Associate Professor in Data Journalism; Deputy Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism
Dhrumil Mehta is Associate Professor in Data Journalism and Deputy Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. As a data journalist since 2014 for the website FiveThirtyEight, Mehta helped to illuminate American attitudes and media coverage on everything from COVID-19 to the impeachment of Donald Trump to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mehta has produced a variety of digital-native works that utilize data-driven methods of journalistic inquiry as well as presentation. For example, when the mass shooting happened in Parkland, Florida in 2018, Mehta composed a nuanced interactive quiz to test readers’ knowledge about where Americans stand on gun policy based on polling data.
Mehta’s analysis of data on media coverage of Hurricane Maria showed that the devastation in Puerto Rico received relatively little media coverage when compared to other natural disasters and news stories.
Mehta also built and maintained the site’s core databases, applications and other reporting tools, including a public data repository that serves as a resource to readers, reporters and academics.
As a Visiting Associate Professor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Mehta has equipped public policy students with the programming and data skills to better manage issues at the intersection of technology and governance. He also worked with graduate students at Columbia’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Journalism School to tell cartographic narratives, guiding students from idea to research, interviews, data analysis and presentation.
Mehta holds a master’s degree in computer science from Northwestern University with a focus on artificial intelligence and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the same university.