Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Faculty

Academics

Mark D. LeBlanc

Mark D. LeBlanc

Professor of Computer Science, Meneely Chair (2010-2015)
Degrees

Ph.D., M.S., University of New Hampshire
B.A., University of Maine

Main Interests

Designing computational stylistic experiments in novel domains including Anglo-Saxon literature and DNA.

Experimenting with novel classroom structures, including the use of MOOCs in independent studies and student-driven, project-based courses. Examples include the use of codeAcademy.com, iOS Development, and a new course "Future Interactions" where students create with raspberry pi, google glass, pebble watches, and leap motion devices.

Research Interests

Our Lexomics group, an interdisciplinary research team from faculty and students in Computer Science and English continues development of our text mining tool Lexos. The rapid digitization of texts presents both new opportunities and real barriers of entry to computer-assisted explorations of texts. Lexos provides a simple, web-based workflow for text processing, statistical analysis, and visualization designed to address these barriers. The project supports Lexos' core strength as an entry-level tool while seeking to position it as an innovative intervention in Digital Humanities conversations about the interplay of machine learning and text analysis.

The Genomics Group is an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students studying the DNA of various microbial organisms. Working in conjunction with faculty involved in the Bioinformatics major, students and faculty are currently working with data from Next-Gen sequencing of the microbial communities found in the guts of isopods.

Teaching Interests

Interdisciplinary Teaching in Genomics
CS and Biology -- "Linking" courses, team-teaching
DNA -- Teaching programming, personalized medicine, and the richness in the human microbiome projects

New Courses
Storytelling Through Computer Animation
Discrete I for Computer Science
Computing for Poets -- RegEx, Python, Anglo-Saxon Corpus, and Tolkien

Other Interests

Camp in Maine.
Building field stone walls.
Bird watching ... landscaping.

Reading biographies of each President in order (I've finished Dallek's Nixon and Kissenger).

Ireland (July-Aug, 2013): Dublin | Ballyconneely

China (April 2013)

Israel (January 2013)

China (April 2012):  The Great Wall  |  The Forbidden City  |  Terra Cotta Warriors | Peking Duck Dinner

A year "down undah" ...

 

Publications

Book

LeBlanc, M.D. and Dyer, B.D. (2007). Perl for Exploring DNA. (Oxford University Press).

Articles

LeBlanc, M.D., Drout, M.D.C., Kahn, M., Herbert, A. '14, Neal, R. '14 (2013). “Lexomics: Integrating the research and teaching spaces.” Short paper at Digital Humanities 2013, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 16-19 July 2013.

Downey, S.J., Drout, M.D.C., Kahn, M., and LeBlanc, M.D. (2012). 'Books Tell Us:' Lexomic and Traditional Evidence for the Sources of Guthlac A. Modern Philology. 110 (2012): 1-29.

Drout, M.D.C., M. J. Kahn, M.D. LeBlanc, and Nelson, C. '11 (2011). Of Dendrogrammatology: Lexomic Methods for Analyzing the Relationships Among Old English Poems. Journal of English and Germanic Philology, July 2011, 301-336.

Drout, M., Kahn, M., LeBlanc, M.D., Jones, A. '11, Kathok, N. '10, and Nelson, C. '11 (2010). Lexomics for Anglo-Saxon Literature. Old English Newsletter.

Maloney, M., Parker, J., LeBlanc, M.D., Woodard, C.T., Glackin, M., and Hanrahan, M. (2010). Bioinformatics and the Undergraduate Curriculum. CBE Life Sci Educ: 172-174.

LeBlanc, M.D., Gousie, M. and Armstrong, T. (March 2010). Connecting Across Campus. Proceedings of the 41st SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Milwaukee, WI.

Dyer, B.D., Kahn, M.J., and LeBlanc, M.D. (2007). Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analyses of genomic signatures reveal sets of tetramers that discriminate temperature optima of Archaea and Bacteria. Archaea 2:159-167.

