Portfolio

Photograph of people crossing the street in NYC

Tools

I am an open source developer with a special interest in relational databases and data visualization. All my code can be found on my github page. I am the lead developer on two open source tools, but development is paused given constraints on my time.

Project Quincy is a Django application with a MySQL database that uses information about people, places, and organizations to trace how social networks and institutions develop over time and through space. It is named in honor of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848).

DAVILA is a relational database schema visualization and annotation tool. It is written in Processing using the toxiclibs physics library. I built DAVILA to help database developers create visually appealing and semantically rich interactive diagrams to document their database designs, and to support shared understanding with both programmers and non-programming data analysts.

Research and Design

My research interests range from data structures to 18th-century diplomacy to information design. I attack these questions by combining theoretical investigation and research with data modeling, application development, and data visualization. As Associate and then Research Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton I worked on every project we accepted from 2014-2018. Below are some of my favorite projects. For a full list see the CDH Project Page and my CV.

The Early American Foreign Service Database

is an open access repository and analysis platform for the study of American diplomats, consuls, and special agents from 1775-1825. The EAFSD recreates the social, commercial, and epistolary networks of the U.S. Foreign Service in the Age of Sail by connecting people, places, and organizations through the transfer of information by letters or permanent overseas assignments. The EAFSD is built on Project Quincy, and has been live since 2010.

Derrida’s Margins: Inside the Personal Library of Jacques Derrida

is an open source, open access research tool allowing scholars to explore how French philosopher Jacques Derrida annotated the books in his private library as he wrote his career defining work, De la grammatologie (Of Grammatology). I designed the database for Derrida’s Margins, and developed a structure which parallels Derrida’s own theories of reading and the interrelationship of all text.

The Mapping Colonial Americas Publishing Project

is a collaboration with James Egan, Professor of English at Brown University, to map the spatial and genre distribution of printing in the Americas before 1800 using the rare book catalog records of the John Hay and John Carter Brown Special Collections Libraries. In the process, the project reads rare book catalogs as texts to be studied and modeled. The project integrates Spanish, French, Dutch, and English colonial printing with American Indian texts from North and South America and provides a visual portal of rare books held at Brown University.

Declaration of Independence, Digital Exhibit

I designed a prototype digital exhibit of the Albert H. Small Declaration of Independence Collection at the University of Virginia using a first-generation Microsoft Surface. It was touch-based and the size of a large coffee table, thus supporting inquiry by up to four simultaneous users.

Anatomy of a Letter

I created this as a handout for my talk, “Reading Other People’s Mail: Letters as Primary Sources,” in the Harrison Institute Original Sources Lecture Series at the University of Virginia Library.

I used it to illustrate the basic structure of any letter and how key components (dates, names, places) can be programmatically pulled from text to recreate correspondence networks.

Jean Bauer

[data, design, diplomacy]