BCNM Assistant Professor Gail de Kosnik was the recipient of a prestigious Hellman Grant for 2012-2013. The Hellman Grant supports the research of promising assistant professors who “show capacity for great distinction in their chosen fields of endeavor. Gail de Kosnik received the maximum award of $50,000 for her project Fan Data.
Fan Data is a digital humanities tool that will enable scholars to “count” social networks and other types of websites. Through the use of Fan Data, scholars will be able to assess how many users posted to a site in a given time range, and how many posts pertained to specific topics, among other measurements. While many humanities scholars are interested in studying social media and users’ contributions to these participatory sites, so far, no tool has been designed to easily allow them to “scrape” the quantitative data that determines the precise volume or timeline of participation.
Gail de Kosnik is collaborating on Fan Data with BCNM Professor Laurent El Ghaoui, along with graduate students from BCNM, EECS, History, Rhetoric, and Film & Media.