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Doing Qualitative Research Online new Mon 1 Feb 2021   14:00 Finished

What happens to practices of qualitative research when interactions between researcher and research subject are largely mediated? From observations of users’ interactions on social media platforms, to interviews conducted through WhatsApp or Skype, digital communications offer both opportunities and challenges for qualitative research in a wide range of disciplines across the Social Sciences and Humanities. This methods workshop will explore a wide range of topics including:

  • Establishing trust and credibility
  • Engaging with digital gatekeepers
  • Navigating blurred boundaries between ‘private’ and ‘public’
  • Re-conceptualising ‘researchers’, the ‘research field’ and ‘ research subjects’
  • Identity, anonymity and visibility - implications for research practice
  • Mitigation strategies: from data parsimony to creative obfuscation
  • Self-care for researchers in online research
  • Embedding ethical research practice across the project lifecycle

The workshop will take place over two sessions, an introductory seminar and discussion led by Dr Anne Alexander on 1 February, after which participants will be asked to complete a short reflective piece of work assessing their own research design and identifying areas where they feel they need further help and advice. The second session on 8 February will be participant led including small group and plenary discussions exploring strategies for dealing with challenges identified by participants.

Participants should set aside around 1 hour between the two sessions to complete and submit their self-assessment.

Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the CDH Basics session Privacy, information security and consent: a guide for researchers with Dr Anne Alexander on 26 January in advance of the Methods Workshop.

We are currently reformatting our Learning programme for remote teaching; this will require some rescheduling so bookings will reopen and new sessions will be created for online courses as soon as possible. In the interim we would encourage you to register your interest so as to be notified of the new schedule. Please be aware that we hope to run many of our courses online, but that this is dependent on staff availability and resources so please be aware we may have to postpone or cancel some sessions

This workshop will develop your coding practice from testing ideas to creating an efficient workflow for your code, data and analysis. If you are using Jupyter Notebooks (but even if you’re not) this workshop will demonstrate how to better manage your code using good programming practices, and package your code into a program that is easier and quicker to run for lots of data and more reliable.

Required preparation (instructions provided): Python 3 installed on laptop; a text editor or IDE installed on laptop; git installed on laptop and signed up for GitHub; a short internet-based exercise in working with the command line.

Dr Nathan Crilly and Chih-Chun Chen explore the challenges of communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences through a variety of digital media formats. Three case studies will be reported from an EPSRC-funded research project which sought to clarify and communicate the nature of complex system design and its relationship to emerging technologies. For example, the project studied the way in which technologists working in Synthetic Biology and Swarm Robotics conceptualise and address the complexity of the systems they are designing. Outputs from the project include: • A 35-page ‘primer’ on the subject of complexity (now with over 6000 downloads) • A three-minute animated movie discussing the subjectivity of complexity (now with 2500 views) • An interactive website (implemented by Dr Chen since she has programming skills) that generates annotated bibliographies for complexity resources tailored to a user’s interests (launched in March 2019) Dr Crilly and Dr Chih-Chun will discuss the process of engaging with media partners, including working with science communication agencies, animators and film-makers, reflect on what they learned from the process and what they would do differently in future.

Film-making for Beginners new Sat 1 Dec 2018   09:30 Finished

Learn to think visually and communicate using sound and film: participants will be introduced to the language of film, shot types, camera movements, framing, basic rules of camera use, how to tell a story, and editing in the Phoenix Training Suite.

Film-making for Beginners (Level 2) new Mon 24 Jun 2019   09:30 Finished

Learn to think visually and to communicate using sound and film. Participants will be introduced to the language of film, shot types, camera movements, framing, basic rules of camera use, how to tell a story, and editing. Some prior knowledge of filming is required. Please see the CDH website for more details (www.cdh.cam.ac.uk).

First steps in coding with Jupyter Notebooks new Tue 9 Feb 2021   10:00 Finished

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 which allows users to create and share documents containing live code alongside visualisations and narrative text.

From Blog to Book new Thu 10 Oct 2019   14:00 Finished

Blogging as a digital means of research communication seems so simple: with free, easy-to-use platforms we’re all just a few clicks away from setting one up. But having set a blog up, the difficult work begins. Who are you talking to? What are you trying to achieve? How will you generate your content? How will the people you want to talk to find it? How are you going to keep it going alongside your research and teaching commitments? Will it make any difference to anything? And will you ever be able to transform any of this work into a scholarly publication that ‘counts’?

