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Analysing and Visualising Social Media Data (Workshop) new Mon 11 Feb 2019   14:00 Finished

This session introduces a variety of analytical strategies, with a focus on Social Network Analysis, the most widely used and abused method for analysing and visualising digital and social media data. At the end of this session, you will be familiar with the basic concepts, techniques and measures of social network analysis.

Archival Photography: An Introduction new Wed 12 Jun 2019   11:00 Finished

This session focusses on providing photography skills for those undertaking archival research. Dr Oliver Dunn has experience spanning a decade filming documents for major academic research projects. He will go over practical approaches to finding and ordering materials in the archive, methods of handling and filming them, digital file storage, and transcription strategies. The focus is very much on low-tech approaches and small budgets. We’ll consider best uses of smartphones, digital cameras and tripods. The session is held at the Digital Content Unit at the University Library.

Automated writing in the age of Machine Learning new Mon 7 Dec 2020   11:30 Finished

Computer programmes which predict the likely next words in sentences are a familiar part of everyday life for billions of people who encounter them in auto-complete tools for search engines and the predictive keyboards used by mobile phones and word processing software. These tools rely on “language models” developed by researchers in fields such as natural language processing (NLP) and information retrieval which assign probabilities to words in a sequence based on a specific set of “training data” (in this case a collection of texts where the frequencies of word pairings or three-word phrases have been calculated in advance).

Recent developments in machine learning have led to the creation of general language models trained on extremely large datasets which can now produce ‘synthetic’ texts, answer questions, summarise information without the need for lengthy or costly processes of training for each new task. The difficulties in distinguishing the outputs of these language models from texts written by humans has provoked widespread interest in the media. Researchers have experimented with prompting GPT-3, a language model developed by OpenAI to write short stories, answer philosophical questions and apparently propose potential medical treatments -although GPT-3 did have some difficulty with the question “how many eyes does a horse have?”. Meanwhile, The Guardian ‘commissioned’ an op-ed from GPT-3.

This Methods Workshop will explore the generation of ‘synthetic’ texts through presentations, discussion and demonstrations of text generation techniques which participants will be encouraged to try out for themselves during the sessions. We will also report back from the Ghost Fictions Guided Project, organised by Cambridge Digital Humanities Learning Programme in October and November this year. The project looks at how ideas about the distinction between ‘fact’, ‘fiction’ and ‘nonfiction’ are shaping the reception of text generation methods and aims to stimulate deeper critical engagement with machine learning by humanities researchers.

Prior knowledge of programming, computer science or Machine Learning is not required. In order to try out the text generation techniques demonstrated during the course you will need access to Google Drive (accessible via Raven login for University of Cambridge users).

Beginner's Filmmaking Workshop new Mon 17 Feb 2020   10:00 Finished

Tutors: Sarah McEvoy / Kostas Chondros

Are you curious about making a short documentary film?

This beginner’s filmmaking workshop will help you to start thinking visually and communicate using sound and film. Over two days you will be introduced to different camera shot types, how to construct a basic story, use digital video cameras and sound recorders to shoot your own footage, and then edit a short sequence for export.

The workshop assumes no or very little prior knowledge of filmmaking and no prior preparation is required for the workshop. This is a hands-on practical workshop, working in small teams of two or three people. We expect a willingness to be open to ideas and work in a team to jointly create a short film clip.

The workshop will give you the foundational skills to incorporate film and sound in your own future projects, for example short clips for social media, publicity about research projects as a way to engage wider audiences etc.

During the workshop you will work with dedicated video equipment, but the techniques you will learn can be adapted to film making with smartphones, tablets and other readily available personal electronic devices.

