Urban Research Corps Members

Meet members of the Institute’s Urban Research Corps. The URC is a research incubator that produces relevant insights about the fundamental processes driving urban change and develops tools to help build more sustainable, equitable, and connected cities. URC participants develop, test and deploy computational methods and design scalable tools to accelerate the practice of sustainable urban development at the local and global scales.

Merritt Smith

Merritt Smith

Research Engineer

Merritt Smith is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. His background is in applying data science methods to public policy problems, primarily wealth inequality and bribery. Before coming to Chicago, he built models of bribery at TRACE International, culminating in a chapter in the book Corrosive. As a Research Engineer at the Mansueto Institute, he works on creating open-source tools and data infrastructure to understand cities. Merritt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Data Science and Public Policy from Tufts University.

Manuel Martinez

Manuel Martinez

Research Engineer

Manuel Martinez is a graduate student in the Computational Analysis and Public Policy (CAPP) program at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to graduate school Manuel worked as a research assistant for Christopher Neilson and John Eric Humphries, both economists whose research focuses on topics in applied microeconomics within the larger context of educational markets and their outcomes through market design and educational policy. Additionally Manuel works as a Data Scientist for ConsiliumBots, an NGO that leverages economic theory and technology to make navigation in education markets easier for families and students. Manuel holds a B.A. in Economics from Southern Connecticut State University.