This session will be an interactive conversation between Julie Blake, Cambridge Digital Humanities Methods Fellow and Connie Ruzich, University Professor of English at Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, USA. Connie’s Behind Their Lines blog started in 2014 during a Fulbright Scholarship at Exeter University to research First World War poetry in the context of the Centenary Commemorations. She became interested in the lost and neglected poetry of the First World War and began blogging about her ‘finds’. Five years later, she has had almost 400,000 visits to her blog, she maintains a lively dialogue with public and academic audiences including via Twitter and she is in the final stages of completing a monograph about this material with Bloomsbury Academic.

We’ll discuss the highs and lows of Connie’s research blogging experience, the surprises, the pitfalls and the lessons learned by hard won experience. We’ll try to answer all the questions listed above, and participants will be invited to join in with their own questions.

Emma Reay is a third-year PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge and an associate lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. Her current project explores depictions of children in videogames, and her research interests include representation studies, children's digital media, gaming and education, and playful activism.

Adam Dixon is a game designer and writer who makes both physical and digital games. He has worked on everything from big public games that involve running around cities to narrative video games about learning scientific skills. Much of his work has involved working with museums and research organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, Science Museum, Nottingham Trent University and the V&A. This has included designing games, using play for public research engagement and most recently, teaching teenagers to create digital games for Wellcome Collection’s Play Well exhibition. Outside of that he works and releases his own games including roleplaying games, LARPs and interactive fiction.

Applications https://www.cdh.cam.ac.uk/file/cdhgamedesign201920applicationdocx-0 should be returned to CDH Learning (learning@cdh.cam.ac.uk) by Wednesday 10 June 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 June 2020.

This online course will introduce participants to the practice of game design. It will explore the different ways that digital and analogue games are designed, particularly how you can design with intent to communicate a mood, theme or message. Participants will learn game design skills - such as boxing-in, design documents and prototyping – alongside opportunities to test them out by creating their own short games. Examples will focus on game design in research-related contexts, including using games as part of your research process and to communicate research outcomes to diverse audiences.

The sessions focus on game design, how to shape mechanics and play experiences, so no technical skills are needed. Participants will create their short games using both non-digital tools and simple, free software that will be taught in the sessions.

Topics covered:

  • Game design basics
  • A chance to play and consider thoughtful games
  • Boxing in
  • Planning games
  • Making games
  • Bitsy and Twine
  • Playtesting and iteration

Format

The course will be delivered online, with live teaching sessions taking place on Zoom.

  • Weds 17 June, 4pm BST: Introduction (45 minutes)
  • Weds 24 June, 4pm BST: Game play feedback (45 minutes)
  • Weds 1 July, 4pm BST: Game design seminar (45 minutes)
  • Weds 15 July, 4pm BST: Final session (60 minutes with break)

A CRASSH blog post was created for the originally scheduled session which may be of interest to read and can be found here: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/blog/post/Play-as-Research-Practice

Game Design Workshop [cancelled - industrial action] new Mon 2 Dec 2019   09:30 CANCELLED

This two-day intensive workshop will introduce participants to the practice of game design. It will explore the different ways that digital and analogue games are designed, particularly how you can design with intent to communicate a mood, theme or message. Participants will learn game design skills - such as boxing-in, design documents and prototyping – alongside opportunities to test them out by creating their own short games.

The sessions focus on game design, how to shape mechanics and play experiences, so no technical skills are needed. Participants will create their short games using both non-digital tools and simple, free software that will be taught in the session.

The course participants will be selected via an application process, once a provisional place is booked a call for application form will be issued for completion and return by 1 November 2019. Once the applications are reviewed, places will be confirmed directly in the week beginning 18 November 2019.

Generative Adversarial Networks Experimentation Lab new Tue 11 Dec 2018   11:30 Finished

This workshop will discuss prospective methods and approaches for critically engaging with the images of people created through Generative Adversarial Networks, using design experiments as provocations to expand debate about notions of ‘realism’ and ‘authenticity’ in an era where human and machine vision are ever more systematically intertwined.

Ghost fictions (Guided project) new Mon 26 Oct 2020   14:00 Finished

'Application forms should be returned to CDH Learning (learning@cdh.cam.ac.uk) by Tuesday 13 October 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 October 2020.

This CDH Guided Project series which also includes a Methods Workshop will explore the generation of ‘synthetic’ texts using neural networks.

