Computational Humanities

Humanities Hackathon Series

The Humanities Hackathon, an ongoing collaboration between the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and the Center for the Humanities, investigates computational techniques for humanistic inquiry, uncovering unexpected connections and intriguing patterns in music, visual art, literature, and historical works. Monthly "hacks" bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated disciplines and enrich discussions about transdisciplinary work. Meetings consist of roughly one hour of presentations and discussion, followed by an hour of lab time, where participants can share projects, trade ideas, run programs, and receive support for software and techniques.

 

Spring 2014 Meetings

 

Humanities Hackathon with Hoyt Long

Humanities Hackathon with Hoyt Long

Assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Global Literary Networks: Exploring Modernist Style and Influence at the Macro-ScaleThursday, April 10, 2014 @ 3:00pmResearchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St.

Register here to reserve your spot.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

Hoyt Long is a scholar of modern Japanese literature interested in sociology of culture, media history, and the digital humanitie. He is assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. His first book, On Uneven Ground: Miyazawa Kenji and the Making of Place in Modern Japan (2011), examines the ways in which artistic and literary activity intersected with ideas about place and locality in Japan’s prewar period. He is currently working on a project that considers postal technologies of late-19th- and early-20th-century Japan as forms of “new media.” He is focusing on the ways these technologies impacted practices of writing—literary or otherwise—and how they may or may not have altered established patterns and ideas of social association and communication.

 

 

Humanities Hackathon with WID’s Games+Learning+Society Group

Humanities Hackathon with WID’s Games+Learning+Society Group

 

Trails Forward: Designing Games for Learning & Learning from GamesThursday, March 13, 2014 @ 3:00pmResearchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St.

Trails Forward is a multiplayer real-time strategy game for the iPad aimed at teaching kids aged 9-12 about human impact on the environment and about complex systems. Players will control one of three careers - Lumber, Steel, or Farming - and attempt to build up their business in multiple different types of environments. Through harvesting natural resources, constructing buildings, and producing products, they will not only affect the environment but also each other. In doing so, they will learn that even the simplest of actions can have a huge impact.

Participants in the Hackathon will have the opportunity to preview and play the game.

Register to reserve your spot.

Build conversation with the Twitter hashtag #HumanitiesHack

Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events.

Questions? Send WID's events team an email or call (608) 316-4676.

WID's Games+Learning+Society is a group of researchers, game developers, and government/industry leaders who investigate how games operate, transform learning, and affect societyThe team has developed several award-winning titles of its own, launched two educational game companies, and in collaboration with UW’s DoIT office, produced the Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling (ARIS) engine, a resource used by thousands of educators around the world.

 

 

Humanities Hackathon with Paul Hansen

Humanities Hackathon with Paul Hansen

 

Campus Debate: Building a Social Media Platform for Student DebatesThursday, February 13, 2014 @ 3:00pmResearchers' Link, Discovery Building, 330 North Orchard Street

When was the last time you saw a college student engaged in a thoughtful, critical dialogue on television? Campus Debate, a start-up company founded by a UW-Madison graduate student, is building a participatory, web-based platform to host a series of competitive student debates between different universities. Imagine watching streaming video of two students from UW-Madison sitting across a table from two NYU students, debating an issue of social importance, like gun control or marriage equality. Imagine that you could participate in the debate as it unfolds, using a smartphone or tablet, while also seeing the results of other people participating. As much of Campus Debate as possible will be student-led, from the choice of debate topics and selection of participants to the challenge of launching a start-up company. That open, inclusive approach to launching a tech start-up begins with the Humanities Hackathon.

Paul Hansen is a PhD candidate (ABD) in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His doctoral research is centered on contemporary American literature and film, with a specific focus on how cultural production is changing in relation to recent technological and sociocultural developments. He started Campus Debate in 2013 in order to take ideas developed in the classroom into a bigger, more public space.


Fall 2013 Meetings

 

Humanities Hackathon with David Mimno

Humanities Hackathon with David Mimno

 

Text Mining with the MALLET ToolkitThursday, November 7, 2013 @ 3:00pm3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

Please bring a laptop with R (WindowsMac) or RStudio and the"mallet" R package already installed.

Scholarly Methodologies and Large-Scale Topic Analysis

In the last ten years we have seen the creation of massive digital text collections, from Twitter feeds to million-book libraries. At the same time, researchers have developed text mining methods that go beyond simple word frequency analysis to uncover thematic patterns. This workshop will include both an explanation of how to use text as data, as well as a practical hands-on session using the Mallet text mining toolkit. But models are not enough. When we combine big data with powerful algorithms, we can enhance qualitative perspectives with quantitative measurements. But these methods are only useful if we distinguish consistent patterns from random variations. In this talk I will describe my work building reliable topic-mining methodologies for humanists, with examples from a corpus of 4000 19th century novels.

