Nathaniel D PorterI am a PhD candidate in sociology at Penn State University who is committed to combining careful theory with the methods best suited to it, often in a context of non-traditional or “big” data.

I can be found lurking wherever there are difficult questions to be answered, but most often work in the areas of religion, social networks, social psychology, and the role of internet in society.

I believe in and practice a classical scientific approach to research, but as a Lutheran Christian and a human , I also seek to interpret the knowledge gained from science (mine and others’) to real-world problems of faith and leadership.

My background is diverse, with advanced training in sociological methodology, social thought, and ministry leadership and theology, with additional training in social psychology and East Asian studies. I am also a semi-polyglot with varying degrees of fluency in reading and/or speaking Japanese, German, and Greek, in addition to my native tongue, American English.

I’ve learned to decide what I’m going to change about the world and keep on working until it happens, both academically and personally. Recently, that has included collecting my own data from, creating an annual international Social Thought Writing Month, and advocating for better student healthcare in my university. I also have a wife and two sons who you can often find me walking in the woods with when I’m not writing.

If you want to know more about my work, take a look at the other pages on the site, or download my CV. Thanks for coming. I also encourage you to engage with me on my blogs, Facebook, and GitHub too. Peace.


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Data in the Real World