Serendipity Search

In collaboration with Alex Gill, and the Columbia Library

Like many public libraries across the United States, University libraries are undergoing massive changes as their catalogues and parts of their collections have been digitized, and their physical collections have outgrown their physical space. Browsing the collection, now often happens online. What are the possible ways can we browse the collection and learn about ways in which networks of knowledge are created across the Columbia community?

Beyond browsing the shelves which hold the books, the serendipity of finding the book on the next shelf, and the Amazon algorithm which tells you what other books buyers, “like” you have purchased – what other serendipities can be introduced into browsing? Using natural language processing, processing and D3, we are trying to discover some of these networks.

Project Team

  • Laura Kurgan, Project Director
  • Jen Lowe, Research Associate and Data Visualization
  • Derek Watkins, Research Associate and Data Visualization