Sean Doody

sean doody
Senior Researcher, START
University of Maryland

Sean Doody is a Senior Researcher at the START Consortium, located at the University of Maryland-College Park, specializing in computational sociology, political economy, and the study of online political communities. Dr. Doody's research focuses on the epistemological challenges and the social, cultural, and political conflicts arising from informational surplus, social media, and digital platforms, especially with a focus on how broader political economic forces and social inequalities structure and mediate these conflicts. In his work, Dr. Doody is especially interested in far-right extremism and far-right political violence, contrarian and "heterodox" intellectual communities, and misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.

Dr. Doody has expertise in collecting and analyzing large volumes of big data pulled from digital sources. His research applies deep neural language models, social network analysis, and conventional quantitative and qualitative inquiry to study discourses, social dynamics, and information flows in online communities. Working at the intersection of social science and data science, Dr. Doody has expertise in developing and managing data science workflows, including building and scaling large databases, training and fine-tuning machine learning models, and deploying trained models for inference.


  • George Mason University, Ph.D. in Sociology, 2022
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, M.S. in Sociology, 2016
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, B.A. in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, 2014
  • Finalist, 3-Minute Thesis Competition, George Mason University, 2021
  • Presidential Scholarship, George Mason University, 2016-2020
  • High Pass in Sociology Comprehensive Exam (Highest Honors), Department of Sociology & Anthropology, George Mason University, 2018
  • Graduate Teaching Scholarship, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2014-2016
  • Outstanding Student in Political Science Award, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2014
Professional Experience:
  • University of Maryland, START, Senior Researcher, 2022-Present
  • Graduate Research Assistant, George Mason University, 2016-2022
  • Lecturer in Sociology, George Mason University, 2021
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2014-2016

Lead Investigator on START Research Projects

News References