Matthew Jockers joined WSU as a professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on August 1, 2018. For two decades, Jockers has blended his love of literature and computer science into a successful career as an educator and administrator, researcher, and tech industry insider. Formerly a professor of English and associate dean for research and partnerships in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska (UNL), he was also a faculty fellow in the UNL Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and the Center for Great Plains Studies; faculty affiliate in the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior; and director of the Nebraska Literary Lab.
Jockers’s research uses computers to analyze written text. His literary training is in Irish and Irish-American literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
He has authored and co-authored numerous papers on everything from text mining and stylometrics to profiles of Irish writers living in Kansas, Montana, and California. His books include Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History (2013); Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature (2014); and The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel (2016).
In addition to his 20 years as a professor and administrator, Jockers has founded and directed a non-profit organization, directed research and development at a technology startup company, worked as principal research scientist and software development engineer in iBooks Engineering at Apple, and cofounded a book industry text mining company.
In 2017 Jockers was presented the University of Nebraska’s breakthrough Innovation of the year award for his development of the “bestseller-ometer,” an algorithm designed to identify the linguistic hallmarks of bestselling fiction.