Welcome to P.M. "Pooch" Picucci's homepage

PM Picucci (or "Pooch" as he is better known) is a political science researcher with interests in the fields of international terrorism and, more generally, international conflict. Specific interests include Islamic terrorism, Middle East relations, and the operational code approach to decision making.

Pooch works as a Research Staff Member for the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, VA

Since finishing his PhD in mid-2008 he has been employed as a research assistant and statistical analyst for the Center for International Political Analysis at the University of Kansas but will soon be starting as a Research Staff Member for the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, VA.

Chapter 26: New Challenges: Human ,Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling

Biographic Information

The Academic Side

I have seen my fair share of institutions of higher learning. I started my collegiate career as an Integrated Science Program major at Northwestern University. A year of intense math, chemistry, and physics convinced me that I would be better served by a transfer and I found myself at California State University: Chico. I spent a year and a half there taking a variety of coursework and successfully competing in both Forensics (speech and debate) and Model United Nations. A onetime quadruple major in chemistry, speech communications, international studies, and political science, I decided upon political science and returned to Northwestern, finishing my bachelors in two years and specializing in research methods.

I returned to school two years later after a stint in the computer support and desktop publishing industries. I devoured the National Security Studies program at California State University: San Bernardino, graduating with honors at a time when the program was in transition from its previous Cold War emphasis. I took a little time to indulge back into debate. I left California for Washington DC but was seduced back into the computer support industry.

Several years later I became disenchanted with my previous employment and decided to re-enter academia with the goal of making the transfer from jobs (albeit lucrative ones) in the computer industry to a career in political science research. Despite enticing offers from Penn State and Rice I decided to attend the University of Kansas, partially for the research freedom but also to be reunited with professors I had known while at Northwestern. While there I rediscovered my interest in low intensity conflict and terrorism and continued my interest in research methods, advocating a "the more the merrier" approach to absorbing new research tools. This served me well in the prosecution of a dissertation that was far afield from the kinds of large-n number crunching I had originally envisioned for myself. Employing the operational code analysis tool from political psychology I delved into the belief systems of al-Qaeda and Hamas comparing the groups to each other as well as a reference group of state leader belief systems: Terrorism's Operational Code: the Belief Systems of al-Qaeda and Hamas.