David Mimno is an assistant professor in the Information Science department at Cornell University. His research is on developing machine learning models and algorithms, with a particular focus on applications in Humanities and Social Science. He received his BA in Classics and Computer Science from Swarthmore College and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was a CRA Computing Innovation fellow at Princeton University. Before graduate school, he served as Head Programmer at the Perseus Project, a digital library for cultural heritage materials, at Tufts University. Mimno is currently chief architect for the MALLET machine learning toolkit.

David Mimno's visit is sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in partnership with the Humanities Research Bridge of the UW-Madison Libraries. 

 

 

Humanities Hackathon with Martin Foys

Humanities Hackathon with Martin Foys

Senior Lecturer, Kings College, London & Associate Professor of English, Drew University; Co-Director of the Digital Mappaemundi Project

Small Data in a Big Way: Customizing Linked Data in Medieval Maps and ManuscriptsMonday, September 23, 2013 @ 3:30pm3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

This workshop will explore the functionality of the DM Project (dm.drew.edu), a developing on-line environment to allow scholars to collect and annotate digital images and texts collaboratively. In particular, DM emphasizes the continuing need within digital humanities resources for scholars to be able to generate bespoke scholarship - custom and targeted linked data of moments within images and texts - across large collections.  Through the Virtual Mappa Project(VMP) - a partnership between the DM Project and the British Library focussed on medieval maps of the world -  we will look at the DM Project's new multi-up working environment, with innovative methods for managing the display, selection and annotation of several manuscript images and transcribed texts simultaneously.  We'll also review newly completed work for exporting the linked data created by users in Open Annotation Collaboration (OAC) compliant XML and RDF-triple formats, and touch on a few other medieval manuscript projects using DM, ranging from the institutional to the individual in scale. Finally, we'll discuss the next phase of work already in development - establishing customizable collections of such annotated data, drawn from manuscript manifests hosted across multiple institutional repositories. During the presentation and discussion, a sandbox of the Virtual Mappa Project will be publicly available for hands-on experience of DM features.

Martin K. Foys is a Senior Lecturer in Pre-1300 English at King's College, London and an Associate Professor of English at Drew University.

Major publications include the Bayeux Tapestry Digital Edition (2003),  Virtually Anglo-Saxon: Old Media, New Media, and Early Medieval Studies in the Late Age of Print (2007), and Bayeux Tapestry: New Interpretations (2009). Martin is a founding board member of the Digital Medievalist resource, and has served as a member of the consultative group for the Parker Library on the Web project and a member of the Medieval Academy of America's Committee on Electronic Resources. He also co-directs the DM project (http://dm.drew.edu), a digital resource for the open annotation of medieval images and texts funded by the NEH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Outside the digital humanities, the core of Martin's research concerns pre- and post-Conquest England, with special attention to the intersection of literature and other visual, material and media modes of cultural expression – e.g. maps, tapestries and sculpture, and, most recently, more ephemeral and abstracted aspects of Anglo-Saxon expressive production – auditory culture, technological alteration of bodies, transliteracies and ecologies of media forms, and the process of temporal decay or obsolescence. Recent work includes an essay on "Media" for the Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies (2012), and co-editing a volume of articles on "Becoming Media" for the journal postmedieval (2012),  for which submissions were also vetted through an experimental on-line crowd review. He is currently at work on a book on the nature of Anglo-Saxon media, as well as editing a set of early medieval maps for the Virtual Mappa Project, in partnership with the British Library. Martin is also the Executive Director of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. 

 

Spring 2013 Meetings

 

The Creativity of Digital Clouds — What Could You Do with 10,000 Computers at Your Fingertips?

Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 3:00pm
Researchers' Link, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (map)
Accessing the Discovery Building for WID events

Presenter: Lauren Michael, Research Computing Facilitator, Core Computational Technology

What could you do with 10,000 computers at your fingertips?

April’s Hackathon demystifies cloud and high throughput computing, exploring how humanistic, tech-savvy organizations such as DreamWorks and MIT’s Media Lab have mobilized the extraordinary power of the cloud to bring fantastical worlds and ideas to life. This Hackathon shows how such technology might amplify your own research vision.

 

 

Viking in the WID

Viking in the WID

 

Raiding and Trading Approaches to DataThursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:00pm3rd Floor Teaching Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street

A look at collaborations between the Humanities Research Bridge and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Carrie Roy will present on several projects dealing with common basic challenges in working with complex data from the humanities to the sciences. Current tools and prototypes for data analysis and visualization will be featured. David Krakauer will also introduce open source software available for using computational techniques to approach humanities data.

Carrie Roy studied Visual and Environmental Studies at the undergraduate level at Harvard and received advanced degrees in the humanities at UW Madison. She now works as a post doctoral researcher and coordinator for a digital humanities initiative at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the Humanities Research Bridge. The focus of her dissertation work explored the consistent manifestation of one concept, binding (in the sense of fixing, fastening, etc.), across Norse art, material culture/technology, mythology, narrative and social/legal terminology. Her recent art work explores transformations of data into objects, while her digital humanities research explores the opposite––turning complex works of human expression into numbers to enable new forms of analysis and comparison.