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. She received her MS in Mathematics and PhD in History from the University of Virginia, and spent four years in the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries as a CLIR-DLF Postdoctoral Fellow and Digital Humanities Specialist before coming to GMU. Her research focuses on the cultural history of mathematics, plague, and cryptography in early modern England, and she has particular methodological expertise in network analysis. She has a deep interest in how to make digital humanities projects more accessible and long-term sustainable. In her spare time, she renovates houses and spoils cats.

Current Research

My current major research project is Death by Numbers, an NSF-funded project on the early modern London bills of mortality that aims to study the quantification of mortality in 17th and early 18th c. London. The project team includes numerous student research assistants who are pursuing independent research projects on the bills and whose work can be found on the project's blog via

Selected Publications

Jessica Marie Otis, By the Numbers: Numeracy, Religion, and the Quantitative Transformation of Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2023).

Jessica M. Otis, James Safley, Megan Brett, and Lincoln Mullen, "DataScribe: An Omeka S module for structured data transcription," Journal of Open Source Software 9(93), 5661 (2024),

Jessica Marie Otis, "'Follow the Money?' Funding and Digital Sustainability," in Project Resiliency in the Digital Humanities Special Issue, ed. by Martin Holmes, J. Matthew Huculak, and Janelle Jenstad, Digital Humanities Quarterly 17, no. 1 (2023),

For my full publications and presentations list, see my website

Courses Taught

For the most up-to-date information on my teaching, as well as syllabi and course websites, see


HIST 306: Reformation

HIST 324/HIST 388/HIST 395: Tudor and Stuart England

HIST 387/MATH 400: History of Mathematics

HIST 388/HIST 395: Scientific Revolution

HIST 390: The Digital Past: Tech & the Tudors


HIST 696: Clio Wired

HIST 635: Early Modern England

HIST 635: Renaissance and Reformation

HIST 615/635: Early Modern Worlds

HIST 615/635: Scientific Revolution

Graduate readings and examinations:

Digital history (incl. Digital Public History)

Atlantic history

Early modern Britain

Early modern Europe

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