Congratulations are in order for David Mimno, who was named a 2016 Sloan Research Fellow. Mimno will be expanding his work with historical texts, creating new tools to connect scholars with the millions of books digitized by Google and the Internet Archive from university libraries, the Cornell Chronicle reported.
By analyzing the text of documents, a computer can identify the topic of the work, so computers could identify and collect articles on the same subject, or track how attitudes toward a subject have changed over time. Solutions to this problem exist, but do not scale to large collections and cannot be used reliably by non-specialists.
Mimno plans to expand its capabilities to deal with the vast amount of data now available, and is collaborating with sociologists, historians and literary scholars to make computational approaches an organic part of their practice.
The Sloan Foundation awards fellowships to scholars who show the most promise in bringing new knowledge to the world. Fun fact: 39 Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win Nobel Prizes later in their careers.