Hi. I'm Jason.
I am a 20th century U.S. historian specializing in environmental, the North American West, and digital and public history. I am a fourth generation westerner and grew up in South Dakota, where I spent a lot of time in the outdoors and reading books. I currently live in San Jose, California, with my wife and our two dogs.
I am the Academic Technology Specialist in the Department of History at Stanford University, where I collaborate with faculty and graduate students on innovations in leverage technology in their teaching and research. Most of my work is with data visualization and spatial humanities.
Additionally, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln specializing in the North American West, 20th century United States, and digital history. My dissertation research focuses on an urban and environmental history of Silicon Valley.
Prior to joining Stanford, I served as the project manager for the William F. Cody Digital Archive at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities on the campus of UNL. I have contributed to several digital history projects, including The Digital History Project, Railroads and the Making of Modern America, The Buffalo Bill Project, Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Progressive Image of American Indians, and Framing Red Power. More academic information can be found in my curriculum vitae.
As a bit of a work-related hobby and productive procrastination, I am interested in programming and the history of programming languages. In 2011 I wrote an ebook called The Rubyist Historian that intended to introduce humanities scholars to the basics of the Ruby programming language and its application to their everyday work. I am currently working on porting The Programming Historian over to Ruby. In addition to Ruby, I spend my days working with Bash, PHP, and Python, and have dabbled with Objective-C.
I write on a range of topics. Although I generally write on digital history and technology, my posts range from culture, music, coffee, ideas, and anything else that strikes me. There is no schedule or length that I seek to meet.
The site originally ran on WordPress but moved to Github and Jekyll for static blogging in early 2011. My posts are now version controlled with git. Most of my writing and coding happens in Sublime Text 2 or vim on my MacBook Pro. I use to be a heavy TextMate user, but remain unsure about it's future. The design of this site has changed frequently, mainly because I enjoy tinkering.
I am scattered around the Internet:
I also maintain a linkblog at Tumblr and have contributed to Gradhacker and Profhacker:
Feel free to email me. I can be reached at . You can also find me on Twitter.