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7 matching courses
Courses per page: 10 | 25 | 50 | 100


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.

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.

These workshops will offer participants the ability to re-think the graphic design of a musical score and will work with a novel set of principles to modify the spacing, layout, and position of its notes and signs for intelligibility purposes and/or artistic purposes.

In previous experimental research, Arild has found that musical scores with modified engraving, spacing, and layout rules can —at least in certain practices and for certain repertoires— elicit more fluent and precise readings than conventional scores. The abstraction of informational units and of discourse structure from a score seems to be enhanced by his approach of separating and redistributing notation symbols and other visual materials using a digital (quantifiable, taxonomic) hierarchy of divisions comparable to what is nowadays conventionally applied in (Western) language texts. This seems to be facilitating the decoding and apprehension of information, affecting the conversion of notation into performance; it is also being investigated at present in terms of academic and artistic impact.

Participants will be able to use the flexibility and manageability of digital production to introduce a radically new conception of the visual structuring of a musical score: Arild proposes to go beyond the mere reproduction of analogical models with digital tools; for that, participants will be experimenting with novel flexible spacing, layout and visual structuring cues that could be enhancing, in music reading, the integrative and abstractive processes that fluent readers already use in language (we do not read sequentially letter by letter; good readers group, prioritise and predict the symbols presented to them). This approach is intrinsically digital, as it is based on being able to use the symbols of a score in a modular, movable, and experimental manner —and in this context 'experimental' would naturally include heuristic or intuitive manipulations by the score users. Arild's view is that a novel conception of music notation should include the possibility of re-organising the materials, allowing the user at either end (creator or reader) to group, separate, highlight and grade visually the symbols present in a score.

Isabelle Higgins, Methods Fellow - Cambridge Digital Humanities

This Methods Fellows' Workshop Series event aims to encourage participants to think critically and reflexively about the nature of digital humanities research. It will explore (both individually and collectively) the function and effect of critical, intersectional and decolonial research methods and their impact on research fields, participants and research outputs.

For each seminar, participants will be provided with a reading list that will contain both core introductory texts and additional readings. They will be expected to do 30 minutes of reading ahead of each seminar. The seminars themselves will be a mix of presentations, small group discussion and the study of specific empirical cases.

Throughout the seminars we will collectively assemble a shared bibliography of academic texts and other digital resources. Participants will also be encouraged to bring and share examples and challenges from their own research.

To increase space for discussion and critical reflection, participants will be encouraged to form small working groups, focused on the seminar theme they find most productive, and to connect with their working group for a 30-minute call to reflect on their chosen seminar outside of the scheduled four hours of teaching. There will be the option to feed back on these discussions to the wider group, deepening our shared understanding of the content covered in the course. Isabelle will also hold virtual office hours following the seminar series. In these ways and others, the series will aim to cater for those new to this area of research, as well as for scholars who are already working in digital humanities.

Key topics covered in the sessions will include:

  • Seminar 1: Digital Humanities in Social and Historical

Context: Considering what and how we research

We will focus on placing digital humanities, as a discipline, in the context of its emergence. Disciplinary Sociology, for example, is increasingly grappling with its colonial past (Meghji, 2020). What happens when we examine the history and context of digital humanities? McIlwain (2020) reminds us of the historical ties between the development of computational technology and the surveillance of Black bodies. Yet digital humanities research has also sought to challenge the legal, social and political power exercised through digital systems (Selwyn, 2019). Does contextualising our methods change how we approach them?

  • Seminar 2: Critical approaches to Digital Environments: Affordances, Interfaces, AI, Algorithms

We will draw on the vast range of work produced by race critical code scholars, which help us to explore the assumptions and inequalities that are coded into the software we study (or use to conduct our studies). Ruha Benjamin (2016a:150) reminds us to ask of digital technology: 'who and what is fixed in place – classified, corralled, and/or coerced, to enable innovation?' How does a consideration of encoded digital inequalities affect our methodologies?

  • Seminar 3: Critical Engagement with User Generated

Content: Beyond content & discourse analysis

We will draw on critical theories that draw attention to the digital and social constructs and conventions that shape the production of user-generated content, with Brock's (2018) Critical Techno-Cultural Discourse Analysis as one such methodological contribution. We'll explore what happens to our research when we broaden our methodological framing, considering the type of content produced by users and how it is produced, who is producing it, and what governs this production.

