Class Projects - Spring 2012

Campaign Rhetoric Tracker

Visually depicts political rhetoric over the course of a campaign.

What it does

The system is aimed at illuminating a candidate’s themes and how they evolve over the course of a campaign, as well as supporting comparisons with themes presented by opposing candidates. It works by identifying the most frequent words and phrases in candidates’ speeches, and presenting data visualizations of the resulting analyses in the form of term clouds and graphs. Users can drill down to see when and in what context popular terms and slogans surfaced.

The current prototype illustrates the application of this technology to the 2008 presidential campaign, identifying the terms used most frequently in speeches by candidates Barack Obama and John McCain during the time between their respective nominations and the election. 


Initial Concept: Rich Gordon

Student Team: James Clemer (computer science), Benjamin English (computer science), Michael Kelley (journalism), Ariel Ramchandani (journalism)

Faculty Guidance: Larry Birnbaum, Rich Gordon, and Kris Hammond (with assistance from Shawn O’Banion)