In this short blogpost I will sketch out my perspective on the principles which I believe underpin the Computational Text Analysis Working Group (CTAWG) here at D-Lab. As the composition of CTAWG will inevitably change over time, I have come to the realization that a statement on the working group's objectives and guiding principles is necessary for the preservation of institutional memory. My hope is that this will help and guide CTAWGers of the future and those interested in forming similar working groups focusing on computational text analysis. I have been lucky enough to talk and interact with those who have been in CTAWG from the very beginning. Their distilled wisdom forms the basis of the list of statements and objectives below:  

  • IOK N2K: To be a place of learning and collaboration for everyone - from those just starting text analysis to established experts in the field.  It's OK Not Know!  Everyone is welcome.
  • Text analysis: To share knowledge of the many approaches, tools and practices in computational text analysis, machine learning, and related fields 
  • Interdisciplinary: To build bridges across diverse disciplines and departments at UC Berkeley and beyond via computational text analysis 
  • Safe, inclusive and open environment: To establish a safe environment of collaboration, research, and the development and implementation of computational text analysis 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but these items, in my view, capture the core of principles of CTAWG. If you have any questions about the group or are interested in joining our mailing list, contact our wonderful coordinators. Check the D-Lab calendarfor our next meeting.  


Ilya Akdemir

Ilya is a JSD candidate at UC Berkeley School of Law.  His research focuses on natural language processing and machine learning applications that are motivated by both theoretical and practical questions in the legal domain.