Patrick J. Burns

Associate Research Scholar, Digital Projects, ISAW Library

Patrick J. Burns is Associate Research Scholar, Digital Projects for the ISAW Library. In this role he is engaged in a variety of data-driven research and software development projects, including directing ISAW Library projects such as ISAW Library New Titles and the Digital Central Asian Archaeology collections, and collaborating more broadly with ISAW Digital Programs in the areas of ancient world data processing and historical language text mining and analysis.

Patrick earned his doctorate in Classics from Fordham University in 2016 and was appointed as the first-ever Assistant Research Scholar in the ISAW Library in 2016. Between 2019 and 2022 Patrick held research positions in the Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution Lab at Harvard University and the Quantitative Criticism Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, conducting research on computational approaches to historical-language text, working at the intersection of literary criticism, philology, and big data. He is the Latin tools developer for the Classical Language Toolkit, an open-source project dedicated to text analysis and natural language processing research for historical languages, topics covered in his chapter “Building Text Analysis Pipelines for Classical Languages” for a collected volume Digital Classical Philology: Ancient Greek and Latin in the Digital Revolution, edited by Monica Berti for DeGruyter.

Patrick has also taught a number of courses that bring together ancient world study and computational methods, including ISAW’s “Introduction to Digital Humanities for the Ancient World” course and “Introduction to Digital Literary Studies“ at Fordham University. He has presented at and organized several professional panels, notably the Future Philologies: Digital Directions in Ancient World Text conference at ISAW in April 2018 and the Ancient Makerspaces workshop at the annual meetings of the Society for Classical Studies from 2017 to 2019. Recent publications include “Latin BERT: A Contextal Language Model for Classical Philology” (co-authored with David Bamman) and his current book project is Exploratory Philology: Learning about Ancient Languages through Computer Programming, the product of a Spring 2022 fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies.