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Santiago Segarra (MIT), Mark Eisen (Penn), and Alejandro Ribeiro (Penn), "Shakespeare and Company: The Collaboration with Marlowe on Henry VI"
Monday, March 13, 2017 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center on the 6th Floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library

Mark, Santiago, and Alejandro write: 

We revisit some of Shakespeare's authorship claims in light of a novel method for authorship attribution based on function word adjacency networks (WANs). Function words are parts of speech that express grammatical relationships between other words but do not carry lexical meaning on their own. In the WANs, nodes are function words and directed edges stand in for the likelihood of finding the sink word in the ordered vicinity of the source word. WANs of different authors can be interpreted as transition probabilities of a Markov chain and are therefore compared in terms of their relative entropies. We specialize our analysis to Henry VI (Parts 1, 2, and 3) and show strong evidence that places Christopher Marlowe as a co-author of the three plays.


Mark Eisen received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA in 2014. He is now working towards his PhD in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include distributed optimization and machine learning. In the summer of 2013, he was a research intern at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Mr. Eisen was awarded Outstanding Student Presentation at the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meeting, as well as the recipient of the 2016 Penn Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.

Santiago Segarra received the B.Sc. degree in industrial engineering with highest honors (Valedictorian) from the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), Argentina, in 2011, the M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Philadelphia, in 2014 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and systems engineering from Penn in 2016. Since September 2016, he has been working as a postdoctoral research associate with the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include network theory, data analysis, machine learning, and graph signal processing. Dr. Segarra received the ITBA's 2011 Best Undergraduate Thesis Award in industrial engineering, the 2011 Outstanding Graduate Award granted by the National Academy of Engineering of Argentina, the Best Student Paper Awards at the 2015 Asilomar Conference and the 2016 IEEE Statistical Signal Processing Workshop, and the Best Paper Award at the 2016 IEEE Sensor Array and Multichannel Signal Processing Workshop.

Alejandro Ribeiro received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the Universidad de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay, Montevideo, in 1998 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2005 and 2007. From 1998 to 2003, he was a member of the technical staff at Bellsouth Montevideo. After his M.Sc. and Ph.D studies, in 2008 he joined the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Philadelphia, where he is currently the Rosenbluth Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering. His research interests are in the applications of statistical signal processing to the study of networks and networked phenomena. His focus is on structured representations of networked data structures, graph signal processing, network optimization, robot teams, and networked control. Dr. Ribeiro received the 2014 O. Hugo Schuck best paper award, the 2012 S. Reid Warren, Jr. Award presented by Penn's undergraduate student body for outstanding teaching, the NSF CAREER Award in 2010, and paper awards at the 2016 SSP Workshop, 2016 SAM Workshop, 2015 Asilomar SSC Conference, ACC 2013, ICASSP 2006, and ICASSP 2005. Dr. Ribeiro is a Fulbright scholar class of 2003 and a Penn Fellow class of 2015.