Faculty Forum

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Faculty Forum

  • Sarah E. Fraser, Associate Professor & Chair of Art History
  • Matthew Goldrick, Assistant Professor of Linguistics
  • Martin Mueller, Professor of English and Classics
  • Cynthia Robin, Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Juan Onesimo Sandoval, Assistant Professor of Sociology


  • Sarah E. Fraser, Associate Professor & Chair of Art History
    Innovations in the Humanities

    At an unprecedented new level, junior and senior scholars in the humanities have a wide variety of tools at their disposal to innovate in research and teaching. How do we begin to think about incorporating multimedia tools into our work? How will these choices impact our research and effectiveness in the scholarly marketplace? Art History Department Chair, Professor Sarah E. Fraser will explore projects undertaken at Northwestern that provide models for new research mechanisms. Fraser will also draw data from her work on the 2004-2005 Commission for Cyberinfrastructure in the Humanities, sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

    Northwestern projects on ARTstor (The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive on ARTstor)

     
  • Matthew Goldrick, Assistant Professor of Linguistics
    Using computer simulation to understand group behavior

    In a number of fields, there has been a growing interest in understanding how properties of large groups influence and interact with the properties of individuals to produce complex social behaviors. Computer modelling has played an important role in developing these theories. Professor Goldrick will discuss an accessible, user-friendly simulation package (developed here at Northwestern) for implementing and exploring these computational models, and illustrate its application to data from historical language change.

    Example of simulation work from a linguistics course


  • Martin Mueller, Professor of English and Classics
    A first look at WordHoard

    The WordHoard Project is named after an Old English phrase for the verbal treasure "unlocked" by a wise speaker. It applies to highly canonical literary texts the insights and techniques of corpus linguistics, that is to say, the empirical and computer-assisted study of large bodies of written texts or transcribed speech. In the WordHoard environment, such texts are annotated or tagged by morphological, lexical, semantic, prosodic, and narratological criteria. They are mediated through a "digital page" or user interface that lets scholarly but non-technical users explore the greatly increased query potential of textual data kept in such a form.

    It is a basic assumption of WordHoard that new kinds of historical, literary, or broadly cultural analysis will be supported through the forms of data access that are made possible when literary texts are treated in the manner of linguistic corpora. Deeply tagged corpora of course support more finely grained inquiries at a verbal or stylistic level. But more importantly, access to the words of a text at such microscopic levels also lets you look in new ways at the imaginative worlds created by those words.

    The current version of WordHoard includes Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Early Greek epic in a bilingual environment.

  • Cynthia Robin, Associate Professor of Anthropology
    Digital Technology and the Ancient Maya

    In the popular image, the archaeologist is on her hands and knees in the dirt brushing away the last particles of soil from a 100,000-year-old skull, or in the dark and dingy basement of a museum looking at a crystal bead under a magnifying glass. While all of this is certainly part of archaeology - in reality the archaeologist spends far more time in a well-lighted computer room than in the dirt or the dark basement. Although archaeologists study ancient technologies, the modern tools of digital technologies are becoming increasingly important in the field of archaeology due to the quantitative and qualitative nature of archaeological research. In a typical archaeological research project, millions of artifacts are recovered by archaeologists, and all of these need to be recorded and analyzed. Each artifact is a rare and unusual item that few people can see outside of Museum displays. Digital technologies are transforming the quantitative and qualitative ways in which archaeologists record, analyze, present, and display their data. This presentation will show students how digital technologies are transforming archaeological research through case studies from ancient Maya archaeology.

    Example of Faculty Project: The Paris Codex, a collaborative project among Thomas Mann, Bibliographer, Collection Management, NU Library, NU Anthropology Department, and Digital Media Services, NUL


  • Juan Onesimo Sandoval, Assistant Professor of Sociology
    Spatial Demography 101: Analytical Techniques for Social Scientists (PDF)

    Professor Sandoval will present some of his work, which incorporates digital media.