Research Methods


Scholars at John Jay College are dedicated to contributing high quality empirical research to their fields. The quality of research often rests on the methods, and John Jay scholars are leaders in cutting edge quantitative and qualitative methods, from data mining to ethnography.

Spiridon Bakiras (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science) studies spatial databases, high-speed networks, peer-to-peer systems, and mobile computing. He has received a National Science Foundation Career Award where he is researching authentication and privacy in location-based services.

David Brotherton (Department of Sociology) subjects of his collaborative ethnographic studies include high school drop-outs, street gangs, deportees and undocumented immigrants. He is a renowned expert on street gangs and has written the definitive work on the Latin Kings.

Hyewon Chung (Department of Psychology) is interested in applying statistical/psychometric methodologies to practical issues in social and behavioral science. In particular, she has explored hierarchical linear modeling for cross classified multiple membership data; structural equation modeling for cross-cultural group comparisons; and meta analytic techniques for single-case research designs.

Ric Curtis (Department of Anthropology) is a renowned and innovative ethnographer and leading public health researcher. He is currently working on three projects: a study for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to examine drug injector behaviors in Long Island and New York City; a study of drug dealing and violence in Rochester, New York; and a study of teenage prostitutes in New York City.

Janice Johnson Dias (Department of Sociology) uses qualitative methods to examine the intersections of race, class and gender within the context of human-service agencies.

Kirk Dombrowski (Department of Anthropology) studies how various kinds of social inequality can be mapped and understood, including the use of social networks and quantitative analyses as well as conventional ethnographic methods.

Bilal Khan(Department of Mathematics and Computer Science) researches networks; computer security; digital forensics; wireless communications, modeling and simulation in anthropology, criminal justice, and epidemiology. He is a co-principal investigator of the multidisciplinary Social Networks Research Group supported by the National Science Foundation.

Keith Markus (Department of Psychology) researches causation (emphasizing causal pluralism by exploring alternative causal interpretations), test validity (articulating and clarifying unanswered questions in validity theory), and statistical inference (to inform research practice through better understanding of inductive inference).

Mike Maxfield (Department of Criminal Justice) has authored of numerous articles and books on a variety of topics -- victimization, policing, homicide, community corrections, auto theft, and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. He is the coauthor (with Earl Babbie) of a leading textbook, Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology, now in its sixth edition, and currently serves as the editor of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

Mangai Natarajan (Department of Criminal Justice) conducts quantitative research on drug trafficking, drug abuse, domestic violence, and women in policing, and is also involved in mapping research.

Richard Ocejo (Department of Sociology) uses qualitative methods to examine the interrelationship between urban change and the nighttime economy.

Valli Rajah (Department of Sociology) uses ethnography and content analysis to study women's experiences of partner violence.

Gabrielle Salfati (Department of Psychology) instrumental in the development of Investigative Psychology as an international research field on the empirical analysis of violent criminal behaviour.

Hung En Sung (Department of Criminal Justice) specializes in quantitative research on substance abuse issues and comparative analysis of crime and justice, including corrections.

Shonna Trinch (Department of Anthropology) studies linguistic ethnography, with a particular interest in U.S. Latino Spanish/English.

Lucia Trimbur (Department of Sociology) studies urban sociology, race and racisms, gender, and ethnographic methods.

Valerie West (Department of Criminal Justice) uses quantitative methods to examine the racial demographics of capital punishment.

Violet Yu (Department of Criminal Justice) utilizes ArcGIS, GeoDa, CrimeStat III, MS SQL, SPSS, and Stata in her research, focusing on crime prevention, corrections, and impacts of environments on spatial patterns of crime.