Associate Professor, Sociology
Dan Olson is associate professor of sociology, PhD University of Chicago (1987). Before coming to Purdue in 2007 he was professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Indiana University - South Bend.
His main area of research is the sociology of religion particularly the ways in which the religious composition of geographic areas affects the behavior of individuals and religious groups in those areas.
Olson taught introductory sociology and elementary statistics and research methods to thousands of undergraduates. He was elected president of the Religious Research Association and chair of the Section on Sociology of Religion of the American Sociological Association.
He is co-editor of two books, The Secularization Debate (2000) and The Role of Religion in Modern Societies (2008) and author of 33 articles and book chapters. Olson is now, or has been on the editorial boards or a consulting editor for the American Journal of Sociology, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Sociology of Religion.
He was recently appointed a fellow in the College of Liberal Arts Center for Behavioral and Social Sciences.