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Brad Rittenhouse, Research Data Facilitator

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Computing interests and specialties:

  • NLP (Natural Language Processing) 
  • Quantitative Literary Analysis
  • Knowledge Graphing
  • Building Scripts and Interfaces for non-specialist use

Came to us from:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology: Lab Manager, DILAC
    Atlanta, GA
  • Ph.D. in American Literature, University of Miami
    Coral Gables, FL


As a graduate student in an English department, it’s kind of down to luck whether you have a faculty member who can support you in a technical project. Many R1 schools will have one person doing digital work, but many don’t, and smaller schools will have a much lower rate of digital faculty in the humanities. 

At the University of Miami, Brad Rittenhouse was one such graduate student. His department received funding “to hire someone to do digital research and it still took them around two years to hire a digital humanist, so they didn’t arrive until the year I left.” 

Brad wanted to gain skills before that, so he started building a fellowship program where humanities graduate students could intern at various places at the University (PR Office, Admissions) and in the community (History Miami, Vizcaya) — to build marketable skills. 

“I coordinated and later won a position in the Center for Computational Science where I, in a completely backwards manner, basically learned R and worked on a really basic project on an HPC cluster. But it was the way I figured out how to create access for myself, by building an entire internship program for the university — and that opportunity is a straight line to my position at Stanford today.”  (Brad’s experience as a UGRow fellow at the University of Miami is included in the article Mentors, Projects, Deliverables: Internships and Fellowships for Doctoral Students in the Humanities in the journal MLA Profession, May 2017.)

When Brad joined the Stanford Research Computing team in 2022 he was tasked with supporting humanities and social sciences researchers in using our HPC clusters. Right away, he ran up against a challenge: many of these scholars didn’t know about the resources available to them. Historically, Research Computing had mostly engaged with researchers in the sciences. 

“I would go out and talk to people and tell them ‘I’m Brad from Research Computing’ and they would say, ‘From where? Is that part of the Library?’ or ‘Is that in Engineering?’  So the new problem became: ‘How do I help this group of researchers learn about us?’ And my mind flashed back to the fellowship in Miami. If we had a fellowship at Stanford [for humanities and social sciences graduate students doing digital research], not only could I help people learn about our team, I could help them learn about doing high-performance computing. So it was a real win-win.”

In June 2023, Brad welcomed the first recipient of the fellowship he had conceived and was integral in establishing. This year, three more recipients were named. The program is on a roll.

More about the Stanford Research Computing Fellowship Program: Applicants of all experience and degree levels are welcome to submit a proposal for a research project at any stage of ideation and planning. We are especially interested in funding projects from early career scholars, master’s students, and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.

While Brad’s current role at Stanford primarily revolves around assisting other researchers and managing the fellowship, he remains an active researcher and scholar himself, with recent and forthcoming publications with academic and trade presses which exemplify his integration of technical expertise and theoretical inquiry.

Select Publications

  • With Aaron Brenner (University of Pittsburgh, US), Sarah Connell (Northeastern University, US), Jennifer Grayburn (Schaffer Library, Union College), Matthew Hannah (Purdue University, US), and Brandon Walsh (University of Virginia Library, US). “The Life of a Digital Humanities Lab.” Digital Humanities and Laboratories: Perspectives on Knowledge, Infrastructure and Culture. Book Chapter. Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities series. New York: Routledge, 2022. Contracted and Upcoming.
  • The Data Management Aesthetics of Herman Melville and Walt Whitman.” ESQ 64.3. Peer-Reviewed Article. pp. 31-76.
  • With Janet Murray, T.M. Gasque, and Kevin Tang. “Structures of interaction for creating dramatic agency in epistemic narratives: Return of the Obra Dinn and Telling Lies as Design Exemplars.” Entertainment Computing, Volume 44, January 2023.
  • With Maurice Lee. “Quantitative Approaches to Emerson (working title).” New Approaches to Emerson. Book Chapter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022. Contracted and Upcoming.
  • “Revolutionary Discourse in English.” The Digital in the Age of Revolutions. Book Chapter. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2022. Contracted and Upcoming.