City and Regional Planning

Ken Steif

Ken Steif (1982 - 2021)

Associate Professor of Practice
MUSA Program Director

Ken Steif is the Program Director for the MUSA program and an Associate Professor of Practice MUSA and City Planning programs. After receiving his Ph.D from Penn, he founded Urban Spatial, a consultancy at the intersection of data science and public policy.

Ken Steif has been at the forefront of data driven public policy for more than a fifteen years.  He combines technical knowledge of Geographic Information Systems and applied statistics with an interest in housing policy, child welfare, education, the economics of neighborhood change, transportation policy and more.  In his tenure as Musa Director, Dr. Steif has shifted the program's emphasis from GIS to civic technology, enabling students to develop technology and governance solutions to solve today's most complex public policy problems. Check out the applied machine learning tools Ken and the MUSA Students built for government clients in the Musa Practicum.

His latest book is 'Public Policy Analytics: Code & Context for Data Science in Government', on CRC Press, enables readers to build public-sector analytics in R ranging from simple maps and indicators to complex machine learning algorithms. It also provides context to policy makers on how to tradeoff a 'useful' service delivery algorithm with its potential bias - a framework called 'Algorithmic Governance'.

The book with all the code and data can be accessed online here. The print version can be ordered from here.

Work and Research