Tristan Hume

Github Resume + Project List Blog

Hacking English Class

24 January 2013

I was sitting in English class last year and thinking about how English was about as far away from programming as you can get. We were discussing the significance of characters in the novel Lord of the Flies and I thought “I wonder if I could write a program to analyze this book, that would be ironic.”

So that evening I wrote a Ruby script that analyzed the occurences of characters names in Lord of the Flies and graphed it over time. It was a fun graph, especially the most noticable feature being references to “Piggy” suddenly dropping.

I went on to write another script to analyze Lord of the Flies as well as other scripts during English class this year. Here are some of the ones I have come up with, starting with the most recent.

Most recently I wrote a program that reads entire stories and generates passages that capture the texture of the story using Markov Trees.

Markov Stories

In grade 11 my project was analyzing the most common colours in The Great Gatsby. My teacher thought that yellow would be the most common but it turns out to be white.

Gatsby Colours

My other work this year was highlighting important words in the poem Beowulf.

Charged Words in Beowulf

As well as my two Lord of the Flies graphs.

Lotf timeline

The second one shows words that appear close together, the saturation indicates how often they occur close together.

Lotf co-occurence

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