Recent Posts

Are academics more unequal than athletics? A new collaboration by Brian Powell

Are academics more unequal than athletics? A new collaboration by Brian Powell

Our latest lab collaboration was created by McGill undergraduate Brian Powell. As a college basketball fan, he was interested in whether the high levels of institutional inequality within academic publishing and hiring that we have been seeing would also hold true within college athletics. Did…

Let’s talk about debiasing books

Let’s talk about debiasing books

This March I will be giving a talk at BookNet Canada’s TechForum. The topic is “debiasing” books and I’ve posted a short blog post to get the conversation started. Discussions of bias, and cultural bias in particular, have been much in the air lately. A…

All about topic modeling

All about topic modeling

For the latest instalment of the Fish and the Painting I have been wrestling with topic modeling. I say wrestling not because the coding is hard but because the analytical value of topic modeling is so hard. Topic modeling has become a kind of go-to…

Introducing The Fish and the Painting: a new open access handbook-in-progress on data-driven humanities research

Introducing The Fish and the Painting: a new open access handbook-in-progress on data-driven humanities research

It’s like hitting a painting with a fish. This was the quip that a well-known British novelist made when asked about using computation to study literature. You could, but why would you? I think it’s becoming increasingly clear to people all of the ways data…

The Politics of the Mirage

The Politics of the Mirage

In 1967, Guy Debord published The Society of the Spectacle. In it, he tried to show us how virtual real life had become, that is, the extent to which social and political life was increasingly dominated by media and mediation. The recent Canadian election made…

The End of an Era. NovelTM celebrates its final workshop, “Ends”

The End of an Era. NovelTM celebrates its final workshop, “Ends”

The NovelTM partnership is going into it’s 6th and final year. It has been a tremendous experience. As a team we’ve produced more than a hundred articles, trained over 200 students, held annual workshops, created a methods commons, and soon a collective data set for other…

Does size matter? Measuring worlding

Does size matter? Measuring worlding

A lot of the hoopla around big data has revolved around a hierarchy of scale. After all, it’s called BIG data. This has had understandably gendered connotations in its promotion and reception. I found myself thinking about this problem when I was discussing my summer…

Gonzo Data Science

Gonzo Data Science

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “That’s right.” – Sunspring, a film written by AI The term gonzo data science was used by the creator of the AI that was used to write Sunspring. He works at Google. Gonzo journalism was a term coined…