Political science is data driven

JULY 25, 2016

Students working in a computer lab

An endowed scholarship will provide annual awards for students to conduct quantitative political science research.

During a highly charged election year, Professor Emeritus Gene Geisler wants students to take a cool and collected approach to politics by focusing on data. Specifically, he has established a scholarship that will provide annual awards for students to conduct quantitative political science research. “If you’re going to teach political science, or any of the social sciences, you don’t want to start with American government,” Geisler explains. “The fundamental thing you’re dealing with is science.”

His $312,000 gift allows an undergraduate and graduate student to receive $6,000 each per year to conduct projects centered on empirical research. Examples of recent student research that could be supported by the scholarship include a study exploring how high-school civics courses affect students’ sense of political empowerment, a paper on trench journalism in World War I and a project examining changes in nutrition patterns in Fiji.



Making an Impact

R. Gene Geisler

Born and raised in rural Missouri, Gene Geisler joined the faculty of SF State in 1960, having earned his Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and his Master’s from the University of Connecticut. While completing his dissertation at University of Chicago in the late 1950s, he worked with Democratic Illinois Senator Paul Douglas on political data analysis. At SF State, Prof. Geisler’s incorporation of computing concepts and skills into the curriculum led to a position in the CSU Chancellor’s Office, where he was instrumental in planning and eventually procuring the University’s first instructional computing capabilities on all 19 CSU campuses. Retired from SF State since 2003, Prof. Geisler is writing a book focusing on an introduction of the philosophy of science, intended for instructors of general education courses.

R. Gene Geisler