Today marks Caltech's 128th annual commencement ceremony, celebrating the class of 2022. Among those receiving their doctoral degrees, the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences congratulates our latest graduates from the social sciences PhD program: Saba Devdariani, Yimeng Li, and Shiyu Zhang. Please join us in applauding them for their academic achievements and wishing the best for the entire class of 2022!
Saba Devdariani earned a doctoral degree in social sciences, studying applied theory in political science, bureaucracy, American politics, and formal theory with his advisor, Alex Hirsch. For his thesis, Devdariani analyzed agency problems in political science, including what types of policy decisions voters pay attention to, and why. He has been appointed as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy.
Yimeng Li's research focused on political methodology, and, in particular, on media, elections and election administration, and political behavior and public opinion. Working with Michael Alvarez, his dissertation investigated survey methods and their applications to measuring political behavior and attitudes. Li was a Roger and Marjorie Davisson Graduate Fellow during the 2018–19 academic year and a Repetto-Figueroa Family Graduate Fellow during the 2019–20 academic year. After graduation he will join Florida State University as a postdoctoral scholar.
Shiyu Zhang received her PhD after completing her dissertation, Three Essays in Applied Economics, with Jean-Laurent Rosenthal as her advisor. Her thesis consisted of three papers: two studying the effectiveness of policy interventions curbing the opioid crisis and one studying the value of network ties in the Chinese bureaucracy. The two chapters on the opioid crisis were coauthored with Daniel Guth, a fellow social sciences graduate student. Zhang was the recipient of the Roger and Marjorie Davisson Graduate Fellowship during the 2020–21 academic year. She is now an associate consultant at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.
Read about these students and our departing postdoctoral fellows and instructors in the 2021–2022 Next Steps publication.