COURSE PROGRAMME

Day 1 – Monday 17th February

  • 10.00 Welcome and introductions
  • 10.30 Aims of the session
  • 10.45 Introduction to shot types, camera movements, framing, telling a story, basic rules of camera use, rules of recording sound
  • 11.45 Splitting into groups – interactive demonstration of how to use the cameras
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Filming around Cambridge, practical exercise working in groups
  • 16.00 Return to room to look at footage from all groups
  • 17.00 Feedback session and summary of day 1 intro to day 2

Day 2 – Tuesday 18th February

We will be working on apple macs and Final Cut X; however we do not expect any prior knowledge of working with either computer or software

  • 10.00 Importing footage onto computers
  • 10.15 Basic editing, creating a 2-minute clip, summary of creating a sequence
  • 10.45 Adding clips to timeline, tools for manipulating clips, using second video track, transitions and filters, syncing audio
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Credits, titles, adjusting audio levels, adding music or narration, exporting footage, saving files
  • 16.00 Looking at each other’s edited clips
  • 16.45 Evaluation
  • 17.00 Finish

Handouts will be emailed after the workshop, and include:

Presentation – shot types, how to construct a sequence Editing on Final Cut x Camera functions, audio recording, info about equipment and editing software and model release forms

What you need to take with you

Headphones – preferably the kind you can plug in rather than Bluetooth headphones

Storage device – if you want to take footage you shoot with you after the workshop, you will need a hard drive, USB or SD card that can hold at least 8GB. Video files are large. Please make sure that the device is formatted to FAT32 if you use it on a PC, as we will be using macs. You can check this by right clicking the device and checking the properties. If you prefer, you don’t need to save the footage that you film and can also upload the exported film to Dropbox.

Upon booking this workshop a questionnaire will be issued to participants which must be completed in order to satisfy the booking.

The workshop is led by:

Sarah McEvoy holds BA Hons Fine Art and an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths University of London and has most recently completed an MA in Art and Design in Education at UCL Institute of Education. Sarah has worked with arts organisations and charities creating short documentaries and has most recently filmed and edited a film working with a socially engaged artist in the community of South East London. As an artist-educator, Sarah works with youth groups and adults with learning disabilities in the community and museums and galleries.

Kostas Chondros holds an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. He also holds an MA in Social Exclusion, Minorities & Gender from Panteion University and a BA in Social Anthropology & History from the University of the Aegean, Greece. Since joining the Personal Histories film production team in 2011, Kostas has filmed several events and taught camera & film production skills. Additionally, as a freelance filmmaker, Kostas documents improvised music performances and collaborates on film projects with other artists and performers. He is also a musician, poet and translator.

Find out how to use blogging in your research. The first of two sessions on research blogging will explore the benefits and limitations of blogging for public engagement.

The second of two sessions on research blogging will explore how social media can enable public engagement with your blog, learn how to set up a Twitter chat and explore other methods to get people talking about your research.

Bug Hunt 2020 [cancelled - Covid 19] new Tue 21 Apr 2020   13:00 CANCELLED

This programme is an opportunity to learn, through practical experience and shared investigation, how to apply digital methods for exploring and analysing a body of archival texts. The core of the programme will be 5 x 2 hour classroom based sessions supplemented by group and individual work on tasks related to the project design, delivery and documentation in between sessions. In addition to attending all five face-to-face sessions, participants should set aside an additional 8-10 hours over the duration of the course for work on project-related tasks.

During the programme we’ll work together on a particular topic: how insects were represented in books created for children in the 19th century. This question will help us to think about how children’s encounters with the natural world might have been framed and shaped by their reading. We’ll work on digital collections of 19th century children’s books exploring how such collections are built and how they can be used for machine reading. We’ll develop specific research questions and you’ll learn how to explore them using different tools for textual stylistic analysis. At the end, we’ll present findings and consider the implications of what we’ve discovered.

Topics covered include;

• The development of methods for machine reading the archive – ideas, motivations and ethics • Children’s books of the long 19th century – a beginner’s guide • Designing a small-scale investigation • Building a collection of digital texts • Transforming texts into searchable data • Analysing stylistic patterns in the data

Bulk Data Capture: an overview new Tue 23 Feb 2021   10:00 Finished

This CDH Basics session provides a brief introduction to different methods for capturing bulk data from online sources or via agreement with data collection holders, including Application Programme Interfaces (APIs). We will address issues of data provenance, exceptions to copyright for text and data-mining, and discuss good practice in managing and working with data that others have created.

