Center Associates


Eyal Sagi
Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Ford Center for Global Citizenship

Career Path and Experience
Over the past few years Eyal has been developing statistical tools for quantifying word meaning based
on its contexts of use. He has been applying these tools to study changes in word meaning and use over time looking at both general trends of change and changes in specific words. Together with Daniel Diermeier he is exploring an interesting application of these methods – Tracing changes in the framing of words and identifying political and cultural shifts in thinking through such changes.

Research and How It Relates to the Ford Center’s Mission
In his work, Eyal explores how the context in which a word or phrase appears influences their perceived
meaning. Over the last few years, he began investigating the how the way words are used can lead
to changes in their meaning. At the Ford Center, he applies this research to develop methods for
quantifying how concepts are used and how the framing of concepts can influence their perception over

His research on quantifying word meaning and change provides tools that could allow for the rapid and,
to some degree, automated analysis of discourse and text such as news reports and political speeches.
Such rapid analysis would allow corporations to better understand the social and political landscapes in
which they are operating and to quickly identify and respond to changes in these landscapes.

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