Hello! I'm Mike Kearney

Welcome to my website!


I recently (April 2017) completed my Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas. For my dissertation, I tracked political polarization in user networks on Twitter during the 2016 general election. While I found clear evidence of network polarization among partisan users, proximity to the highly-charged 2016 election had, remarkably, no effect on [entertainment-focused] non-partisan users. Broadly, I'm interested in selective exposure, new media, data journalism, and data science.

My updated CV can be downloaded here. Find me on Twitter, Google Scholar, Github, and Research Gate. Also check out my R package, rtweet, on the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN). For instructions and access to the development version, check out the Github version as well!


rtweet: Collecting Twitter Data

I published rtweet, an R [statistical computing] software package, on the Comprehensive R Archive Network. The package is an implementation of calls designed to extract and organize Twitter data via Twitter's REST and stream API's. Functions formulate GET and POST requests and convert response objects to more user friendly structures, e.g., data frames or lists. Specific consideration is given to functions designed to return tweets, friends, and followers. For more on rtweet, view package materials and guides on Github.


An application I made to assist in learning about correlations and Pearson's r value. I made an extended activity to assist in learning t-tests as well, but it may not be as useful without instructions for the activity, which I haven't gotten around to posting yet..

Teaching Evals

I made a small application to automate the visualization of teaching evaluation data. The template is designed specifically for the evaluations distributed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, but it could be easily adapted to other forms as well.


Download my CV here.