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Barbara is a digital humanist and computational linguist. Before joining King's in 2021, Barbara was Turing research fellow at The Alan Turing Institute and at the University of Cambridge between 2017 and 2021. Before that, she worked as language technologist in the Dictionary division of Oxford University Press and as data scientist in the Open Research Group of Springer Nature. She obtained her PhD in computational linguistics from the University of Pisa (Italy) in 2010, after a Master's degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor's degree in Classics from the University of Firenze (Italy). She is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Open Humanities Data and co-Investigator of the Living with Machines project.


Research interests and PhD supervision

My research interests lie at the intersection between computational and quantitative methods and research questions in the Humanities. I am particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Computational models of word meaning.
  • Analysis of semantic change via quantitative and computational methods in ancient languages (Latin and ancient Greek), historical texts and in contemporary data.
  • Time-aware natural language processing.
  • Computational lexicography.
  • Open data publishing in the humanities.


Selected Publications



I teach a range of topics, including text processing and quantitative text analysis, social and cultural analytics, data analysis with R, introduction to Python programming, data visualisation, natural language processing, and quantitative methods for the the humanities. 


Expertise and Public Engagement 

Barbara's research was featured in the Christmas 2020 edition of the Economist "How data analysis can enrich the liberal arts" and in the New Scientist and BBC.

In 2022 she was awarded the Inter Circle U. Prize for inter- and trans-disciplinary research for her work on the project “The Language of Mechanisation”.