Student Spotlight

Introducing CESTA's Winter & Spring 2023 Interns

Introducing our Winter and Spring 2023 Interns, a community of digital humanities researchers.

The Center for Textual and Spatial Analysis at Stanford runs undergraduate research internship programs in the winter, spring, and summer quarters.  Our undergraduate interns contribute to faculty projects while acquiring new skills that are consolidated in workshops and activities designed for the internship program. Our interns continue to advance digital humanities research and creating a unique community of researchers at Wallenberg Hall. You can read below about our current cohort of interns and their work. This year's fully in-person program is supported by two graduate mentors:  Annie Lamar and JJ Lugardo, both PhD students in Classics.

We’re grateful to the many campus partners who support our research and programs, including colleagues at Stanford University Libraries and the Stanford Humanities Center.  Our Undergraduate Research Internship program receives generous support from a VPUE Departmental Grant. Some projects and interns at CESTA are also supported by Changing Human Experience Grants, departmental funds, and faculty research funds.



Isabel Cai

Isabel Cai is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and East Asian Studies. She is from Shanghai, China, but has lived in Singapore, the UK, and Massachusetts. She is interested in employing technology to facilitate research in the humanities and social sciences, using quantitative results to support qualitative theories.



Michael Carragee

Michael Carragee is a senior studying International Relations and Data Science. His focus is on the United States and the Middle East, and he has been studying Arabic both at Stanford and in Morocco. This year he will be combining his data science and Arabic skills to assist Professor Nora Barakat on the OpenGulf project.OpenGulf

Christina Cheng

Christina Cheng is a freshman interested in majoring in History and Symbolic Systems. With CESTA, she is working on the Senegalese Slave Liberations Project with Professor Richard Roberts, Fatoumata Seck and Joel Cabrita. Outside of CESTA, she enjoys playing trumpet with the Stanford Wind Symphony and the marching band (LSJUMB).

Senegalese Slave Liberations


Clare Chua

Clare Chua is a junior majoring in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Natural Language. This winter and spring she is working with Chloé Brault MacKinnon, a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature, on the project “Belatedly Cancelled: White N-words of America in the Press.” Outside of work, Clare loves learning languages, cooking food for friends, playing with dogs, and spending time in Okada - the Asian ethnic theme dorm on campus.Belatedly Cancelled: White N-words of America in the Press

Hana Dao

Hana Dao is a junior majoring in Science, Technology, and Society with a minor in Psychology. She is passionate about addressing inclusivity and equity in education as well as working in sustainability and design. This year, she will be working on the EpicConnect project to create an open-source platform that will help foster community online and increase access to enhanced learning materials for college instructors.EpicConnect

Zelig Dov

Zelig Dov is a sophomore majoring in history with minors in German studies and comparative literature. He is working with Professor Penn on the Social and GIS Network of Early Eastern Christians under Islam project doing data cleanup and social network analysis for a ninth-century text, The Book of Governors by Thomas of Marga. Zelig's work also includes creating visualizations about Timothy I, the Nestorian Patriarch, for Professor Penn’s upcoming book project on global Christianity in the Church of the East.

Social Networks In The Early Islamic World



Lily Forman

Lily Forman (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in History and with minors in Data Science and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She’s excited to join Professor Estelle Freedman’s Oral History Textual Analysis Project to learn more about sexual violence through women’s oral histories. Outside of school, she loves embroidery, coffee, and walks around campus.


Oral History Text Analysis Project 

Shannon Gifford

Shannon Gifford is a history major with minors in creative writing and archaeology. She is interested in different modes of storytelling; with the Shared Sacred Sites project, she is practicing digital forms through the creation of spatial maps and interactive story maps to explore shared sacred spaces around the world.Mapping Shared Sacred Sites

Molly Graybill

Molly Graybill is a sophomore interested in religious studies and psychology. She is especially curious about how religious beliefs motivate human behavior, as well as how death and religion interact, and is excited to explore these two topics in a new way through Sunny Persad's project, "A Late Ancient Biography of Bones," during this winter and spring. Outside of academics, Molly is the current Creative Director of Stanford's salsa dance team.A Late Ancient Biography of Bones

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an undergraduate at Stanford University, studying in the Music and Symbolic Systems departments. Shipwrecks and the Maritime Heritage of Millennia of Sicilian Connections

Moe Khalil

Moe Khalil is a rising senior majoring in Computer Science. He has been working with OpenGulf on the Historical Texts as Data Project since early 2021. His role involves building Optical Character Recognition models to automatically transcribe handwritten Arabic texts as well as digitizing and publishing open-source historical texts from the Arab Gulf.OpenGulf

Jonathan Laxamana

Jonathan Laxamana (he/him) is a Junior majoring in either mathematical and computational science or symbolic systems. During the Winter and Spring Quarter of 2023, he will be working with Professor Grant Parker on curating and compiling online resources of community museums in partnership with curators from South Africa; he is excited to learn from the faculty of CESTA and in collaboration with Professor Parker about the nuances of South African history and culture.