The release of OpenAI’s GPT-2 and GPT-3 language models in 2019 and 2020 has shown that predictive algorithms trained on very large general datasets can generate ‘synthetic’ texts, perform machine translation tasks, rudimentary reading comprehension, question answering and summarisation automatically without needing large amounts of task-specific training. These ‘ghostwritten’ texts have provoked wide attention in the media.

Researchers have experimented with prompting GPT-3 to write short stories, answer philosophical questions and apparently propose potential medical treatments -although GPT-3 had some difficulty with the question “how many eyes does a horse have?”. The Guardian ‘commissioned’ op-ed from GPT-3.

Through interactive hands-on sessions and demonstrations we will explore synthetic text production and look at how ideas about the distinction between ‘fact’, ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction’ are shaping the reception of this emerging technology. Our aim is to stimulate deeper critical engagement with machine learning by humanities researchers and to encourage more public debate about the role of AI in culture and society.

We invite applications from early career researchers and others at the University of Cambridge to join a small project team for four online sessions during the Guided Project phase in Oct-November. Participants will need to commit to joining the live sessions and to set aside at least 3-4 hours work on a small-scale individual project during the course. We are interested in assembling an interdisciplinary group of researchers drawing on insights from across humanities, social science and technology disciplines .Prior knowledge of programming, computer science or Machine Learning is not required.

Humanities Data: a basic introduction new Tue 13 Oct 2020   10:00 Finished

This CDHBasics session will explain what data is, and what ‘humanities data’ looks like (via a behind-the-scenes tour of the Digital Library). This session covers good practice around file formats, version control and the principles of data curation for individual researchers.

Interaction with Machine Learning new Mon 1 Feb 2021   10:00 Finished

Application forms should be returned to CDH Learning (learning@cdh.cam.ac.uk) by Thursday 7 January 2021. We will review applications on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified at the latest by the end of Monday 11 January.

This CDH Guided Project aims to provide humanities, arts and social science researchers with an overview of current theory and practice in the design of human-computer interaction in the age of AI and equip the participants with analytical tools necessary for a critical investigation of contemporary design with AI/ML. Looking closely at interactions between humans and emerging AI systems, the workshop will also explore the potential for interaction between humanities scholars and computer scientists in the process of development and assessment of new solutions.

Lectures and practical research design sessions in Interaction with Machine Learning taught by Professor Alan Blackwell and Advait Sarkar (Microsoft Research) as part of an optional course for Part III and MPhil Computer Science students will form the anchoring element of the Project. These will allow researchers without a Computer Science background to explore how key challenges in AI design are being addressed within the field of interaction design, as well as identify areas in which humanities methodologies and approaches could be adopted to improve the production process, by making it more fair, critical, and socially-aware.

Participants will also take part in three workshops specifically tailored to humanities and social science researchers and will be supported in developing a mini research project investigating how humans interact with systems based on computational models. The projects may include:

  • probing an already existing dataset, system, or user interface from a critical perspective
  • developing an idea for new interaction design based on critical applications of ML/AI.

Please note: no prior practical experience or knowledge of programming is required to take part in the Project, however some awareness of how AI systems work will be beneficial.

Minimum time commitment:

  • 8 weekly online lectures led by Professor Alan Blackwell (Computer Science and Technology) and Advait Sarkar (Microsoft Research). Weekly from 26 January, 2-4pm (with the last hour as an optional session for Guided Project participants).
  • 3 x 1.5 hour specialist workshops for humanities and social science participants led by Tomasz Hollanek and Anne Alexander (CDH)
  • 1.5 hour project showcase and final discussion

Participants are encouraged to set aside additional time to work on their projects between sessions. A Moodle email forum and drop-in ‘clinic’ style support sessions will be available during the Guided Project.

Lecture topics and dates

  • Current research themes in intelligent user interfaces (26 January, 2pm)
  • Program synthesis (2 February, 2pm)
  • Mixed initiative interaction (9 February, 2pm)
  • Interpretability / explainable AI (16 February, 2pm)
  • Labelling as a fundamental problem (23 February, 2pm)
  • Machine learning risks and bias (2 March, 2pm)
  • Visualisation and visual analytics (9 March, 2pm)
  • Research presentations by Computer Science Students (16 March, 2pm)

Workshop themes

  • AI critique, humanities methodologies and user interface design (1 February, 10-11.30am)
  • Recommender systems (1 March 10-11.30am)
  • Machine vision (8 March 10-11.30am)
  • Project presentations and discussion (15 March 10-11.30am)

Objectives By the end of the course participants should:

