David J. Birnbaum

  • Professor

Dr. Birnbaum teaches Computing in the Humanties and travels the globe as an expert in electronic text processing.

Education & Training

  • B.A. (magna cum laude), Russian, Brown University, 1976
  • M.A. Slavic languages and literatures, Ohio State University, 1978
  • M.A. Slavic languages and literatures, Harvard University, 1980
  • Ph.D. Slavic languages and literatures, Harvard University, 1988

Courses Taught

  • ​Computational methods in the humanities (graduate and undergraduate [UHC])
  • Structure of Russian for language teachers (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Russian historical grammar (graduate)
  • Medieval Rus' (graduate)
  • Honors Russian Fairy Tales (undergraduate [UHC])

Representative Publications

(with Elena Spadini) “Reassessing the locus of normalization in machine-assisted collation.” Digital humanities quarterly 14.3 (2020), http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/14/3/000489/000489.html

(with Hanne Martine Eckhoff) “Machine-assisted multilingual word alignment of the Old Church Slavonic Codex Suprasliensis.” V zeleni drželi zeleni breg: Studies in Honor of Marc L. Greenberg, ed. Stephen M. Dickey and Mark Richard Lauersdorf. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2018, 1–13.

(with Alison Langmead) “Task-driven programming pedagogy in the Digital Humanities,” New directions for computing education: embedding computing across disciplines, ed. S. B. Fee, A. H. Holland-Minkley, and T. Lombardi, 63–85. New York, NY: Springer.

(with Christian A. Raffensperger) “Mapping history: using technology to showcase medieval family interconnectivity.” Russian history 37 (2010): 305–21.

Associate Editor, The Povest′ vremennykh let: an interlinear collation and paradosis, ed. Donald Ostrowski. [Harvard library of Early Ukrainian literature. Texts. Vol 10, parts 1–3.] Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Research Interests

  • Digital humanities, esp. computational philology
  • Medieval Slavic manuscripts and texts
  • Slavic historical linguistics

Representative Conference Presentations

“Toward a function library for statistical plotting with XSLT and SVG.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2020, Washington, DC, July 27 - 31, 2020. Published in Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2020. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 25 (2020). https://doi.org/10.4242/BalisageVol25.Birnbaum01.

“Sequence alignment in XSLT 3.0.” Presented at XML Prague 2020, February, 2020, Prague (Czechia). Published in the conference Proceedings, https://archive.xmlprague.cz/2020/files/xmlprague-2020-proceedings.pdf (pp. 45–65)

(with Elise Thorsen) “Digitizing A. A. Zaliznjak’s Grammatical dictionary of the Russian language”, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL), San Diego, February 2020.

(with Elise Thorsen) “Rules-based and machine-learning approaches to identifying Russian rhyme.” Refereed conference presentation, “Plotting poetry, 3”, University of Lorraine, France, September 2019.

“Patterns and antipatterns in micropipelining within XSLT.” Presented at “Balisage: the markup conference 2017”, Washington, DC, August 1–4, 2017. In Proceedings of Balisage: the markup conference 2017. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 19 (2017). doi:10.4242/BalisageVol19.Birnbaum01.Balisage. https://www.balisage.net/Proceedings/vol19/html/Birnbaum01/BalisageVol19-

Research Grants and Awards

2019 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for an Institute for advanced topics in the Digital Humanities: “Advanced digital editing: modeling the text and making the edition” ($247,596)

2016 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for an Institute for advanced topics in the Digital Humanities: “Make your edition: models and methods for digital textual scholarship” ($156,251)

2015 Laureate of the Marin Drinov Medal from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for contributions in the field of linguistics and literary criticism of the Slavic manuscript heritage