Scholars have long employed a divisive lens to view science and humanities, with the former rapidly
developing to replace human labor while the latter ultimately oriented around human interpretations.
Such division in perspective also manifests itself in the division of scholarly communities that
perceive themselves as having little to do with each other.
However, my experience researching at the intersection of the two revealed that this made us miss
out on an enormous potential for the two domains to co-evolute and recursively augment each other. This
motivates me to pursue an integrated approach to research that combines both.
Despite suspicion and criticism that such technical methods are not equipped with the context to
understand philosophical arguments, my project demonstrated the great benefits that could be brought by
the creative use of scientific tools—their agnostic nature could illuminate us with new perspectives,
and the comprehensive visualization could expand our cognition and point out blind spots that were
previously ignored. Using machine-learning-powered network and text analysis, I have conducted several
projects to examine how philosophical terms, schools, and thinkers can be connected at scale and be
situated within larger social and intellectual contexts.
I am also expanding my research to other areas of philosophical, historical, and even sociological
I believe that it is the questions we ask, not the technologies we apply, that can positively impact the
world. A knowledge mapping system I created to help researchers across disciplines find those who share
similar research interests led to me starting the Computational Humanities Lab, as an incubator for
research that trespasses the traditional divide of “science” and “humanities”.
By doing so, I hope to help foster an environment in which people are brave enough to question the
established boundaries and open enough to cross them.
Visit my research page and blog
for more details!
The big questions I have been exploring...
My research centers on the hermeneutic rethinking of digital humanities methodologies,
and explores three principle ideas:
★ Redesign computational methods for humanities research
Large-scale computing is not a panacea, and current data science techniques are often not
tailored to the reflective, contextualized nature of humanities research and so lack the interpretive
power it requires.
How can we get small, smart data from texts and scale up to big, smart data?
How can we tailor computational methods specifically to humanities subjects and methods?
★ Algorithm design as lens modeling to prompt reflections
Is distance reading really a black box? Is close reading completely a white box? Explicit computations
might even be more
decomposable and interpretable than human cognition.
Can we develop and employ algorithms that can bring clarity to implicit biases and perspectives encoded
in our understandings of the world?
★ Philosophy of scientific and humanistic
What are the philosophical grounds, especially the epistemology, of digital humanities?
What are so-called "scientific" and "humanistic", and how have they co-evolved over history?
makes humanities computing possible and promising? Is it possible to qualify and quantify the gaps
and humanities scholarships?
Ultimately, my research goal is to develop the philosophical foundation of this
through a series of research projects and reflections (we are all explorers, and failure can be even
more valuable than success).
What is the story
✧ My parents and friends have complained for years that I try to turn every conversation into a
✧ Necessities for me: good books, VSCode, and COFFEE. With these in mind, you can often catch me in
the corner of a cafe or bookstore. My favorite place is the
Library of Babel.
Besides reading and writing, I enjoy
playing the Chinese zither,
and trying all ice cream flavors.
I am always energized by inspiring conversations and meaningful connections. Feel free to email me and say hi!