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Stine joins HASTAC Scholar Program

Graduate student Zack Stine is doing reasearch on the of type of common language used across cultures in online religious discussions.

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock doctoral student has been accepted into a scholar program for students who are working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities, and sciences. 

Zachary Stine, a doctoral student in computer and information science and researcher in COSMOS (Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies), is one of 80 students who have joined the two-year cohort of the HASTAC Scholars fellowship program (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory).

“I am very excited about joining this program,” Stine said. “I think it will be a great way to meet a lot of interesting people who share common research interests.”

As a HASTAC Scholar, Stine will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with others who share his research interests in the digital humanities while contributing to the program by blogging about his research. 

“The primary reason I applied for the HASTAC Scholars fellowship is so that I could join a highly interdisciplinary network of other people interested in the intersection of the humanities and science,” Stine stated. “My hope is that I will learn about the interesting digital humanities research others are doing that I might not otherwise find out about, and that I will also get feedback on some of my own ideas.” 

The student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate members offers its scholars many opportunities to explore research and teaching opportunities. HASTAC hosts an online workshop series called Digital Fridays. Stine plans to present his dissertation work during one of these workshops.

“My dissertation work involves comparing language patterns from several different online religious communities in order to find out what linguistic features most differentiate and unite them,” Stine said. “I’ll be comparing a set of online religious communities that started in 2008 and 2010. No one has time to read 12 years’ worth of discussion threads, so the trick is to use computers to look for large-scale patterns in text that would take someone more than a lifetime to read.”

Stine will also participate in forums, webinars, and the discussion of new ideas evolving around teaching, learning, research, writing, and structuring knowledge. Stine is hoping to learn about effective teaching, as the program also focuses on innovative new modes of learning and research in higher education which will help him prepare to teach his first spring course, Introduction to Natural Language Processing.

“They have a blogging platform where I will blog about my dissertation research, and I plan to interview some interesting people in the very small world of digital humanities research,” Stine said. “I will try my hand at teaching an undergraduate course next spring, so I am hoping to get some good input for teaching. My plan is to graduate in fall 2020, and I’d like to find a university job afterwards.”