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Prof. R. Bod has been appointed Professor of Computational and Digital Humanities at both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Prof. R. Bod (1965) has been appointed Professor of Computational and Digital Humanities at both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Digital research corpora for language, literature, philosophy, art and music have revolutionised the humanities. As digital storage and retrieval databases, these corpora enable researchers to discover patterns and themes that open up new avenues of scholarly investigation. Until recently, it seemed we would never be able to answer such questions as ‘What is literary quality?’, ‘Are there universal principles in music?’ and ‘Can patterns be discerned in the course of history?’, because the research material was too wide-ranging and complex. The recent opening up of digital research data in the fields of literature, music and history has yielded concrete answers to these questions, as well as leading to various applications both within and beyond academia – as Rens Bod demonstrates in his book entitled De Vergeten Wetenschappen (to be published in English as ‘The Forgotten Sciences’).

Bod obtained his doctorate degree in 1995 at the UvA’s Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), where he subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Language and Speech Technology research priority programme. From 1998 until 2001 he was an Advanced Research Fellow at the UK-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and also worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in California. In 2005, Bod was appointed Professor of Cognitive Systems at the University of St Andrews (UK). With the subsequent award of a Vidi and Vici grant, he also took charge of a research team at the UvA. Bod is the recipient of numerous grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), European Science Foundation (ESF), Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and EPSRC. His book De Vergeten Wetenschappen: Een geschiedenis van de Humaniora (‘The Forgotten Sciences: A History of the Humanities’; published by Prometheus, Bert Bakker, 2010), was selected by the weekly Dutch magazine De Groene Amsterdammer and the daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad as one of the best books of 2010, and was recently voted best scientific book by Kennislink, a popular science website partly funded by the Dutch government.