CDH Basics: Bulk data capture new Tue 8 Feb 2022   10:00 [Places]

This CDH Basics session investigates three different methods for accessing digital data ‘in bulk’: using an API (Application Programme Interface), web scraping and direct access (via download or on a hard drive). We will explore the importance of good practice in documenting the provenance of data that others have created and discuss the practical steps in research data management essential to ensuring that you are able to make legal and ethical use of this type of data in your research. No knowledge of programming languages is required, however, there will be a demonstration of a Python web scraper during the session and references to more in-depth tutorials on web scraping will be provided.

CDH Basics: Computer vision: a critical introduction new Tue 24 May 2022   10:00 [Places]

Machine learning-driven systems for seeing and sorting still and moving images are increasingly common in many contexts. This CDH Basics session explores the technical fundamentals of machine vision and discusses the societal and cultural impact of these systems, including the challenges and opportunities faced by humanities and social science researchers using computer vision systems as research tools.

In this CDH Basics session, we will discuss how to assess the impact of relevant legal frameworks, including data protection, intellectual property and media law, on your digital research project and consider what approach researchers should take to the terms of service of third-party digital platforms. We will explore the challenge of informed consent in a highly networked world and look at a range of strategies for dealing with this problem. 

CDH Basics: Data transformation with OpenRefine new Tue 22 Feb 2022   10:00 [Places]

Data which other people have created is often either unstructured or structured in the wrong way for the questions that you want to answer. Rather than reinventing the wheel and collecting it all over again, this CDH Basics session introduces participants to OpenRefine, a free ‘power tool’ for dealing with messy data. In order to work with OpenRefine you will need administrator privileges to install software on your laptop. 

Ensuring long-term access to digital data is often a difficult task: both hardware and code decay much more rapidly than many other means of information storage. Digital data created in the 1980s is frequently unreadable, whereas books and manuscripts written in the 980s are still legible. This CDH Basics session explores good practice in data preservation and software sustainability and looks at what you need to do to ensure that the data you don’t want to keep is destroyed.

CDH Basics: Digital research design and data ethics new Tue 9 Nov 2021   10:00 [Places]

This CDH Basics session explores the lifecycle of a digital research project, across the stages of design, data capture, transformation, analysis, presentation and preservation, and introduces tactics for embedding ethical research principles and practices at each stage of the research process.

CDH Basics: First steps in coding with Python new Tue 25 Jan 2022   10:00 [Places]

This CDH Basics session is aimed at researchers who have never done any coding before. We will explore basic principles and approaches to writing and adapting code, using the popular programming language Python as a case study. Participants will also gain familiarity with using Jupyter Notebooks, an open-source web application that allows users to create and share documents containing live code alongside visualisations and narrative text.

CDH Basics: Foundations of data visualisation new Tue 8 Mar 2022   10:00 [Places]

The impact of well-crafted data visualisations has been well-documented historically. Florence Nightingale famously used charts to make her case for hospital hygiene in the Crimean War, while Dr John Snow’s bar charts of cholera deaths in London helped convince the authorities of the water-borne nature of the disease. However, as information designer Alberto Cairo notes, charts can also lie. This introductory CDH Basics session presents the basic principles of data visualisation for researchers who are new to working with quantitative data.

CDH Basics: Re:search new Tue 26 Oct 2021   10:00 [Places]

In this CDH Basics session, participants will explore how searching and finding technologies structure scholarship, through an introduction to search engines both for web search and custom search functions within collections. We will discuss how errors introduced by digitisation technologies create blindspots for digital search in historical collections, interacting with social and legal processes to structure bias and discrimination into search processes. The session will provide a brief introduction to the importance of machine-learning driven systems for digital search and suggest strategies for researchers to critically engage with, rather than passively accept, search engine results.

