Charles Berret is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, where he was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism, Writing, and Media. He completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2018 with a dissertation on the cultural history of cryptography in twentieth century America.
Other recent research projects have focused on algorithmic transparency, data-driven storytelling, digital typography, and tools that journalists use to protect their sources. Charles is also an avid programmer and was awarded a Magic Grant by the Brown Institute in 2014. That year, his team built SearchLight, a tool to help investigative journalists pinpoint cases of algorithmic bias in search engine results and advertisements.
As a teacher, Charles focuses on the development of digital literacies in fields that have traditionally centered on print culture. His teaching is premised on the belief that coding, much like writing, is a tool for thinking and for clarifying our ideas.
In addition to the Brown Institute, Charles’s research has been funded by the Knight Foundation and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. His scholarly work has been published in the Journal of Visual Culture, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, and Leonardo.