Dave Shepard

Lead Academic Developer

After receiving his PhD in English from UCLA in 2012, David Shepard came to work as HumTech’s Lead Academic Developer. He does research into the use of social media in world events. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, going to museums and exploring Los Angeles.

If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?
I saw a movie once with a superhero whose powers let him touch a
book and remember whatever was in it.

Can you play any instruments?
Keyboard, bass, guitar, and other things with strings and frets.

Top 3 games of all time?
Metroid, Quake, and Tomb Raider.


  • Programming: PHP, Python, Java, Scala, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript web applications (Angular.js, React), data visualization (D3), plus 3D graphics (Three.js)
  • Relational databases (SQL)
  • Graph databases
  • Build tools (Composer, SBT, Gulp)
  • Educational application standards (LTI, Caliper)
  • Graph analysis
  • Machine learning
  • Text mining and analysis


  • “Mapping the Geospatial Turn” with Todd Presner in The Blackwell Companion to the Digital Humanities, 2nd Edition. Blackwell, 2016.
  • “Super-CWC and Super-LCC: Super Fast Feature Selection Algorithms” with Kilho Shin, Tetsuji Kuboyama, and Takako Hashimoto IEEE Big Data 2015 Proceedings.
  • “Event Detection from Millions of Tweets related to the Great East Japan Earthquake using Feature Selection Techniques” with Takako Hashimoto, Kilho Shin, and Tetsuji Kuboyama in the ICDM 2015 Proceedings.
  • HyperCities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities with Todd Presner and Yoh Kawano. Harvard University Press. 2014.
  • “A Map for the Future: Measuring Radiation Levels in Fukushima, Japan,” with Yoh Kawano and Yugo Shobugawa in IEEE GHTC 2012 Conference Proceedings


  • Practical Software Development for Nontraditional Digital Humanities Developers.” Workshop accepted for Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2017. University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, June 12-16.
  • Shepard, David, Yoh Kawano, and Takako Hashimoto. “Betweenness Centrality as a Measure of User Influence During Disasters.” Smart Media Info-Systems in Asia 2016. Ayuthaya, Thailand, September 14-17, 2016.
  • “What Do Boy Bands Tell Us About Disasters? The Social Media Response to the Nepal Earthquake.” Digital Humanities 2016. Krakow, Poland, July 11-16, 2016.
  • “Networked Topic Models” and “Poetic Place in Tang Literature.” Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, January 15, 2015.
  • “Nonparametric Bayesian Pachinko Allocation for Nested Event Detection in Twitter.”
    IEEE TENCON 2014, Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2014.
  • “HyperCities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities.” GeoSharing, Universität Bern, Switzerland, October 31, 2013. (Keynote address)
  • “User Attention in Social Media During Disasters.” IEEE 2013 Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Tokyo, Japan, August 26, 2013.
  • “Literary Data for New Critical Machines.” Create/Critique Liberal Arts: a BABEL
    Symposia Series, UC Irvine, April 19, 2013.
  • “HyperCities: Storytelling with GIS,” MLA Pre-conference Digital Humanities Workshop, Boston, MA, Jan 5, 2013.
  • “Planning Geospatial Humanities Projects.” MLA Pre-conference Digital Humanities Workshop, Seattle, WA, Jan 3, 2012.
  • “Telling a Story with One Million Tweets,” with Yoh Kawano. DIY Days, UCLA. October 29, 2011.
  • “‘Playing with Authorial Intent’: The Metroid Secret World Hunt.” Critical Code Studies
    Workshop, University of Southern California, August 21, 2011.
  • “Virtual Cities/Digital Histories.” Digital Humanities 2011. Stanford University. June 19-22, 2011.

Blog Posts