I’m Gabriel Recchia, a research associate at the Cambridge Centre for Digital Knowledge at the University of Cambridge. I received my bachelor’s degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University in 2007, and my doctorate is in Cognitive Science at Indiana University, with a minor in computational linguistics. My graduate research concerned the development of interpretable computational models of semantic memory and how the statistical structure of the environment interacts with learning mechanisms to produce complex behavior. I’ve since extended these models to extract spatial, temporal, and perceptual information from text, and to infer spatial information from non-spatial language use.
Right now, I’m at the Cambridge University Concept Lab, where I’m developing computational methods for the analysis of large corpora of historical texts, and investigating conceptual change by attending to shifting statistical associations between words over time. The Concept Lab combines perspectives from digital humanities, computational linguistics, and cognitive science to attempt a bold goal: the development of a practical and theoretical framework for the analysis of conceptual structure. I have been especially focused on developing simple, interpretable algorithms and tools that permit a clear understanding of the pathway from the underlying texts to the conceptual relationships unearthed by a combination of close reading and computational analysis, and developing clear, understandable methods for communicating the results to users.
I’m also passionate about the potential of games and adaptive game-like systems. I’m especially interested in games that build positive habits, facilitate mindfulness, or are especially creative in terms of their mechanics or overall gestalt. More information about games that I am developing (and have developed) is available on the Games page. Research tools are available on the Tools page. Publications, skills, and previous employers are listed on my CV.