I’m a Ph.D candidate in the Interactive School of Computing (in the Human-Centered Computing program) at the Georgia Institute of the Technology. My research is advised by Jacob Eisenstein and explores how language variation reflects communication goals in online discussions.
Language reflects and constructs society, and nowhere is this more obvious than the social spaces of the internet. The fast speed of communication in online communities leads to frequent changes in communication style, often driven by the turnover of members in communities. Although language has many components that can change, I am especially interested in the role of linguistic structure as it relates to social change: e.g. how does a linguistic structural constraint, such as the syntactic “flexibility” of a word, impact its likelihood of adoption? My work uses a combination of natural language processing and statistical methods to investigate specific cases of social change. My prior work has investigated the adoption of nonstandard words, the expression of political identity through language choice, and recently, measuring collective attention by tracking changes in the context of named entities.
You can reach me at istewart6 at gatech dot edu. In my free time, you’ll find me making music and baking cookies.