LeBlanc, M.D. and Leibowitz, R. (2006). Discrete Partnership -- A case for a full-year of Discrete Math. Proceedings of 37th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Houston, TX, 313-317.

LeBlanc, M.D. and Dyer, B.D. (2004). Bioinformatics and Computing Curricula 2001 -- Why Computer Science is well positioned in a post-genomic world. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, v36(4), Dec. 2004, 64-67.

Russell, S.W. and LeBlanc, M. (2004). Learning By Seeing By Doing: Arithmetic Word Problems. With Sylvia Weber-Russell (UNH). The Journal of the Learning Sciences, v13(2), 197-220.

Dyer, B.D., LeBlanc, M.D., Benz, S., Cahalan, P., Donorfio, B., Sagui, P.,
Villa, A., and Williams, G. (2004). A DNA motif lexicon: cataloguing and annotating sequences. In Silico Biology, v4, 0039. http://www.bioinfo.de/isb/2004/04/0039/

Grants and Workshops

Grants

Drout, M. (PI), Kahn, M. (Co-PI), and LeBlanc, M.D. (Co-PI) [April 01, 2011 – March 30, 2013]. National Endowment for the Humanities – NEH PR-50112011 -- Lexomic Tools and Methods for Textual Analysis: Providing Deep Access to Digitized Texts. [ $178,000 award].

LeBlanc, M. (PI), Drout, M. and Kahn, M. (July 2008 - June 2010). National Endowment for the Humanities NEH HD-50300-08 -- Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond.

LeBlanc, M. and Dyer B. (May 2004 - May 2007). Two-year NSF grant: DUE-0340761 Teaching Genomics to Undergraduate Computer Science and Biology Majors: A model involving infusion and strategic linking. See Sample Educational Materials.


Workshops and Talks

Drout, M.D.C., LeBlanc, M.D., Neal, R. '14, Berger, R. '14, Hitotsubashi, N. '13, Smith, L. '14. (2013). Graduate Workshop: Using Lexomics Tools. Presented at the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS 2013), Dublin, Ireland, July 28, 2013.

Classifying Stages of Retention and Loss of DNA Acquired by Horizontal Transfer between Bacteria and Archaea. Experimental work performed in conjunction with Emily Baldwin ‘13, Kelsey Hichens ‘13, Michael Kahn, and Betsey D. Dyer. Abstract published in the proceedings of and work presented at World DNA Day, Xi’an, China, April 26, 2012.

Lexomics Methods – Presented at The 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 10, 2012.

Perl for Biologists. Howard Hughes funded workshop for retaining students in science. Hampton College, VA. July 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Computer Science @Home: Programming with Alice Animation. Presented at the Massachusetts Home School Convention. Worcester, MA, April 30, 2011.

Bioinformatics in the computer science curriculum. Panel presentation at CCSCNE 2011 -- Conference for Computing in Small Colleges. Western New England College, Springfield, MA, April 16, 2011.

Recruiting via a First-Year Seminar: Storytelling Through Computer Animation. Presented at SIGCSE 2011 -- The Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Dallas, TX, March 11, 2011.

Connecting Across Campus. Presented at SIGCSE 2010 -- The Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Milwaukee, WI, March 11, 2010.

Computing for Poets. Presented at SIGCSE 2010 -- The Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Milwaukee, WI, March 12, 2010.

medPing: Data Structures with Embedded Medical Devices. Presented at CCSCNE 2010 -- Conference for Computing in Small Colleges. Hartford, CT, April 16, 2010.

Computer Science @Home: Programming with Alice Animation. Presented at the Massachusetts Home School Convention. Worcester, MA, April 24, 2010.

Fishing for patterns in a sea of texts: Lexomics for Anglo-Saxon Literature. Presented at the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (with M. Drout, M. Kahn, and C. Nelson '11) at St. John, Newfoundland, Canada, July 25, 2009.

