Hello! My name is Luna Yee and I’m currently a sophomore at Carleton College, hoping to double major in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. If I had to put my academic pursuits into a single question, it would be this: how can we better understand computers, and how can computers better understand us? A true form of artificial intelligence might still be a pipe dream due to practical limitations (the human brain holds an astounding amount of data), but we have the tools and methodologies to at least have intelligent user interfaces and even user-tailored experiences. Computational linguistics, for example, is a field I have hopes of working in: the intricacies of teaching a computer to understand the nuances of human speech fascinates me.
Digital humanities is the exact linguistic match to this: combining computer platforms with the literal study of humans. I have a fondness for working on elegant user interfaces, and on designing with effective user input in mind. The way I see it, the more ease of access and effective response available in our computers, the better we can preserve and pass on the wisdoms we’ve learned as a society. And that might seem like a bit of a weighty description to give to the humanities, but if you ask me, that’s exactly what we’re working on here: efficiently preserving and accurately representing histories (of places, objects, people, societies, and so on) to make them more accessible to the world at large, and generations to come.