Bio

I am Turing Research Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute, senior research associate the University of Cambridge and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Open Humanities Data. I have always been passionate about how the sciences and the humanities can meet. I completed a PhD in Computational Linguistics from the University of Pisa in 2010 after a degree in Mathematics and one in Classics from the University of Florence (Italy). Before joining the Turing, I was language technologist in the Dictionary division of Oxford University Press and data scientist in the Open Research Group of Springer Nature.

Check my Turing research spotlight interview here.

 

Research interests

Language changes all the time in fascinating ways. Barbara's research at the Turing is on how words change meaning over time and how to model this change in computational ways. She works on machine-learning models for the change in meaning of words in historical times (Ancient Greek, Latin, eighteen-century English) and in contemporary texts (Twitter, web archives). Her interdisciplinary contribution covers Data Science, Natural Language Processing, Historical Linguistics and other humanistic fields, to push the boundaries of what academic disciplines separately have achieved so far on this topic. 

Achievements and awards

Organisation of scientific meetings (since 2017)

  • 2020: Co-organizer of panel "Artificial Intelligence in the Arts and Humanities", CogX 2020
  • 2015-2019: Co-organizer of workshop "From Text to Tech" (NLP and Python for Humanities), Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School
  • 2017: Organizer of Turing/British Library Data Science and Digital History workshop, The Alan Turing Institute

Committees and groups

I have founded and convene the Data Science and Digital Humanities Special Interest Group at the Turing.

I have organised the Workshop on automatic methods for lexical semantic change at the Turing in 2019.

Invited talks (since 2017)

  • Mar 2020 Invited talk Quantifying lexical semantic change across centuries: what can we still learn from Ancient Greek and Latin?, Empirical Studies of Word Sense Divergences across Language Varieties, University of Hambourg
  • Nov 2019 Keynote Tracking changes in meaning over time: how can machines learn from humans, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning in Archaeology, British School at Rome
  • Oct 2019 Keynote Data science and historical texts: modelling meaning change from Ancient Greek to web archivesComputational Social Science Workshop, University of St. Gallen
  • Jul 2019 Keynote Shall the twain meet? Blending Digital Humanities and computational sciences, Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School
  • Feb 2019 Computational methods in the analysis of word meaning: lessons learnt from interdisciplinary projects, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Birkbeck University of London
  • Jan 2019 Computational semantics and historical texts: from Ancient Greek to web archives, St Benet’s Halll Research Forum, Digital Humanities, University of Oxford
  • Jan 2019 Member of panel Working together: the digital world and English studies, University of London
  • Dec 2018 Keynote Computing the classics, Conference “Fantastic Futures”, National Library of Norway, Oslo, Norway
  • Sep 2018 A quantitative framework for historical linguistics, 3rd Bridges Summer School, University of Warwick, UK
  • Sep 2018 Member of panel The Place of Humanities in Data Science, The Laigh Hall, St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh
  • Sep 2018 Talk with Dr Alessandro Vatri A computational approach to semantic change in post-Classical Greek, Workshop “Beyond Standards: Attic, the Koiné and Atticism”, University of Cambridge
  • Jul 2018 Identifying meaning change from a UK web archive, Workshop “Web archiving in the heritage and archive sectors”, The National Archives and School of Advanced Studies, University of London
  • Jul 2018 Talk with Dr Alessandro Vatri A computational approach to lexical polysemy in Ancient Greek, Computational methods for literary-historical textual scholarship, Leicester, UK
  • Jun 2018 Member of panel Workshop Beyond Words Workshop 2 (Technical challenges), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Feb 2018 Member of panel Women in business - Artificial Intelligence, CMS, London
  • Jan 2018 Integrating Data Science and Digital Humanities: what can possibly go wrong?, University College London Digital Humanities seminars
  • Nov 2017 What can online collaborative dictionaries tell us about language and social dynamics? Language Technology Lab seminar, University of Cambridge
  • Dec 2017 Applying computational techniques to the diachronic analysis of historical texts: lessons learnt from semantic change modelling, The language of Greek religion, University of London
  • Dec 2017 Applying computational techniques to the diachronic analysis of historical texts: lessons learnt from semantic change modelling, Workshop Beyond words: challenges in reading historical document collections at scale, University of Cambridge
  • Nov 2017 Computational approaches to the analysis of Latin verbs’ argument structure, Indo-European seminar, University of Cambridge
  • Jul 2017 Member of panel Encoding and Encoded Texts, 2017 Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, University of Oxford

Teaching 

  • Dec 2020 Guest lecture "Introduction to Natural Language Processing for heritage", University College London
  • Dec 2019 Guest lecture “Digital Humanities and Data Science: future directions”, University College London
  • Sep – Oct 2019 Futurelearn Massive Open Online Course “Understanding English Dictionaries
  • Jul 2019 Text processing with Python, Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • Feb 2019 Quantitative Methods for Analysing Language Data (4 hours), MPhil programme in Linguistics, University of Cambridge
  • Feb 2019 Introduction to Sentiment Analysis (2 hours), Undergraduate course “Cultural Analytics”, King’s College London
  • Jan 2019 Introduction to R (8 hours), Social Sciences Research Methods Centre, University of Cambridge
  • Nov 2018 Linguistics MPhil seminar Linguistics and computational modelling (two hours), University of Cambridge
  • Jul 2018 Text processing with Python (one week), Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, University of Oxford
  • Feb 2018 Quantitative Methods for Analysing Language Data (4 hours), MPhil programme in Linguistics, University of Cambridge
  • Jan 2018 Introduction to R (8 hours), Social Sciences Research Methods Centre, University of Cambridge
  • Mar 2018 Python 2/Lemmata+morphology (one hour), Sunoikisis Digital Classics 
  • Nov 2017 Linguistics MPhil seminar Linguistics and computational modelling (two hours), University of Cambridge
  • Jul 2017 Text processing with Python (one week), Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, University of Oxford
  • Mar 2017 Computational Morphology (one hour), Sunoikisis Digital Classics
  • Dec 2016 Computational tools and treebanked data for Latin and Greek tutors (2 hours), Workshop Treebanking for Language Tutors, School of Advanced Studies
  • Jul 2015 Corpus Linguistics and basic NLP with Python (one week), Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, University of Oxford