Palindromes in DNA Land. Presented at 'DNA and Health: Education, Community and Business Perspectives' (with B. Dyer) at the Center for the Advancement of Science Exploration, Bridgewater State College, February 5, 2009.

Alice in High School Land. Presented a hands-on introduction to the Alice programming environment to computing and mathematics teachers at Norton Public High School, Norton, MA, February 1, 2009.

Extremophiles and Spider Webs: Adventures in Genomics. Presented at 'Bringing Big Science to Small Schools: Genomics Curriculum Development Workshop' (with B. Dyer) at Vassar College, July 22, 2007.

Student Work

Recent Student Publications and Presentations

Devin Delfino '14, Bryan Jensen '15, Mengyang Li '14, Julia Morneau '16, and Richard Neal '14. Lexos: A Text Mining Workflow. Poster presentation at the Northeast region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE 2014), Providence College, Providence, RI, April 25, 2014. This work won 3rd place for best research.

Tongbo Sui '14. Graphical Visualization of Eye-Tracking Data. Poster presentation at the Northeast region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE 2014), Providence College, Providence, RI, April 25, 2014. Co-advised with Jason E. Reiss, Psychology, Wheaton College.

Taylor Wright-Sanson '13, Richard Neal '14, Clayton Rieck '14, Tri Nguyen '14, and Anthony Castellani '13. cowDuck: An iPhone App for the Wheaton College Community. Poster presentation at the Northeast region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE 2013), Siena College, Loudonville, NY, April 12, 2013. This work won 3rd place for best research.

Richard Neal '14. hyperCutter: Combining Discrete Lexomics Tools. Poster presentation at the Northeast region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE 2013), Siena College, Loudonville, NY, April 12, 2013.

Taylor Wright-Sanson '13. Circus Smirkus v1.0. Poster presentation at the Northeast region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE 2013), Siena College, Loudonville, NY, April 12, 2013.

Kelsey Hichens '13 and Emily Baldwin '13. The Double Helix of Computer Science and Biology: Horizontal Transfer in Archaea and Bacteria Genomes. Poster presentation at the Northeastern Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSCNE 2012), Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT, April 27, 2012.

Jones, Amos '11. diviText: Graphical and Automated Text Segmentation for Text Mining. Poster presentation at the Northeastern Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, Western New England College, April 15, 2011.

Drout, M.D.C., M. J. Kahn, M.D. LeBlanc, and Nelson, C. '11. Of Dendrogrammatology: Lexomic Methods for Analyzing the Relationships Among Old English Poems. Journal of English and Germanic Philology, July 2011, 301-336.

Drout, M., Kahn, M., LeBlanc, M.D., Jones, A. '11, Kathok, N. '10, and Nelson, C. '11 (2010). Lexomics for Anglo-Saxon Literature. Old English Newsletter.

Student Software for Anglo-Saxon Scholarship
Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond.

Student Software in Genomics
Building tools for scientists ...

Honors Theses

Cluster Validation Using the Non-parametric Bootstrap and Parallel Processing: Applications in Unsupervised Machine Learning of Shimodaira's Method to Text Mining and Genomics. Donald Bass, May 2012. Co-advisor with Mike Kahn, Statistics.

diviText: Visualizing Text Segmentation for Text Mining.  Amos Jones '11.

The Politics of Free: Open Source Software in Government.  Brian Donorfio '04

Supporting Analyses of Gene Regulation in DNA Neighborhoods.  Adam Villa '03

Search Algorithms for Locating Potential Regulatory Motifs in the Promotors of the Kreb's Cycle Genes of Caenorhabditis elegans.
Glen Aspeslagh '00

Utilizing a Genetic Algorithm to Search the Structure-space of Artificial Neural Networks for Optimal Architectures.
Ken Aspeslagh '00

Service Learning
New database for information on 5000+ slides.
Norton Historical Society web page
Town of Norton prototype