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Language dynamics on social media


Development of a language evolution model using social media data.


Dr Tristram Alexander, Associate Professor Eduardo G Altmann.

Research location

School of Physics

Program type



What is happening on social media? Who is speaking to whom? The language of social media is rapidly evolving, but we don’t know how or why. The enormous quantities of data available from Twitter allow for a real-time investigation of the exchanges occurring on this platform. By focusing on specific elements of this data, such as hashtags, this project will quantify the rate of evolution, identify the drivers of this evolution, and develop a model for the language dynamics. This project will use information theory and techniques from machine learning and Natural Language Processing for the quantitative analysis.

Additional information

This project is associated with the Centre for Translational Data Science (CTDS) Incubator grant "Extracting information from texts using stochastic block models", E. Altmann, M. Bednarek, T. Alexander. The successful project applicant will have the opportunity to work with researchers from across the University through the CTDS and may be eligible for supplementary funding. 

Additional supervisor for this project is Associate Professor Monika Bednarek

HDR Inherent Requirements   

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:   

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;  
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;  
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);  
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;  
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);  
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;  
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);  
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;  
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;  
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;  
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)   

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2691

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