, a volunteer with the Project, analyzes existing state laws and proposed state-level reforms for their ability to prevent gerrymandering.

Rick previously worked as E.V.P. & General Counsel of United Jersey Banks/Summit Bancorp (1975-2001) and General Counsel of TerraCycle, Inc. and Isles, Inc. His long-term interest in politics is reflected in previous roles as Research Director for the New Jersey campaign staffs of Dick Zimmer for U.S. Senate and DeForest "Buster" Soaries for U.S. House of Representatives, and over 30 years as a County Committeeman, Fire Commissioner, and intern at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Improvements in Judicial Machinery.

Rick holds a J.D. from Yale Law School (1968) and an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (1965).

Sandra Chen

Sandra Chen

Policy and Legal Researcher

sandrajc@princeton.edu

Sandra Chen serves as a policy and legal researcher for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. Her tasks include compiling information on the redistricting processes in all 50 states, writing legal scholarship on key areas like communities of interest, and assessing the timeline for redistricting in 2021. She also works with partners and coalitions to identify different paths forward for reform on a state-by-state basis. Sandra is an undergraduate student at Princeton University in the Class of 2024.

Alumni, Contributors and Acknowledgements

Brian Remlinger was the first full-time staff member of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. Brian did the first wave of analysis, co-wrote scholarly and popular articles, and played a key role in launching our current activities.

Rob Whitaker designed an earlier verison of our website, including the geographic test explorer.

Madeleine Parker bolstered our GIS capabilities.

Aimee Otsu helped improve the user interface of the website.

Sung Chang did early work on the map visualizer.

Tim Mack compiled and cleaned our election data.

John O'Neill assisted with our data collection process and drew some political maps.

Laura Williamson strengthened our efforts at outreach and partnership with reformers.

Will Adler conducted statistical analyses, maintained datasets and software tools, and worked with state-level partners.

Ben Williams conducted legal analyses, drafted statutes, drew maps, and maintained strategic partnerships.

Lafayette College designed our bug logo.

Steve Birnbaum

Baxter Demers

Aaron Barden

Hope Johnson

Zachariah Sippy

For general inquiries, reach out to us here: gerrymander@princeton.edu.