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Bentham Hackathon, in partnership with IBM

Lucy JStagg2 January 2018

The Bentham Hackathon took place between 20-22 October 2017; a partnership between the Transcribe Bentham team and IBM, along with the support of UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and UCL Innovation and Enterprise. UCLDH Deputy Director Tim Weyrich (Professor of Visual Computing, UCL Department of Computer Science) opened the event.

Prof Tim Weyrich speaking at the opening of the Bentham Hackathon

Prof Tim Weyrich speaking at the opening of the Bentham Hackathon

6 teams worked together to explore how digital tools could help research Bentham’s work. As the Transcribe Bentham blog explains:

The Hackathon took place over one evening and two full days between 20 and 22 October 2017 and brought together coders, developers, computer scientists, digital humanists, humanities researchers and some of the volunteer transcribers from Transcribe Bentham.

IBM’s Simon Baker said:

We are very grateful to the Transcribe Bentham Project for enabling us to be a part of the UCL Bentham Hackathon. Our digital assets were made available for the developers to gain access via the IBM Bluemix platform writing applications, back-end services and web interfaces. Many of the team used Watson Natural Language Understanding for concept extraction. The event was excellently run by UCL Innovation and Enterprise and produced very innovative and practical outcomes from the participants.

The Transcribe Bentham project is a highly innovative and novel attempt to aid the transcription of Bentham’s work. A digitisation project provides high quality scans of the papers, whilst an online “crowdsourcing” transcription tool allows volunteers to contribute to the transcription effort.

The Transcribe Bentham team are now considering the next steps in redeveloping their website and transcription platforms.

Finnish Visitation, 4 October 2017

Lucy JStagg30 October 2017

UCLDH Academy of Finland Banner

UCLDH Academy of Finland Banner

On 4th October 2017 UCLDH were delighted to meet with over 15 delegates from the Academy of Finland’s DIGIHUM programme, with the aim of sharing the latest British and Finnish research in digital humanities, and strengthening collaborations between the two. DIGIHUM is a multidisciplinary four-year programme, described on their website as:

designed to address novel methods and techniques in which digital technology and state-of-the-art computational science methods are used for collecting, managing and analysing data in humanities and social sciences research as well as for modelling humanities and social science phenomena.

UCLDH presented on three projects:

DIGIHUM delegates gave presentations on the following projects:

Various shared areas of investigation came out of the meeting, including manuscript studies, text and analysis tools, big data and high performance computing, OCR challenges and the social aspects of digital humanities.

Prof. Tim Weyrich, UCLDH Deputy Director, speaking to the DIGIHUM delegates.

Prof. Tim Weyrich, UCLDH Deputy Director, speaking to the DIGIHUM delegates.

Learning disabilities and technology

Lucy JStagg14 July 2017

UCLDH are delighted to announce one of our team members, Pete Williams, has won a grant from Brazilian funding body CONFAP – FAPIMEG (Conselho Nacional Das Fundações De Amparo À Pesquisa – Fundações De Amparo À Pesquisa Do Estado De Minas Gerais) to work in Brazil for a month to continue his British Academy Fellowship research on learning disabilities and technology and to give a small number of talks on his past work.

Doctoral Studentship for ‘Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s catalogues of his collections’

JulianneNyhan18 May 2017

Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s catalogues of his collections is a research project based at the British Museum in collaboration with UCLDH. The project started in October 2016 and will run for three years until 30 September 2019. The objective of Enlightenment Architectures is to understand the intellectual structures of Sloane’s own manuscript catalogues of his collections and with them the origins of the Enlightenment disciplines and information management practices they helped to shape. The project will employ a pioneering interdisciplinary combination of curatorial, traditional humanities and Digital Humanities research to examine Sloane’s catalogues which reveal the way in which he and his contemporaries collected, organised and classified the world, through their descriptions, cross-references and codes.

The project has received generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust. Included in the grant is a three year fully funded doctoral research studentship. As explained on the UCL Application Portal:

The aim of the studentship will be to use Sloane’s catalogues as a test bed on which to conduct research on how digital interrogation, inferencing and analysis techniques can allow new knowledge to be created about the information architectures of manuscript catalogues such as those of Sloane. The proposed research must also have a strong critical and analytical dimension so that it can be set within our wider framework of academic inquiry that is concerned with understanding how collections and their documentation together formed a cornerstone of the “laboratories” of the emergent Enlightenment.

