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A bake-off for sentiment analysis

As a grad student trying to understand the emotional content of some unreadably large collection of texts, a typical night can often go something like this: You’re up late at night planning a new research study, thinking about trying some of this fancy sentiment-based text analysis. You resort to your favorite search engine with the query “sentiment analysis package python.” We …

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Socio-technical instruments for public health

How do we quantify the well-being of a population in real time? Traditionally, we've done so with a mixture of key economic indicators, from GDP to consumer confidence indices. But are people happy? Do they believe their lives—their personal stories—are going well? Do they have hope for the future? More than 2 billion people use social media such as Twitter, …

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What do your Instagram photos reveal about your mental health?

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”—Sally Mann “In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.”—August Sander When you’re feeling sad, the people around you probably know it. Moody playlists, slumped shoulders, drawn-out sighs—there are many ways we signal to the rest of the world when we’re having a …

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A bird’s-eye view of #WomensMarch

On January 21st, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington gathered enormous crowds in collective protest of the newly inaugurated President of the United States, Donald Trump. Meanwhile on Twitter, people used the hashtag #WomensMarch to magnify and respond to the on-the-ground movement. Here at the Computational Story Lab, we found ourselves wondering about a few things. How …

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Connecting every bit of knowledge

What is the shape of all knowledge?  How has knowledge grown over time?  Can we anticipate ways in which knowledge will grow? Knowledge is certainly hierarchically structured but it's also richly scaffolded and networked with concepts and ideas linking within and across domains. We can attempt to answer some of these questions by computationally exploring the Network of …

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