Ask not what data science can do for the humanities; ask rather what the humanities can do for data science

George Cobb of Mt Holyoke College gave this keynote address to open the Australian Conference on Teaching Statistics. His approach was literary, throughtful, and totally out of left field. He had a paper handout! He exhorted us to read Dickens “Bleak House”! His talk was thoought-provoking and provided a whirlwind tour of the use of quantitative approaches to literature, from the analysis of the Federalist papers onwards.

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