Dennis Hammerschmidt

PhD Candidate | Data Scientist

University of Mannheim

Virtual Resume

I’m a PhD Candidate at the University of Mannheim working at the intersection of Quantitative Methods and International Relations. I use a broad portfolio of different statistical and methodological tools – ranging from natural language processing over network analysis to machine learning – on different sources of data to understand and measure the relationship structure of states in the international system. In my dissertation, I use information from political speeches and cooperation networks to quantify and estimate the interaction of states at the United Nations.

Since 2018, I am a research associate at the Chair of Empirical Democracy Research where I develop and teach courses on data analysis, LaTeX and international relations. Before that, I was a student research assistant at the Chair under Prof. Nikolay Marinov, PhD and held positions at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the Collaborative Research Center SFB 884, as well as the Chair of Political Psychology.

Apart from using data analysis for my PhD projects and research positions, I enjoy to learn and apply new methods of all sorts to problems and challenges beyond the academic context. For instance, I serve as a voluntary mentor at the R-Track on exercism.io - a free and open-source e-learning website for coding and programming - where I supervised more than 100 students on programming exercises and coding challenges in R.


  • Machine Learning & Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Network Analysis
  • Relationship structures of states


  • PhD in Political Science

    University of Mannheim

  • Visiting Researcher

    09-10/2019, University of Houston

  • M.A. Political Science, 2017

    University of Mannheim

  • Visiting Graduate Student

    09/2015-05/2016, Johns Hopkins University & School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

  • B.A. Political Science, 2014

    University of Mannheim



5+ years daily use for data management, data analysis and data visualization as well as programming and coding


2+ years of experience for NLP and Text Analysis


2+ years of experience


7+ years of experience, incl. teaching data analysis using Stata


2+ years of experience for data exploration & visualization


2+ year of daily experience for personal & collaborative work

Professional Experience


Data Consultant

CorrelAid e.V.

Mar 2020 – Present Remote
Responsibilities include:

  • End-to-end development of data strategy to transform printed annual reports into an interactive web application
  • Implementation and simplification of mode of operation for data collection and data processing
  • Development and implementation of interactive web application ShinyApp to visualize report data & increase public outreach

Research Associate

University of Mannheim, Chair of Empirical Democracy Research

Aug 2018 – Present Mannheim, Germany
Responsibilities include:

  • Development and teaching of 7 courses on natural language processing, data analysis, Latex and international relations
  • Publishing (also forthcoming) 3 peer-reviewed article on geo-spatial analysis of electoral violence, sentiment analysis of political speeches, and prediction of foreign aid spendin
  • Guest-editor of a special issue on democracy promotion at the Cambridge Review of International Affairs
  • CCo-organization of an international 3-day conference on Democracy Promotion (incl. external grant application & leadership responsibility for student assistants)
  • Presentation of research projects at 7 methodological and interdisciplinary conferences in 5 countries across 3 continents & giving 3 invited talks in Germany and the US
  • Professional training for higher education teaching @ Baden-Wuerttemberg Center for Teaching and Learning

Research Assistant

Collaborative Research Center SFB 884 - Political Economy of Reforms, University of Mannheim

Sep 2016 – Jul 2018 Mannheim, Germany
Responsibilities include:

  • Data generation, data collection, and data management in R and Excel

Research Assistant

University of Mannheim, Chair of Political Psychology

Aug 2016 – Jun 2017 Mannheim, Germany
Responsibilities include:

  • Coding, syntax check, data visualization & survey pretest using Stata
  • Organization and compilation of book manuscript

Research Assistant

University of Mannheim, Chair of Empirical Democracy Research

Mar 2014 – Jul 2018 Mannheim, Germany
Responsibilities include:

  • Data generation, data management, and data analysis using R
  • Coding, programming and syntax translation (R to Stata)
  • In-depth, worldwide case study research on foreign intervention in electoral processes

Additional Training

Pre-Conference Workshops on Text Analysis and Natural Language Processing


  • Machine Learning using Text Data
  • Data Collection and Text Analysis in the Cloud
  • Text Mining and Machine Learning with Apache Spark

Image Processing

One-day workshop focusing on feature extraction and image classification using Python with special emphasis on deep learning, object detection and Convolutional Neural Networks.

Multimedia Data

5-day summer school on how to process and analyze multimedia data (text, images, videos, and audio). Alongside the lectures and hands-on tutorials, small groups work on mini projects using a specific data sources for a problem of their own choice.

Together with Cosima Meyer, Theresa Küntzler – and supervised by Andreu Casas – we trained a Convolutional Neural Network to detect emotions in political speeches from videos and images and won an award (honorable mention) for the best mini project.

Collecting and Analyzing Big Data

5-day intensive summer school course on data collection, processing and analysis of big data with special focus on text data in Python.

Economic Networks

5-day summer school on techniques and hands-on applications (in R) as well as the impact of network theory in economics and development.



How to write your own R package and publish it on CRAN

A comprehensive blog post that provides a step-by-step guide on how to write an R package from scratch, including best practices, novel developments in the field of package development and a list of things to consider when submitting a package to CRAN.

Money Makes the World Go Frowned - Analyzing the Impact of Chinese Foreign Aid on States’ Sentiment Using Natural Language Processing

We use natural language processing to automatically extract sentiments from political speeches of African states at the United Nations General Debate to analyze the extent that their sentiment towards the US has shifted once China became a foreign aid donor in the region

LaTeX and Overleaf

We walk users through the very first step for using LaTeX and Overleaf to write (scientific) articles and term papers.

Explaining Regional Patterns of Violence in Times of Political Struggle - The Case of the 2005 Parliamentary Election in Afghanistan

We use spatial analysis to visualize the geographic distribution of pre-electoral violence of the 2005 election in Afghanistan.

Book Review - Daniel McDowell, Brother, Can You Spare a Billion? The United States, the IMF, and the International Lender of Last Resort

Book Review Brother, Can You Spare a Billion? The United States, the IMF, and the International Lender of Last Resort (Daniel McDowell)

Conference Presentations & Invited Talks

SSDL Workshop - Introduction to LaTeX and Overleaf

Introductory workshop on using LaTeX and Overleaf for efficient and automated workflows.

Invited Talk - Speeches on the UN floor and relationships between countries - Insights from Text Analysis

I was invited to give a talk on text analysis for International Relations research with specific focus on speeches at the UN.

POLTEXT 2019 Conference

I was invited with full funding by the organizers to present my work at the first Asian quantitative text analysis conference.

PaCSS 2019 Conference

Fully funded presentation at the interdisciplinary computational social science conference PaCSS in Washington, D.C.

PIPC 2019 Conference

Poster presentation at the 3rd Pacific International Politics Conference (PIPC) in Taiwan City.

EPSA 2019 Conference

I presented my work at the largest Political Science conference in Europe in Belfast.