[gov3009-l] Michel and Liberman Aiden on "Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books”

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Tue Mar 1 20:24:57 EST 2011

Hi all,

We hope that you can join us for the Applied Statistics Workshop
tomorrow, March 2nd when we will be happy to have Jean-Baptiste Michel
(Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology) and Erez Lieberman
Aiden (Harvard Society of Fellows). You will find an abstract and a
link to the paper below. As always, we will serve a light lunch and
the talk will begin around 12:15p.

“Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books”
Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden
CGIS K354 (1737 Cambridge St.)
Wednesday, March 2nd 12 noon

We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4% of all
books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate
cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of
‘culturomics,’ focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that were
reflected in the English language between 1800 and 2000. We show how
this approach can provide insights about fields as diverse as
lexicography, the evolution of grammar, collective memory, the
adoption of technology, the pursuit of fame, censorship, and
historical epidemiology. Culturomics extends the boundaries of
rigorous quantitative inquiry to a wide array of new phenomena
spanning the social sciences and the humanities.

Paper: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6014/176.short


Matthew Blackwell
PhD Candidate
Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Department of Government
Harvard University
url: http://people.fas.harvard.edu/~blackwel/

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