Mauricio "Pachá" Vargas Sepúlveda

About me | Research | Open Source | Class Notes | Datasets | Books | R and Shiny Training | Blog | Replication

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About me

I am a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Toronto, specializing in International Relations and Public Policy. My research primarily focuses on the political dynamics of trade agreements and sanctions. Due to this interest, I am a Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

My academic background includes a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science in Statistics from the Catholic University of Chile, and an Engineering degree from the University of Chile. Should you need it, I can provide my academic and professional CV upon request. For any queries or further information, please contact me at .

I am convinced that a comprehensive understanding of economic and financial sanctions between countries can be achieved by integrating ideas, interests, institutions, and structures. I aim at studying this combining Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Econometrics to analyze and quantify the economic repercussions of sanctions. This is detailed in the Research section.

My research interest has led me to develop advanced R, Python, and C++ skills. My GitHub profile showcases my open-source projects, predominantly focused on gravity estimation, data wrangling in R, and data visualization using Shiny. More details can be found in the Open Source section.

Additionally, I maintain a blog (, where I post various notes and tutorials. Some highlights include "Creating LaTeX Figures with Inkscape", "A Crash Course on PostgreSQL for R Users", and "A Step-by-Step Guide to Write an R Package that Uses C++ Code (Ubuntu)". These posts reflect my ongoing commitment to both learning and sharing knowledge in the field.

Trivia: My blog post Comparing SQLite, DuckDB and Arrow with UN Trade Data made it to the top ten on Hacker News.

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