  • be familiar with current state of the art in intelligent interactive systems
  • understand the human factors that are most critical in the design of such systems
  • be able to evaluate evidence for and against the utility of novel systems
  • be able to apply critical methodologies to current interaction design practices
  • understand the interplay between ML/AI research and humanities approaches

We are currently reformatting our Learning programme for remote teaching; this will require some rescheduling so bookings will reopen and new sessions will be created for online courses as soon as possible. In the interim we would encourage you to register your interest so as to be notified of the new schedule. Please be aware that we hope to run many of our courses online, but that this is dependent on staff availability and resources so please be aware we may have to postpone or cancel some sessions

This session focusses on providing photography skills for those undertaking archival research. Dr Oliver Dunn has experience spanning more than 10 years digitising written and printed historical sources for major university research projects in the humanities and social sciences. The focus is very much on low-tech approaches and small budgets. We’ll consider best uses of smartphones, digital cameras and tripods.

Introduction to Text-Mining with Python 1 new Tue 30 Apr 2019   11:00 Finished

This session will introduce basic methods for reading and processing text files in Python. We will walk through an example that reads in a large text corpus, splits it into tokens (words) and sentences, removes unwanted words (stopwords), counts the words (frequency analysis), and visualises results. We will talk about the 5 steps of text mining and what resources to use when learning text mining for your research in your own time. No prior knowledge of Python is required, and no installations will be needed. We will use web services available in your browser to follow along.

Introduction to Text-Mining with Python 2 new Tue 7 May 2019   11:00 Finished

This session will introduce topic modelling. Topic modelling is looking for clusters of words that summarise the meaning of documents. We will talk about how to choose what sort of text mining you might want for your research. Some knowledge of Python is required, as gained from 'Introduction to Text-Mining with Python 1', or equivalent. No installations will be needed; we will use web services available in your browser to follow along with the examples.

This online session will introduce basic methods for reading and processing text files in Python with Jupyter Notebooks. We'll discuss why you might wish to do text-mining, and whether coding with Python is the right choice for you. We'll run through the 5 steps of text-mining, and start to walk through an example that reads in a text corpus, splits it into words and sentences (tokens), removes unwanted words (stopwords), counts the tokens (frequency analysis), and visualises results.

This initial session is one hour long and will be delivered remotely by video conferencing. During the session we will cover the essentials of working with the Jupyter Notebooks provided so that you can carry on working through the materials in your own time. The first session will be followed by a second, optional Q&A session for troubleshooting issues and recapping essentials.

Required preparation: A short internet-based exercise in working with variables and text in Python will be sent out one week prior to the session. You will also get instructions on how to find the materials we will be using and how to log onto the video conferencing platform. Please make sure you have some time to prepare properly so that we can concentrate on teaching during the remote session.

We are currently reformatting our Learning programme for remote teaching; this will require some rescheduling so bookings will reopen and new sessions will be created for online courses as soon as possible. In the interim we would encourage you to register your interest so as to be notified of the new schedule. Please be aware that we hope to run many of our courses online, but that this is dependent on staff availability and resources so please be aware we may have to postpone or cancel some sessions

This public workshop will mark the end of the 2020 programme of Machine Reading the Archive, a digital methods development programme organised by Cambridge Digital Humanities with the support of the Researcher Development Fund.

It will showcase the digital archive projects created by our cohort of project participants as well as invited contributions from leading experts in the field.

Mapping the Past [remote delivery] new Fri 22 May 2020   11:00 Finished

This intensive workshop is split into two online chats and two 1-hour sessions. Participants will first learn to collect and process geospatial data from historical sources and process it using geographical information systems from Google Earth to QGIS.

The first online session introduces research techniques for collecting, arranging and mapping geospatial data from historical sources, and is taught by Dr Oliver Dunn. His session is split into two parts: Part A will introduce both online sessions by showing some of our own research that makes use of Google Earth, 3D Maps in Excel, and historical GIS. In Part B you will be asked to locate a set of Scotland’s historical lighthouses on historical maps online and map their location and other attributes in Google earth and 3D Maps.

The second online session introduces students to mapping humanities data using Q-GIS which is a free GIS (Geographical Information System) software platform. Course participants will need to download and install QGIS on their laptops before 5th of June. On the 1st of June there will be further details concerning downloading QGIS, a chat forum where we can discuss why you might wish to use GIS, and whether GIS is the right choice for you, and a release of course teaching materials. On 5 June you will be taken through the map creation process step-by-step. This session will be taught by Max Satchell.