Initial applications are now being taken, with a closing date of 31st May 2017. Read more about the studentship and how to apply

The Digital Music Lab: A Big Data Infrastructure for Digital Musicology

Lucy JStagg20 March 2017

A paper describing the infrastructure of the Digital Music Lab framework has been published in the ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH). The paper is available to download from UCL Discovery. The project also got a write-up in Motherboard

Digital Music Lab is an AHRC project aiming to to develop research methods and software infrastructure for exploring and analysing large-scale music collections. The £560k project is being carried out collaboratively between City University London, Queen Mary University of London, University College London, and the British Library.

CASA/Survey of London project awarded AHRC funding

SarahDavenport22 September 2015

Congratulations to UCLDH team member Martin Austwick (CASA), who is involved in a project that has just been awarded a major grant from the AHRC. He, and other members of CASA, will be working with Survey of London on a three-year collaboration exploring the Whitechapel area, to develop an online platform to find new ways to engage audiences with the work of the Survey.  Martin has written a blog post about this, and another Bartlett-funded collaboration with Survey of London focusing on the Oxford Street area.

The British Library Big Data Experiment

SarahDavenport30 May 2014

If you are an arts and humanities researcher, please consider signing up for this focus group:

The British Library Big Data Experiment – call for focus group (6 June 2014, British Library)

The British Library and University College London are working together on an experimental approach to opening up the digital collections at the BL to a wider academic audience, particularly to benefit those undertaking research in the arts and humanities. UCL Computer Science and UCLDH are helping to shape the development of these systems, but it is vitally important that we have access to the thoughts of academic researchers who wish to have improved access to the BL’s digital content, or have opinions about what they need to help undertake their research.

To start the process, they are looking for a small number of researchers in the arts and humanities to attend a focus group at the British Library on the afternoon of 6th June 2014. The focus group will inform and shape the MSc project work of a team of Systems Engineering students from University College London working on experimental platforms for access to and interrogation of the British Library’s public domain digital collections using the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. Arts and humanities researchers from a range of backgrounds, both thematic and technical, are welcomed.

For further details or to register your interest, please contact James Baker (Curator, Digital Research, British Library) at james.baker@bl.uk.

New Project – MiCLUES

Nicolas EGold10 March 2014

We recently started a project called MiCLUES to develop dynamic smartphone-based visitor guidance algorithms and software for the Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments.  The aim is to enable visitors to make better use of the combined physical and digital collections and to chart both curated and personalised paths through the museum.

The project is a collaboration between the RCM and UCL and is funded by Share Academy.  Share Academy is an Arts Council England funded programme that aims to develop and foster relationships between London specialist museums and academics at UCL and the University of the Arts London.  It has funded 15 projects to help establish best practice and produce guidance for the museum and Higher Education sectors. For more information visit the London Museums Group website: www.londonmuseumsgroup.org

Sounds Like DNA – a new web installation for generative music at UCL

Nicolas EGold10 March 2014

As part of our ongoing research and teaching in computer music here at UCL, we’ve been working with a London theatre company, Penny Dreadful Productions.  They have a new show currently touring called How to Be Immortal which presents three true-life stories about love, death and DNA and explores these through music and drama.  It has been developed with input from UCL scientists.  To give an interactive element to accompany the show, we have collaboratively developed an exciting web installation entitled Sounds Like DNA, where you can generate your own music that interprets DNA codes connected with various characteristics set by sliders.  You can reach the installation here: bit.ly/DNAsound

 

Crowdsourcing the Slade Class Photographs

SarahDavenport31 October 2013

slade-archive-project-logo-40-percent-grey copyUCLDH is working with the Slade Archive Project on a new crowdsourcing project to identify alumni in Slade class photographs.  The class photographs have been taken annually since 1931 and former staff, students and members of the public are being asked to help identify the sitters.  The photos have been catalogued and are available on a new website, designed by UCLDH, where visitors can zoom in on individual faces.

Further information about the project can be found on the Slade Archive blog and the UCL news site also features an article with comments from Melissa Terras (Director of UCLDH) and Susan Collins (Director of the Slade).