One of the Oldest Scientific Societies in Washington, D.C.

Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Lecture Series

Sponsored by The Policy Studies Organization
In Cooperation with the American Public University
The Policy studies OrganizationAmerican Public University

The 2,393rdMeeting of the Society
Friday, May 4, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Adventures in Big Data Analysis
Using Astronomical Methods to Understand Urban Housing Complexities in Baltimore

Tamás Budavári

Professor of Applied Mathematics & Statistics
The Johns Hopkins University

Advances in open data, technology, and geospatial analysis have opened up new possibilities for cross-disciplinary research that blends mathematics and social science.  One examples involves applying methods developed for analyzing extremely large astronomical data sets to urban datasets to develop better understanding of housing patterns and building abandonment, with the goal of crafting better policies to prevent urban decay and encourage productive utilization of existing housing stock.

As it happens, remarkably little is known about the dynamics of housing divestment and reinvestment.  Fundamental questions have not been answered, such as:  When and why are particular properties abandoned?  Are there early markers of abandonment that can be identified - before a property begins to deteriorate?  If a property is renovated, stabilized, or demolished, how will it effect quality of life and property values in the affected area?

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PSW Science meetings are free and open to the public. No reservations are required, and the dress is casual. Meetings begin promptly at 8:00 pm, are followed by a reception with refreshments at approximately 9:30 pm, and end at 10:30 pm. Thereafter, PSW Science members and their guests continue their conversations at another location.


The John Wesley Powell Auditorium is adjacent to the Cosmos Club, 2170 Florida Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008. Entrance is through the club gate, the first right-hand entrance on Florida Avenue north of the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue NW. The auditorium entrance is to the left of the gate.

The Cosmos Club is within walking distance of the DuPont Circle Metro stop (Q Street exit), the Connecticut Avenue bus routes (L2, L4), and the Massachusetts Avenue bus routes (N2, N4). Please note there is no parking at the Cosmos Club.


Title Name
President Larry S. Millstein
Treasurer Brett Magaram
Program Director Larry S. Millstein
Membership Director Lloyd Mitchell
Corresponding Secretary Robin Taylor