Jessica Marie Otis

Jessica Marie Otis

Jessica Marie Otis

Assistant Professor

European History: British history, early modern history, history of science and mathematics, digital history

Dr. Jessica Otis is an Assistant Professor of History and the Director of Public Projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. After receiving both her MS in Mathematics and her PhD in History from the University of Virginia, she was a CLIR-DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Early Modern Data Curation working on the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon. She is coming from Carnegie Mellon University where she was the Digital Humanities Specialist in the University Libraries. Her research focuses on the cultural history of mathematics, cryptography, and plague in early modern England and her articles have appeared in the Journal of British Studies, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing. In her spare time, she runs half-marathon obstacle courses and spoils cats.

Selected Publications

Meaghan Brown, Jessica Otis, and Paige Morgan, “Identifying Early Modern Books: Citation Practices in Bibliographic and Early Modern Studies,” Archive Journal (November 2017).

Hannah Rasmussen, Brian Croxall, and Jessica Otis, “Exploring How and Why Digital Humanities is Taught in Libraries,” in A Splendid Torch: Learning and Teaching in Today’s Academic Libraries, edited by John Maclachlan, Christa Williford, and Jodi Reeves Eyre (CLIR, September 2017).

John Ladd, Jessica Otis, Christopher N. Warren, and Scott Weingart, “Exploring and Analyzing Network Data with Python,” Programming Historian (September 2017).

Jessica Otis, “‘Set Them To the Cyphering Schoole’: Reading, Writing and Arithmetical Education, circa 1540-1700,” Journal of British Studies 56, no. 3 (July 2017), doi: 10.1017/jbr.2017.59

Jessica Marie Otis, “‘Sportes and Pastimes, done by Number’: Mathematical Games in Early Modern England,” in Playthings in Early Modernity: Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games, ed. by Allison Levy (Medieval Institute Publications: 2017).

Alison Langmead, Jessica M. Otis*, Christopher N. Warren, Scott B. Weingart, and Lisa D. Zilinski, “Towards Interoperable Network Ontologies for the Digital Humanities,” International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 10, no. 1 (2016): 22-35, doi: 10.3366/ijhac.2016.0157 [*corresponding author].

Christopher N. Warren, Daniel Shore, Jessica Otis, Lawrence Wang, Mike Finegold, and Cosma Shalizi, “Six Degrees of Francis Bacon: A Statistical Method for Reconstructing Large Historical Social Networks,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 10, no. 3 (2016),

For my full publications and presentations list, see my website

Courses Taught


Early Modern England


Clio 1: Clio Wired (fall 2018 syllabus)

Graduate readings and examinations:

Digital history

Early modern British history

Early modern history of science


Ph.D. in History, University of Virginia, 2013

M.A. in History, University of Virginia, 2007

M.S. in Mathematics, University of Virginia, 2005

B.S. in Mathematics and History, College of William & Mary, 2003