I study Information Science at Cornell University, where I’m advised by Matthew Wilkens and David Mimno. I study how small, domain-specific communities present themselves, develop norms, and communicate through written text. Parallel, I consider how computational methods (especially large language models) can be better adapted to these communities, to fulfill specific and documented needs. So far, these communities include Supreme Court Justices, book reviewers, botanists, and an endometriosis online health community.

Alongside my PhD research, I also develop and maintain code at Authors AI, using NLP to help authors analyze their manuscripts from a new scale with Marlowe, and to help readers discover books at BingeBooks.

I co-authored, with Matthew Jockers, the recently published second edition of Text Analysis With R.

Recent News

  • I shared research on rhetoric in Supreme Court opinions at the Cornell CIS Groundbreaking ceremony. The Cornell Chronicle story about the event highlights this work.
  • I’m a teaching assistant for INFO 2950: Introduction to Data Science this fall semester.
  • I received the Siegel Public Interest Tech Impact Fellowship and spent Summer 2022 working with the New York Botanical Gardens to automatically identify and disambiguate scientific names. My scientific names generative model is now available on HuggingFace!
  • I presented “True to the Spirit: Fidelity, Adaptation, and Value in Amateur Book Reviews” at DH Unbound 2022. My slides are available here.

Prior to returning to my graduate studies, I was an Instructor at Washington State University in the Department of English, the Digital Technology and Culture program, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I received my Master’s degree in Literature at WSU with an MA thesis that investigated the strategic and rhetorical tactics of Supreme Court Justices. Before that, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska in English and Film Studies. At Nebraska, I got involved with the digital humanities through the Nebraska Literary Lab and the early days of the George Eliot Archive.

If you’re looking for advice on applying to grad school, I’m happy to chat and share any advice/experiences I might have. Send me an email at ret85[at]cornell.edu!

+ what I’ve been reading for fun lately!!