My Computer Reads Poetry Too!

Advanced computing is typically only a tool for scientists and engineers, but some U researchers decided to crank it up a notch. Under the guidance of English professor Katharine Coles, scientific computing professor Miriah Meyer and a postdoctoral scholar in English literature, Julie Lein, a team of students from humanities and computer science are collaborating to start a poetic affair between these two fields. The efforts of Nina McCurdy, a second-year doctoral student of computer science, have resulted in the software “Poemage.” The idea for the software was conceived by the senior members of the team in 2012, and it was designed and created by McCurdy. It uses a novel algorithm to visualize sonic elements in poetry. “This is a unique project that is trying to bring the fields of humanities and computer science together,” said Jules Penham, an undergraduate in computer science, who is helping to debug and release a stand-alone version of this software with support from the U’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

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