J. Nathan Matias Creative Portfolio, December 2010
Philadelphia Fullerine (documentary)
Philadelphia Fullerine (research)
Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections
Tragedy in Electronic Literature
Ethical Explanations
Operational Media Online
Syntagmatic Browser
Tinderbox Web Viewer
Truth, Trust, and the Textual Camera
Web Art Science Camp London 2010
E-LitCamp Boston 2009
Accordion for the World
The Hacktatus: Wittgenstein Design Project
Academic Integrity Marketing
Literary Choice in Interactive Fiction
Non-Portfolio Academic Work
Emberlight: Visual Notes Online
Scaling for kgb's Super Bowl Television Ad
kgb Multiroom Web Chat Interface
Dr. Johnson: A Rapid Prototyping Framework
Dressipi Sibyl
Harbour Coffee Online Sales Interface
Elizabethtown College Admissions
Etown.edu Information Architecture
Texperts and the Knowledge Generation Bureau
Performance Testing & Instrumenting Web Applications
kgb Web Application Interface Integration
Workstation Status Dashboard
Back of the Envelope
Design & Art
Swift-Speare: Statistical Poetry
Stretchtext Authoring System
Recital: Notes from an Itinerant Mind
Exhibit: Abolitionism in Britain
Sculpture: Read for the Sky
Visual Summaries Project
Design: Competetive Debate
Radio Show: Echoes of America
Design: Edward Tufte at Intelligence2
The Normative Decisionmaking Model
Card Storytelling Software
Projects with Tinderbox
Libyan Higher Education Documentary
World University Documentary Prototype
The University Lives Collection
The Ministry of Stories
Timelines for Citizen Case Management
Cambridge Union Society E-Voting Policies
Dr. Johnson: A Rapid Prototyping Framework
rapid prototyping framework for language products

Dr. Johnson is a rapid prototyping framework for language predition applications in JRuby. It's loosely based on Rails and Django, but it's more generic than those web-focused frameworks.

I developed it while at TouchType, as part of our initiative to:

  • Develop quantitative measurements for what constitute good text predictions
  • Develop qualitative processes for cleaning bad text predictions
  • Experiment with and test improvements to the Fluency prediction engine
  • Prototype web-based language interfaces

I also used Dr. Johnson within the company to help train new employees in test-driven development. By pair programming new products or new features, we would run through small iterations of the larger development process we adopt within the company.

Here are some of the projects I developed using Dr. Johnson:

The Prediction Console:

A console for interacting with TouchType's Fluency library.

The Evaluator:

A system for generating quantitative scores of statistical language models:

The Generator:

A system for generating language models of specific corpora, whether serious (medical language models) or for fun (famous poets, novelists, and performers). The Console screenshot above shows an example of predictions based on William Gibson's novel Neuromancer. I am using these language models for an ongoing research project on famous literary styles. Gibson's work, for example, is famous for what is called an "Eyeball Kick," a term coined by Allen Ginnsberg.


In progress at the time of writing (Dec 2010), this project merges Dr. Johnson with Rails 3.0 to permit the rapid prototyping of HTML5 language-focused applications.

Colour Predictions:

This clever extention to Dr. Johnson was made by Douglas Orr, longtime friend and now coworker at TouchType. He modified Dr. Johnson's evaluator to output color-coded text, visually indicating how the library responds in varied language contexts. It's extremely useful for debugging.