  • Seminar 4: Looking forward: Our roles as researchers in Digital Humanities

We will pay attention to the growing calls from a range of cross-disciplinary scholars who invite us to actively consider the impact of our methods on the future. We'll explore different notions of methodological responsibility and innovation, from the speculative (Benjamin, 2016b), to the caring (de la Bellacasa, 2011), to the adaptive and inductive (Markham & Buchanan, 2012). What happens when we place our research into its broader context and consider how our methods will shape the future of our discipline?

This project begins from the premise that ‘transparency’ is not clear at all. Transparency is a historically mediated, culturally constructed, and ideologically complex concept. Understood expansively, transparency is enmeshed with a variety of functions and associations, having been mobilised as a political call to action; a design methodology; a radical practice of digital disruption; an ideological tool of surveillance; a corporate strategy of diversion; an aesthetics of obfuscation; a cultural paradigm; a programming protocol; a celebration of Enlightenment rationality; a tactic for spatialising data; an antidote to computational black boxing; an ethical cliché; and more.

Across two workshops, we will explore the multidimensionality and intractability of transparency by questioning how the demand for more of it—in our algorithms, computational systems, and digital culture more broadly—encodes assumptions about the liberational capacity of making unseen things visible. Understood expansively, ‘transparency’ can be a political call to action; a design methodology; a radical practice of digital disruption; an ideological tool of surveillance and capture; a corporate strategy of obfuscation and diversion; an aesthetics of failure; a cultural paradigm; a programming protocol; a celebration of Enlightenment rationality; a tactic for spatialising data; an antidote to computational black boxing; an ethical cliché; and more.

Across two workshops, we will explore the multidimensionality and intractability of transparency and investigate how the demand for more of it—in our algorithms, computational systems, and digital culture—encodes assumptions about the liberational capacity of restoring representation to the invisible. As a group, we will discuss transparency’s historical lineage; question its limits as an ethical imperative, and map its strategies of anti/mediation. Drawing on a combination of artworks, historical texts, cultural references, and theory, this project will give participants an opportunity to attend to transparency’s complex configurations within contemporary culture. This project is designed to facilitate collaborative study; foster inter-disciplinary discourse; promote experimental learning, and develop a more theoretically nuanced and historically grounded starting point critiquing transparency and its operations within digital culture.

Methods Fellows Series | Visualising Data Clearly new Wed 4 May 2022   14:00 In progress

If you've ever collected some data but weren't sure how to go about visualising it in a way that could help you uncover new insights, or if you've struggled to present data in a way that helped others understand your findings, this course is intended for you.

We'll talk about how to select the right visualisation for your data, discuss the pros and cons of different approaches, and get hands-on experience displaying information in clear and compelling ways. We'll also discuss broader issues surrounding visualisation science, such as common ways that visualisations are misinterpreted and how to avoid them, and controversies around what counts as best practice in visual communication.

In addition to the weekly online sessions, participants are expected to spend around two hours per week applying the skills learnt to gain greater fluency and enable us to 'workshop' each other's visualisations.

Your participation will also benefit if you have the chance to take our "Give me 5! Principles of Data Visualisation", which is scheduled for 23rd & 30th March. However, attending this workshop is not a prerequisite, so please do not be deterred if you miss the dates.

Methods Workshop: Best Practices in Coding for Digital Humanities

Mary Chester-Kadwell (CDH Research Software Engineering Coordinator)

Please note this workshop has limited spaces and an application process in place. Application forms should be completed by noon Wednesday, 4 May 2022 (you can only access this form by signing into your University Google Account). Successful applicants will be notified by end-of-day Monday, 9 May 2021.

This course introduces best practices and techniques to help you better manage your code and data, and develop your project into a usable, sustainable, and reproducible workflow for research.

Developing your coding practice is an ongoing process throughout your career. This intermediate course is aimed at students and staff who use coding in research, or plan on starting such a project soon. We present an introduction to a range of best practices and techniques to help you better manage your code and data, and develop your project into a usable, sustainable, and reproducible workflow. All the examples and exercises will be in Python.

If you are interested in attending this course, please complete the application form.