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Ben Miller

Senior Lecturer of Technical Writing and Digital Humanities, Emory University
Chapter Member: Georgia SSN

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About Ben

Miller's research focuses on applying computational techniques to shed insight on basic communicative and textual phenomena such as discourse and narrative. He has worked at the intersection of large-scale textual data, interactive textual and visual systems, the domain of human rights, and the possibilities of new modes of analysis and communication dependent upon computation. 


Countering Online Toxicity and Hate Speech

Mapping the Stories of Your City

In the News

Ben Miller quoted on crushing graduate school debt by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel , "This is the student loan problem that no one talks about: Graduate school debt" The Washington Post, January 13, 2020.


"Notoriously Toxic: Understanding the Language and Cost of Hate and Harassment in Online Games," (with Jennifer Olive, Cameron Kunzelman, Kelly Bergstrom, Wessel Stoop, Cindy Berger, Antal van den Bosch, Mia Consalvo, Kishonna Leah Gray, Todd Harper, Davin Pavlas, and Nicholas Subtirelu), National Endowment for the Humanities, November 10, 2018.

Describes (1) best practices for studying and moderating toxicity, (2) conceptual and legal frameworks for addressing hate speech, dangerous and toxic speech, (3) patterns of toxic language in online media, (4) next steps for building a reference corpus of toxicity types and a descriptive taxonomy, and (5) a humanistic perspective on consequences of toxicity and its moderation procedures. Documents how practical anonymity in online communication has changed standards for interpersonal language and the most damaging of those changes.

"Cross-Document Narrative Alignment of Environmental News: A Position Paper on the Challenge of Using Event Chains to Proxy Narrative Features" Association for Computational Linguistics (2018): 18-24.

Discusses how cross-document event chain co-referencing in corpora of news articles would achieve increased precision and generalizability from a method that consistently recognizes narrative, discursive, and phenomenological features such as tense, mood, tone, canonicity, and breach, person, hermeneutic composability, speed, and time. Approaches this task using event segmentation, word embeddings, and variable length pattern matching in a corpus of 2,000 articles describing environmental events. 

"Visualizing Computational, Transversal Narratives from the World Trade Towers" (with Ayush Shrestha and Jennifer Olive). Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 32, no. 2 (2017): 344-354.

Extracts information from 503 World Trade Center Task Force interviews comprising 12,000 pages of testimony and novel visualization techniques. Proposes a computational method for the emergence of narratives that cross beyond the boundaries of one interview. 

"Digging into Human Rights Violations: Anaphora Resolution and Emergent Whiteness," (with Lu Xiao), National Endowment for the Humanities, June 29, 2015.

Links scholarly and industry investigations into the application of Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and tools to advance current human rights violation research. Began in 2012 to expand models for information extraction from witness statements and government reports, for visualizing that data to facilitate better event understanding, for understanding how researchers and investigators used computational methods in their human rights work, and for developing methods to model speakers' expressed certainty of their statements.