Archive Then and Now


Abigail Matsumoto

Abigail Matsumoto is a junior from Honolulu, Hawai’i majoring in English with a minor in the Digital Humanities. Outside of CESTA, she works at the Bowes Art & Architecture Library and is an editor for the Stanford Undergraduate Law Review

Assessing the Diffusion and Isomorphism of Organizational Forms and Operations among Ancient Roman Associations


Enkhjin Munkhbayar

Enkhjin Munkhbayar is a sophomore from Mongolia with interests in data science, digital humanities, and international relations. She worked with Dr. Nora Barakat on the Making and Unmaking Imperial Space: OpenGulf project to disambiguate and analyze data from John G. Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia with 23000 unique place names in the Gulf region. She also worked to incorporate historical texts in Russian to create data representative of the Gulf region’s multilingual and multicultural identities.OpenGulf

Umar Patel

Umar Patel is a senior majoring in Computer Science and Archaeology, with an interest in AI and VR applications towards digital humanities and education. He will be assisting PhD student Merve Tekgürler in testing and assessing modern natural language processing approaches to lemmatizing and analyzing Early Ottoman Turkish texts to study the efficacy of such approaches on less common language sets. Outside of CESTA, Umar had worked at the Virtual Human Interaction Lab as well as the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory here at StanfordOttoman Court Histories in the Long Eighteenth-Century

Alessandra Rister Portinari Maranca

Alessandra Rister Portinari Maranca is from São Paulo, Brazil, and she is a junior studying mathematics. She is passionate about the role of mathematical modeling to understand and visualize social phenomena. Her experiences involve research work in many different areas of knowledge, including mathematical biology, network theory, economic inequality, and civil wars onset.

Applying for a job in Early 19th-Century Europe


Benjamin Ruland


Ben Ruland is a transfer student finishing up his junior year as a CS major. Some of his hobbies include hiking, pursuing good eats, tinkering and making, reading, and a newfound love of knitting.Oral History Text Analysis Project 

Grace Sperber

Grace Sperber is a sophomore double majoring in Chemistry and History who is fascinated by the structures of everything from political states to molecules and how they change over time. Starting with an interest in medieval illuminated manuscripts, she began to focus on how the materiality of text technologies change their meanings and applied this lens to constitutional legal history during a gap year fellowship. At CESTA, Grace is working with Kimberly Conner on her project, “From Emigrant to Settler: Food in 19th Century Institutions of Immigration” which explores the experiences of female immigrants in 19th century Australia through the material evidence they left under the floorboards. When not writing or looking at records of objects under floorboards, Grace enjoys Kendo, ballet, calligraphy and badly thought-out hikes.From Emigrant to Settler: Food in 19th Century Institutions of Immigration

Claudia Sung

Claudia Sung is a freshman from Virginia interested in studying history. She is especially interested in studying depictions of marginalized groups in the humanities. Outside of research, she likes participating in Model UN and reading.Looking-through-labor in Pompeian Wall Paintings

Esha Thapa

Esha Thapa is a sophomore majoring in Data Science & Social Systems with a concentration in Economic Inequality and Opportunity. At CESTA, she will be working on the Transparency and Racial Equity in Public Corporations project. Outside of CESTA, Esha can be found dancing for Stanford’s K-pop dance group, mentoring high school students as a Matriculate advisor, or working at the Lathrop Learning Hub as a technology consultant.Transparency and Racial Equity in Public Corporations

Andy Wang

Andy Wang is a freshman interested in studying Computer Science and its applications in music and medicine. Outside of CESTA, he is a member of the Stanford Saxophone Quartet and plays on the Men’s Club Volleyball Team.

Considering Disability in Online Cultural Experiences


Caroline Wang

Caroline Wang is a senior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Art Practice. She is exploring how technology is used in areas outside of STEM, thus her interest in the Digital Humanities. Outside of academics, she spends a lot of time playing in Stanford Taiko!




Tracy Wei

Tracy Wei is a freshman from Houston, TX interested in studying Symbolic Systems with other interests in design, history, education, and visual art. She is passionate about the potential of computer science and design to record, explore, and present history in an accessible way with reduced biases.

Know Systemic Racism



Katherine Wong

Katherine Wong is a sophomore at Stanford studying Symbolic Systems (Human-Computer Interaction concentration) and English/Creative Writing. This year, she's working with Prof. Jesse Rodin on Mapping the Musical Renaissance and the Josquin Research Project to build computer software that redefines digital music analysis and music history visualization. In her free time, Katherine enjoys playing the piano, reading/writing science-fiction, and exploring how her interests in both STEM and humanities intersect with one another.

Mapping The Musical Renaissance & Josquin Research Project


Sophie Wu

Sophie Wu is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Economics. As an intern for the project “Social Lives of Fiscal Institutions in the Eastern Mediterranean (6th-2nd centuries BCE)”, she is working with Ümit Ozturk to organize and analyze historical data in order to further research into institutional isomorphism and connectivity among these ancient associations.Social Lives of Fiscal Institutions in the Eastern Mediterranean (6th-2nd centuries BCE)

Charlotte Zhu

Charlotte Zhu is a sophomore interested in Computer Science and East Asian Studies. She is passionate about the intersection between tech, art, and culture. She is working on Text Technologies with Prof. Elaine Treharne in the Department of English. Outside of CESTA, she is also a member of Stanford Japan Exchange Conference and Storyboard.TextTechnologies