Hannah Pullen-Blasnik

Hannah Pullen-Blasnik

Research Interests

Hannah Pullen-Blasnik is a Ph.D. Candidate, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (NSF GRFP), and Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in the Sociology Department at Columbia University. Her primary research interests include political economy and the criminal legal system, algorithms and surveillance, urban space and place, and social movements. She investigates how power gets regulated and contested and how technology alters these dynamics. Her dissertation looks at policing and real estate development in New York City, regulatory systems in urban development, and changes created by carceral technology. She uses a mixture of quantitative, computational, and qualitative techniques.

Hannah is also Project Director on the Criminal Legal Algorithms, Technology, and Expertise (CLATE) project at the Trust Collaboratory, where her publication examines how DNA analysis software destabilizes human decision-making. She is a researcher for the Data and Racial Inequality Project and has worked at Incite’s Movements against Mass Incarceration Lab and the Columbia Justice Lab. Her publication on the Pennsylvania Solitary Study found that 1 in 9 Black men in the state are held in solitary confinement by the time they are 32. Other projects explore protest movements during economic crisis and the biases and impact of prison risk assessments.

Before starting her PhD, Hannah worked as a Senior Data Scientist in digital media marketing, where she managed big data and machine learning projects. She volunteered data analyses for the ACLU of Massachusetts and managed research teams for Data for Black Lives and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on algorithmic surveillance tools, transparency, and social policy. She continues to work with local government offices on data visualization and interview projects about non-carceral solutions to community safety.


Title: Places, Technologies, and Transitions: Contested Regulation in Urban Development and the Criminal Legal System

Committee: Bruce Western, Gil Eyal, Joshua Whitford


M.Phil. Sociology, Columbia University, 2023
Title: To Protect and Serve Capital: Policing, Real Estate Development, and the Regulation of Wealthy Spaces in New York City

M.A. Sociology, Columbia University, 2021

Sc.B. Social Analysis & Research (with honors), magna cum laude, Brown University, 2016


2022: Master’s Thesis Seminar I (Teaching Fellow)
2023: Master’s Thesis Seminar II (Teaching Fellow)


Pullen-Blasnik, Hannah, Gil Eyal and Amy Weissenbach. 2024. “‘Is your accuser me, or is it the software?’ Ambiguity and contested expertise in probabilistic DNA profiling.” Social Studies of Science 54(1): 30-58.

Pullen-Blasnik, Hannah, Jessica T. Simes and Bruce Western. 2021. “The population prevalence of solitary confinement.” Science Advances 7(48).