Methods Fellow Workshop: Audible knowledge: soundscapes, podcasts and digital audio scholarship

Dr Peter McMurray (CDH Methods Fellow)

With the rise of web-based scholarship and affordable digital audio equipment, artists and researchers are increasingly turning to audio formats as way to share their work with a larger audience and to cultivate new forms of knowledge rooted in listening. This workshop will offer an introduction to digital audio recording and editing (using Reaper, a digital audio workstation which can be downloaded/used for free on an extended trial basis). We will focus particularly on the editing choices for soundscape composition and podcasting, and participants will have the opportunity to produce a short audio piece over the course of the workshop.

Applications for this workshop have now closed.

As religious services and communities have shifted online so too have scholars of religion. But at what cost? These sessions raise some of the epistemological and ethical issues of doing fieldwork in a digital environment from an inclusive anthropological perspective with a close-up on a particular case study in each session.

The first session considers conducting virtual ethnography, what is gained and what is lost, with a focus on ethnography with Orthodox Jewish populations; the second session assesses digital surveys of religious communities and their attitudes e.g. what the 'bean-counters' might miss (and strategies not to) and finally in the third session we problematize the ethical tensions in online studies of community media with a particular focus on French Muslim media, already heavily surveilled.

The sessions are intended to develop researcher knowledge and explore cross-cutting issues that concern a broad spectrum of humanities and social science-based scholarship serving as;

  • a forum for the critical discussion of digital methods and epistemologies,
  • a place to learn more about specific case studies particularly in the UK and France, and
  • an assembly of early research minds in the throes of a related or relevant project themselves who wish to share and learn from one another

Applications for this workshop have now closed.

Corpus linguistic approach to language is based on collections of electronic texts. It uses software to search and quantify various linguistic phenomena that make up patterns, which it then compares within and across texts based on their frequency. Corpus stylistics applies tools and methods from corpus linguistics to stylistic research. Corpus stylistics mainly focuses on literary texts, individual or corpora. Corpora are here, usually, principled collections of texts, for example a collection of texts by one author, or texts from a specific period. It focuses both on more general patterns and meanings that are observable across corpora and patterns and meanings in one individual text. In terms of quantitative approaches that corpus stylistics employs, it is in many ways similar to work that is referred to as ‘distant reading’ and also ‘cultural analytics’. These approaches emphasise the gains that we get from looking at texts from “distance”, i.e., in large quantities. For corpus stylistics, it is the relationship between quantitative and qualitative that is central. Therefore, research in corpus stylistics often deals with much smaller “cleaner” data sets, so that the qualitative step in the analysis is more manageable.

This workshop aims to introduce the basic corpus linguistic techniques and methods for working with literary and other texts. It aims:

  • To provide an introduction to corpus linguistics in relation to digital humanities approaches;
  • To develop critical understanding of how data representativeness used in quantitative research may influence results;
  • To critically examine the relationship between quantitative and qualitative textual analyses;
  • To provide a practical toolkit for computational textual analysis.

The aim of this course is to support students, researchers, and professionals interested in exploring the changing nature of the English vocabulary in historical texts at scale, and to reflect critically on the limitations of these computational analyses. We will focus on computational methods for representing word meaning and word meaning change from large-scale historical text corpora. The corpus used will consist of Darwin’s letters from the (Darwin Project https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/) at Cambridge University Library. All code will be in online Python notebooks.

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

Methods Workshop: Best Practices in Coding for Digital Humanities

Mary Chester-Kadwell (CDH Methods Fellow)

Please note this workshop has limited spaces and an application process in place. Application forms should be completed by Tuesday, 11 May 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by end-of-day Wednesday, 12 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 fill in the application form. Places will be prioritised for students and staff in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Humanities & Social Sciences, libraries and museums. If you study or work in a STEM department and use humanities or social sciences approaches you are also welcome to apply.

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

Text-mining is extracting information from unstructured text, such as books, newspapers, and manuscript transcriptions. This foundational course is aimed at students and staff who are new to text-mining, and presents a basic introduction to text-mining principles and methods, with coding examples and exercises in Python. To discuss the process, we will walk through a simple example of collecting, cleaning and analysing a text.

If you are interested in attending this course, please fill in, and return, the application form by Monday, 22 February 2021. Places will be prioritised for students and staff in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Humanities & Social Sciences, libraries and museums. If you study or work in a STEM department and use humanities or social sciences approaches you are also welcome to apply.

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