CDH Basics: Understanding data and metadata new Tue 12 Oct 2021   10:00 Finished

This CDH Basics session provides a basic introduction to good practice around understanding file formats, version control and the principles of data curation for individual researchers. We will examine the importance of metadata (‘data about data’), exploring the crucial role played by classification systems and standards in shaping how scholars interact with historical and cultural records. Rather than accepting data as a ‘given’, we will discuss the creation and curation of data as interpretative practices and analyse their relationship to other traditions of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

This CDH Basics session introduces the IIIF image data framework, which has been developed by a consortium of the world’s leading research libraries and image repositories and demonstrates a range of different machine learning-based methods for exploring digital image collections.

Places are limited, and participants must complete this form to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10 am, Wednesday 20 October; however, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high, and we will not be able to guarantee that your ArcGis Online account will be activated for the first session.

This CDH Guided Project series will offer an overview of GIS techniques applied to digitising historical material, from basic manual digitisation to using platforms for crowd-sourced digitisation. It will introduce GIS best practices and terminology and enable participants to design and launch their own projects. Each session will offer a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A and one hour of practice, using ArcGis Online and a range of other GIS solutions. The teaching will be delivered by a team composed of a geospatial analyst, an architect and a historian, giving participants from all fields a broad range of views and expertise to draw on.

Participation in this guided project will also contribute to an ongoing research project led by Dr Alexis Litvine and Dr Isabelle Séguy (anrcommunes.fr), which is (among other things) reconstructing historical transport networks for France. During the sessions, participants will help digitise nineteenth-century French roads using military maps. The work will ultimately be part of a journey planner (aka a "Google Maps") of the past for France.

Applications are invited from early career researchers and others at the University of Cambridge to join this project for four online sessions during the Guided Project phase in Oct-November. The project concludes with a live “mapathon” session on International GIS day, i.e. November 17. On this day, participants will all meet (in person preferably but online will be possible) for a friendly but competitive digitisation challenge against participants in a similar guided project held in France — pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Participants will need to commit to joining the live sessions and to set aside at least 3-4 hours of individual digitisation work. Participation in the final “mapathon” (online or in-person) is also expected, but no prior GIS knowledge is required.

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Are you interested in looking at primary sources in new ways? Would you like to learn how to analyse large sets of historical and contemporary materials to provide a different perspective on your research?

In this session we will introduce Gale Digital Scholar Lab, a cloud hosted text and data mining platform available to the University. The Lab combines the text from Gale’s archive collections available at Cambridge, including Times Digital Archive and Eighteenth-Century Collection Online (ECCO), with powerful text mining tools that enable sophisticated, wide-ranging analysis.

You don’t need any previous experience in text and data mining, and you don’t have to have any interest in coding or algorithms – this session will explain how absolutely anyone can run these analyses and enhance their research accordingly.

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Are you interested in looking at primary sources in new ways? Would you like to learn how to analyse large sets of historical and contemporary materials to provide a different perspective on your research?

In this session we will introduce Gale Digital Scholar Lab, a cloud hosted text and data mining platform available to the University. The Lab combines the text from Gale’s archive collections available at Cambridge, including Times Digital Archive and Eighteenth-Century Collection Online (ECCO), with powerful text mining tools that enable sophisticated, wide-ranging analysis.

You don’t need any previous experience in text and data mining, and you don’t have to have any interest in coding or algorithms – this session will explain how absolutely anyone can run these analyses and enhance their research accordingly.

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

CDH Labs: Digital Scholar Lab sessions: Tools in Depth new Thu 13 May 2021   15:00 Finished

Chris Houghton (Head of Digital Scholarship for Gale) joins us to deliver this suite of CDH Labs sessions. Chris collaborates globally with scholars, in the digital humanities community, ensuring the development of Gale Digital Scholar Lab continues to meet their needs.

Dr Anne Alexander, Cambridge Digital Humanities

Places are limited and participants must complete this form in order to participate in addition to booking online. We will write and confirm your participation by email. Bookings will remain open until 10am, 11 October 2021; However, participants are encouraged to apply early as demand is likely to be high.

This online workshop will provide an accessible, non-technical introduction to Machine Learning systems, aimed primarily at graduate students and researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences. It is designed as a preparatory session for potential applicants to our Interaction with Machine Learning Guided Project which will run in Lent Term 2022 in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and Technology. However, it can also be booked as a standalone session.

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