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Ben Schmidt
Works at Northeastern University
Attended Princeton University
Lived in Somerville MA
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Ben Schmidt

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Data Visualization and Embedded Reading

Digital Humanities: Using tools from the 1990s to answer questions from the 1960s about 19th century America. Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Data Visualization and Embedded Reading. Posted by Ben Schmidt at 2:01 PM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest ...
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Ben Schmidt

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Federal College Rankings: The pitfalls of a magical regression model
Far and away the most interesting idea of the new government college ratings emerges toward the end of the report. It doesn't quite square the circle of competing constituencies for the rankings I worries about in my last post, but it gets close. Lots of we...
Far and away the most interesting idea of the new government college ratings emerges toward the end of the report. It doesn't quite square the circle of competing constituencies for the rankings I worries about in my last post, but it gets close. Lots of weight is placed on a single magic model ...
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Administrative layers
Sometimes it takes time to make a data visualization, and sometimes they just fall out of the data practically by accident. I'm working to build one of the former for my talk at the American Historical Association out of the Newberry Library's remarkable At...
Sometimes it takes time to make a data visualization, and sometimes they just fall out of the data practically by accident. I'm working to build one of the former for my talk at the American Historical Association out of the Newberry Library's remarkable Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
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Typical TV episodes: visualizing topics in time
The most interesting element of the Bookworm browser for movies  I wrote about i n my last post here  is the possibility to delve into the episodic structure of different TV shows by dividing them up by minutes. On my website, I previously wrote about story...
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Some links to myself
An FYI, mostly for people following this feed on RSS: I just put up on my home web site a post about applications for the Simpsons Bookworm browser I made . It touches on a bunch of stuff that would usually lead me to post it here. (Really, it hits the Sapp...
An FYI, mostly for people following this feed on RSS: I just put up on my home web site a post about applications for the Simpsons Bookworm browser I made. It touches on a bunch of stuff that would usually lead me to post it here. (Really, it hits the Sapping Attention trifecta: a discussion of ...
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So I'm watching the WGN show Manhattan (Second Coming episode) and a character says, "Buy her a Honey Baked Ham." The show is set during WWII, but the Honey Baked Ham company wasn't founded until 1957.  Next, the same character is using what appears to be a circa 1915 telephone with handset connected by a plastic spiral cord. Spiral cord wasn't introduced until 1954.
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Ben Schmidt

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State of the Union--and corpus comparison.
Mitch Fraas and I have put together a two-part interactive for the Atlantic using Bookworm as a backend to look at the changing language in the State of Union. Yoni Appelbaum, who just took over this week, spearheaded a great team over there including Chris...
Mitch Fraas and I have put together a two-part interactive for the Atlantic using Bookworm as a backend to look at the changing language in the State of Union. Yoni Appelbaum, who just took over this week, spearheaded a great team over there including Chris Barna, Libby Bawcombe, Noah Gordon, ...
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Federal college rankings: who are they for?
Before the holiday, the Department of Education circulated a draft prospectus
of the new college rankings they hope to release next year. That afternoon, I wrote a somewhat dyspeptic post on the way that these
rankings, like all rankings, will inevitably be...
Before the holiday, the Department of Education circulated a draft prospectus of the new college rankings they hope to release next year. That afternoon, I wrote a somewhat dyspeptic post on the way that these rankings, like all rankings, will inevitably be gamed. But it's probably better to ...
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Fundamental plot arcs, seen through multidimensional analysis of thousands of TV and movie scripts
It's interesting to look, as I did at my last post, at the plot structure of typical episodes of a TV show as derived through topic models.  But while it may help in understanding individual TV shows, the method also shows some promise on a more ambitious g...
It's interesting to look, as I did at my last post, at the plot structure of typical episodes of a TV show as derived through topic models. But while it may help in understanding individual TV shows, the method also shows some promise on a more ambitious goal: understanding the general ...
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Screen time!
Here's a very fun, and for some purposes, perhaps, a very useful thing: a Bookworm browser that lets you investigate onscreen language in about 87,000 movies and TV shows, encompassing together over 600 million words . I've been thinking about doing this fo...
On the other hand, you know what's going down? Any discussion of global warming. This is probably worth a longer treatment just on its own, to trace out exactly why and when this happened. (It's a phenomenon not just true in movies and TV, but also newspapers and TV news; but it's worth thinking ...
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Other TV news: Simpsonsology
No new anachronisms here, but if you're into TV language you might want to look at my browser for all 25 years of the Simpsons . I have a longer post on my web site about making a Bookworm for the SRT files I've been using here . One potentially interesting...
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Data visualization rules, 1915
Right now people in data visualization tend to be interested in their field’s history, and people in digital humanities tend to be fascinated by data visualization. Doing some research in the National Archives in Washington this summer, I came across an ear...
Right now people in data visualization tend to be interested in their field's history, and people in digital humanities tend to be fascinated by data visualization. Doing some research in the National Archives in Washington this summer, I came across an early set of rules for graphic ...
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Have him in circles
171 people
Leo Lahti's profile photo
Aiden Lab's profile photo
Dean Irvine's profile photo
Zach Seward's profile photo
Maxim Romanov's profile photo
Madeline Reagan's profile photo
Jacob Arluck's profile photo
Noam Zeilberger's profile photo
Aliza Hudson's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Historian and Digital Humanist
Employment
  • Northeastern University
    Assistant Professor of History, 2013 - present
  • Harvard University
    Visiting Fellow, 2011 - 2013
  • Princeton University
    Graduate Student, 2005 - 2011
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Previously
Somerville MA - Somerville MA - Cambridge MA - Newton MA - Princeton NJ
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Introduction
Assistant professor of history at Northeastern University
Education
  • Princeton University
    History, 2013
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Male