UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES  |  Meet our Alums

Aaron Strauss '03
Political Science

Aaron Straus

Whenever I tell people I majored in Courses XVII (Political Science) and VI-3 (Computer Science) they invariably ask “Those two go together?” Sometimes I’m even amazed how often and in what ways I’ve integrated the two fields. During my junior year (2000-01), I took the Fall semester off to work for Al Gore’s campaign pollsters, developing algorithms to determine the best cities to place ads and hold rallies in. Two years later, when I was working toward my M-Eng in VI-3, my roommate and I received media attention for showing, from a probabilistic point of view, that one of the TSA’s airline security measures was suboptimal. Since MIT, I wrote the first widely-used political canvassing tool to be based on Google maps, co-authored the first paper to show that text messages are an effective mobilization tool, and helped found the Voting Information Project—a nationwide “find your polling place” tool backed by Google and Microsoft.

Currently I’m the Targeting Director at the DCCC, integrating computer science, statistics and politics ever day: all skills I first learned at MIT!

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