As the Research Analyst and Technologist for the Jenkins Chair for New Technologies in Society at Duke University, Herron has continued the work in information sciences and the arts he initially began at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since the publication of his first research text on the potential application of text mining to pharmacogenomics-based drug discovery, Herron has worked extensively with text analytics and text mining to study topics across diverse disciplines.
With his collaborators at the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society based at University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB), Patrick has created a comprehensive database of nanotechnology covering global nanoscience research literature, nanotechnology patents, and nanotechnology products. He is currently completing a study with UCSB Professor Aashish Mehta, a labor economist, on the impact of international collaboration on nanoscience, and has started work with Duke's University Professor, Tim Lenoir, on an analysis of the recent impact of funding agencies on the flow of science quality via nanotechnology transfer in biopharmaceutical nanotechnology. Some of the novel cluster analysis methods Patrick developed have also become part of Prior IP, a bleeding edge patent retrieval and visualization tool.
Patrick also continues to work at the intersection of science and the arts through Duke's Visual Studies Initiative, teaching new media studies courses at Duke and uses new media theory as a platform for interdisciplinary quantitative research in the humanities and social sciences. Patrick, the former Poet Laureate of Carrboro, NC, has also continued to publish poetry, with work recently published in the final print issue of Talisman.
"At SILS I fell in love with the myriad ways in which computers could be used to augment a human's ability to read," Patrick explained when asked about how SILS helped him achieve his long-term professional goals.
"SILS gave me more systems administration experience through my time working for Paul Jones at ibiblio, Stephanie Haas' NLP and Systems Analysis courses, Miles Efron's class in data mining, Robert Losee's courses in retrieval and game theory, and Brad Hemminger's database courses. I recognized during my studies that we would become able, through the use of text mining, to read not just single documents in sequential order as we have since the rise of text technologies, but to read entire archives at once. While I had been performing similar actions as a poet, using algorithms and search engines to help me compose poems out of broad and unpoetic document collections, I learned at SILS that there were other powers of such techniques and technologies than the creation of art objects."