History Department
History Department

Andrew Akhlaghi

Andrew Akhlaghi



Social history, digital humanities


Andrew is a PhD student and specializes in Iranian history and digital humanities. He is the Coordinator of the UT History Department's Digital History Lab and has supervised undergraduate research projects in digital humanities and public history. His research focuses on Iran 1941-1953 and natural language processing.


HIS 366N • History And Data Tools

38300 • Fall 2020
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 301

While humans have tried to quantify and mathematically model the world since the start of the Enlightenment, this project has exploded with the expansion of the Internet and computing power. The ability to gather, share, and process data has progressed to a previously unimaginable scale. Our task in this course is to learn how life is quantified and how that effects research and human society. We will do this primarily through digital methods for historical research, although all the methods discussed have applications outside of history. This class will not make you an expert in any given technique, but will give you a sampling and discussion of popular techniques in the digital humanities.
The core of this class will be weekly writing and coding assignments. At the beginning of each week, you will post a response to the week’s readings on Canvas and your solution to a coding tutorial on the class GitHub page. For your final assignment, you will design and complete a small research project using one of the techniques and archives discussed in class.
This class moves quickly, but if you keep up with the weekly assignment you will do well. If you encounter a problem you cannot reasonably resolve on your own, please come to office hours. If you would just like to chat, also come to office hours.

Required Books:
Stephen Ramsay, Reading Machines: Towards and Algorithmic Criticism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2011)
Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction (New York: Crown, 2016)

Weekly Writing Responses: 20%
Weekly Coding Assignments: 20%
Project Proposal: 10%
Final Write up and visualization: 25%
Final code: 20%

While class attendance does not factor into your grade, it is almost a certainty that you will not do well in this course if you do not attend class. Further, I will still take attendance and track class participation. Your attendance and contributions to the class will factor into my decision to grant extensions and accept late assignments. Generally speaking, you should not miss more than two classes.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

External Links