Published on January 10th, 2014 | by Travis Korte


Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture

Uncharted follows the authors, applied mathematicians Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, through their work in the field of “culturomics.” Culturomics, which consists of analyzing historical and social trends through quantitative text analysis, borrows methods from text mining, historical time-series analysis and sociology. Work in the field is typified by Google’s Ngram Viewer, which the duo helped create, and which allows users to compare usage rates of words in various different languages, going back decades or centuries. The book explores a number of questions the pair attempted to answer using culturomics methods, including inquiries about how quickly technology spreads and how grammar changes over time.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.

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