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Duquesne Computer Science Professor Speaks on Verifying Authorship

Dr. Patrick Juola, Duquesne University associate professor of computer science, has presented nationally and internationally about verifying authorship of materials through software he has developed.

Juola presented Authorship and Active Deception at the European Regional Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Linguists in Porto, Portugal, on Oct. 15 to 18.

He also delivered Stylometry and Immigration: A Case Study at an authorship attribution workshop at the Brooklyn Law School on Oct. 11 to 12.  

Additionally, on Nov. 17-19, he will present Using the Google Ngram Corpus to Measure Dialectical and Cultural Differences at the 2012 Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities & Computer Science, along with posters on FirstLanguage Identification of Spoken Language via Lexical Bigrams, Intersection Distance Using the JGAAP Framework and A Case Study in Authorship Attribution.
Through a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities/office of Digital Humanities, Juola is leading a team of engineers who are working on a project with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln to authenticate early, unsigned or pen-name written Lincoln writings in newspapers.

Using a computer program to authenticate the works of a key historical figure is a huge leap into a new interdisciplinary world for traditional historians, according to Juola. "A traditional historian is much more at home in an archive full of paper than in a lab of Java code," he said. "This represents a change in scholarship of a computerized program as an acceptable method of authentication."

He and his internationally noted team in Duquesne's Evaluating Variations in Language (EVL) lab, which examines word usage and speech patterns, is supported by a $1.6 million, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The goal is for his software program to determine authorship across a range of fields-from the forensic study of a suicide note to Indiana Jones-type questions of biblical authorship and teachers' questions of possible student plagiarism.

Juola lives in Whitehall.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.