Underwood is one of the leading practitioners of topic-modeling in the humanities. Topic modeling is a form of computational text analysis and constitutes the pointy end of the "distant reading" stick in Digital Humanities. Faculty, staff and students are all encouraged to attend.
Originally trained as a scholar of British Romanticism, Underwood now works across the whole period from the eighteenth century to the present—focusing especially on questions that benefit from the perspective of a long timeline. He teaches in both the School of Information Sciences as well as the English Department at the University of Illinois, and has recently completed a book, The Curved Horizon of Literary History, about the new historical perspectives opened up by machine learning and digital libraries.