January Digital Boot Camp for Dickinson Students

Student applications to Digital Boot Camp 2016 are due Friday, November 20, at 5:00 PM. Please invite students who may be interested in this two-week, paid opportunity. This year’s program includes an all-day “humanities hack-a-thon,” and the theme will be “Humanities at the Crossroads of Tradition and New Technologies.” The application form is available on the website, DBC 2016.

Out of the dozens of applications we received last year, eleven students were accepted into Dickinson’s Digital Boot Camp held in Waidner-Spahr Library (January 12-16). Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dickinson’s Digital Boot Camp 2015 was a two-week series of tutorials and on-campus workshops designed to help students develop the skills to produce and display, organize, and analyze digital content and information online.

Based in current Web technologies, students learned fundamentals of using Drupal (CMS) to design and display content, ArcGIS (Geographic Information Systems) for identifying and analyzing geographic relationships in humanities-based research, and Gephi (an open-source data visualization software) for mapping large complex sets of data for visualization, discovery, and network analysis.

This year’s upcoming program (January 11-22, 2016) will mark the third anniversary of DBC @ Dickinson, and be the first in which students have the opportunity to interact in Waidner-Spahr Library’s two new digital humanities workspaces, the Willoughby Digital Scholarship Lab and the <TEI Lab/>. Here they will be learning last year’s application technologies in addition to XML encoding and the markup language of TEI, which support the next-generation Web technologies that are already shifting scholarship away from today’s Web of Display to tomorrow’s Web of Data and Meaning.

For an example of Web 3.0 collaboration in the humanities, see the ARC BigDIVA (Big Data Infrastructure Visualization Application), a dynamic catalog of over 200 research projects in the digital humanities which students at Dickinson have been involved in building through textual markup of early 20th-c. magazines and internships in the <TEI Lab/> this year.

“The taxonomies we develop [through ARC] will be taken up by contributors to our nodes and could potentially become one of the standards for the semantic web. This is a big responsibility: we can at this moment have an impact on the way that literature is found on the Internet, not just by search engines but by data-mining and information systems that create encyclopedic definitions of the world. We are participating in the emergence of knowledge organization for the future, beyond Dewey and Library of Congress schemes.” — Dr. Laura Mandell, Professor of English, Texas A&M University, Director of ARC, 18thConnect and General Editor of The Poetess Archive.

Read what students last year are saying: Student Experience and Kristina Rodriguez’s Article from The Dickinsonian (Oct. 25, 2015); and learn more about the National Endowment for the Humanities and support for humanities computing, The Rise of the Machines

Patrick Belk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.