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James Lee

James Lee

Associate Professor & Associate University Librarian of Academic Innovation

James Lee, PhD is a digital humanities and data science scholar focusing on the areas of machine learning and natural language processing techniques adapted to textual data, network analysis of social media, and data visualization of AI models. Much of his work has used machine learning methods applied to large text corpora and other unstructured datasets to study: (1) the intertwined histories of climate change and colonialism and (2) how language is used to shape the emotional and rational discourse of social media networks.

Methodologically, his research investigates ways to display the results of machine learning models through human-interpretable interactive visualizations that enables non-technical audiences to explore and to ask questions of otherwise forbidding high-dimensional data. In the domain of biomedical informatics, Lee’s research has focused on the use of natural language processing to assist clinicians in better understanding ambiguous or uncertain language patterns in electronic health records in pediatrics and neurology.

At Northwestern, he also serves as the Associate University Librarian for Academic Innovation, where he is responsible for leading the University Libraries’ mission of building new academic collaborations and partnerships with Northwestern’s colleges and schools, centers, departments, and other units, specifically by applying and developing new methods of digital scholarship and data science. He is particularly focused on strengthening the Libraries’ role as a nexus for academic collaboration and a catalyst for innovative interdisciplinary research and learning.

Previously, Lee was a leader in digital scholarship at the University of Cincinnati, where he was the Associate Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship, Director of the Digital Scholarship Center, and Director of the interdisciplinary data science AI for All Lab. At Cincinnati, Lee also held faculty appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences (Digital Humanities) and in the College of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics).

The results of his research projects have been published in a wide range of venues, including the Harvard Data Science Review, New Media and Society, Applied Linguistics, Social Media and Society, the Journal of Hospital Medicine, Public Books, the Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA), Digital Humanities Quarterly, Cultural Analytics, and New Literary History, among others. His work has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Lee received his BA from Cornell University and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.