Summaries of a selection of student projects from the Spring of 2017:
High School Sentence Complexity as Measured Through Closeness Centrality
Student A analyzed sentence complexity in four different subsets of his high school writing: 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, and his college essays. He used adjacency matrices and closeness centrality to calculate complexity.
Civil Rights Speeches: Now, The Future, The Past, and The Other
Student B analyzed twenty speeches by civil rights and women’s rights activists, measuring how different speakers use certain words that indicate a focus on self (I, me), a focus on others (they, them), a focus on the past (had, was, were, et al.), or a focus on the future (will, should, would, could).
Phonetic Compression in Select Rap Artists’ Lyrics
Student C assessed consonance and assonance in rap lyrics by quantifying the appearances of every phoneme in the lyrics of select rap artists/songs. Songs were analyzed both for overall phonetic distribution and for the size and frequency of phonetic repetition.
Robespierre and His Critics
Student D compared the writings of Robespierre to the writings of his critics by comparing co-occurrences of words in each aggregate body of writing.
The Evolution of Donald Trump’s Wikipedia Page
Student E assessed the full text of Donald Trump’s Wikipedia page on specific days in its edit history: the day before Trump announced his candidacy, the day before winning the Republican primary, and other key dates leading up his 100th day in office.
Social Networks in the Bible
Student F filtered names from the King James Bible and generated social network graphs based on name adjacency. The resulting graphs offered a visual representation of centrality of different figures in each book of the Old and New Testaments.
The Evolution of the Beatles
Student G assessed word frequencies in the lyrics of every album released by the Beatles, seeking to understand what subject matter changed, what subject matter persisted, and how each album was distinct from the other.
Geographic Imagination in War and Peace
Student A (again) identified place names in Tolstoy’s novel and graphed them by chapter, resulting in a visual representation of the shift of geographic imagination and attention over the course of the novel.
For more details about what is required for each project, see the Syllabus page.
Go to Wolfram Basics.