Digital Brown Bag Schedule

We are pleased to announce three upcoming Digital Brown Bag (DBB) events at the Center for Digital Humanities. DBB is series of informal lecture lunches for faculty, staff, and students to present substantive work to their peers. Anyone who is interested is welcome to come. The first series of DBB’s just runs the tail end of the Spring 2013 semester, taking place about every other week. The series will then resume in Autumn 2013. At each DBB the speaker will give a short talk (20-30 minutes) on his or her research. These will come from the humanities or computer or library or information science. The talks will be informal, but substantive, lectures that will feed your mind and your stomach.

The Spring Series of DBB’s features four presenters from the Computer Science and History Departments at USC. (The first one, with Joe November from History, was this past Wednesday.)

Remaining DBB’s this semester

Duncan A. Buell, Computer Science and Engineering
“Work vs. Research: Translating Paradigms of Scholarship from Computer Science to the Humanities”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:30 PM

Scholars in the humanities who are moving into the digital world are confronting a complex issue: how to balance "work" on and use of digital tools with "research" in their respective disciplines. Are some scholarly activities real research, while others are “just work”? This is an issue that has been faced in the sciences, where it has been resolved at least in part and relates to the serious issue of "credit" for the creation of digital artifacts. Buell will present his view of the difference between work and research, and the role of making tools in support of and as part of scholarly disciplinary work.

Evan Kutzler, History
“Mapping Slavery in Antebellum Columbia with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 12:30 PM

Kutzler will discuss a digital history project on slavery in antebellum Columbia undertaken in spring of 2012 that makes use of ArcGIS software to do “digital history.” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software is a useful way to organize multiple layers of data and present them on a single map or a series of thematic maps. This talk will discuss how the website, Slavery at South Carolina College: The Origins of the University of South Carolina, incorporated GIS maps. Kutzler will also consider the opportunities and challenges of using GIS on a city-wide scale. Combining an 1850 map of Columbia, an edited parcel map of the modern city, and the 1850 Federal Slave Schedule provides a new way to look at urban slavery, but the software and the data create problems that are not easily resolved. Hopefully, this will facilitate a conversation about using maps to organize traditional sources in new ways.

Dhaval Salvi, Computer Science and Engineering
“Computer Imaging Research and Textual Editing: A Demonstration of the Paragon Project”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 12:30 PM

Salvi will discuss the Paragon software project, a collaboration between CSE and CDH. Paragon is a software system capable of intelligent collation and difference detection. It will be able for example to compare two electronic copies of a book or other text and detect difference down to the level of individual characters. This represents an incredible leap forward in text editing methods. In this talk, Salvi will describe the technical details of the digital collation software and discuss few of the challenges facing such a system. He will also give a short live demo of the current capabilities of the software at the end of the talk.