Ben Schmidt

Director of Digital Humanities and Clinical Associate Professor of History

New York University


I am director of digital humanities and clinical associate professor of history at New York University. Previously, I was an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University and core faculty in the NuLab for Texts, Maps, and Networks.

I use humanistic data analysis and data visualization to help people think about the American past in new ways. My primary current research project is Creating Data, a digital monograph about the organization of information in the American state in the late 19th century. I also write occasionally about higher education (teaching evaluations and humanities policy), narrative anachronism and [plot structure], and political history.

At NYU, I teach courses in digital humanities and history of the United States and technology in the history department and through the program in Digital Humanities, of which I am the director.

I live in Manhattan.

For a third-person bio or photo, click here.


  • Data Visualization
  • Machine Learning
  • History
  • Text Analysis


  • PhD in History, 2013

    Princeton University

  • AB in Social Studies, 2003

    Harvard University

Recent Posts

Jobs Report November update

I last looked at the H-Net job numbers about a month ago. Since then, the news isn’t exactly good, but it’s also probably …

History Jobs Update

Out of a train-wreck curiosity about what’s been happening to the historical profession, I’ve been watching the numbers on …

Circle Packing

I’ve been doing a lot of my data exploration lately on Observable Notebooks, which is–sort of–a Javascript version of …

College Majors 2019 update

Every year, I run the numbers to see how college degrees are changing. The Department of Education released this summer the figures for …

EOIR Database adventures, part I: encoding

As part of the Asylum Lab project at NYU, I’ve started poking around the database of the Executive office of immigration review …


  • 20 Cooper Square, New York City, NY 10012
  • By Appointment (parental leave), fall 2019.
  • DM Me