I am currently working on two projects. One is a study of attempts to build a self-replicating device, from the machine tools of the Industrial Revolution to the RepRaps of today. As part of this research, I have built a series of 3D printers and other CNC tools. The other project is a study of mid-20th-century analog electronic computing. My colleagues and I are reverse engineering the vacuum-tube-based computers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s using the transistors and analog integrated circuits that became available a generation later.
My ‘super-secret’ monograph Spark from the Deep is now in press at the Johns Hopkins University Press and will be available in 2013. This year I am teaching Max 6 programming to undergraduates in Western’s new digital humanities option, and to graduate students in my interactive exhibit design studio. I am also working with a number of people on the new edition of The Programming Historian and continuing to collaborate with colleagues and students on applying methods like experimentation, text mining and machine learning to historical research.