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Locus: Social Media Analysis

LOCUS is a forum for students, faculty and researchers to present works in progress, share ideas, and build relationships. Each LOCUS is built around a broad yet distinct theme, method, or topic. It is offered by MSU Libraries, the College of Arts and Letters, and LEADR, and it is intended to help foster a vibrant, collaborative, and active research community interested in digital humanities and social sciences.

Distant Reading/Graphesis Workshop: Presentation of Works in Progress (English Dept)

Distant Reading/Graphesis
Coordinators: Dr. Steve Rachman and Laura McGrath

This workshop is for faculty and graduate students who wish to learn more about two important turns in literary studies and digital humanities: distant reading and graphesis.

Over the two semesters of this academic year we will engage the techniques and theories operating behind these analytical approaches. This workshop will 1.) discuss current work in the fields of distant reading and graphical analysis, 2.) share examples of works-in-progress by scholars on and off campus, and 3.) introduce relevant technologies and programs (Voyant, Gephi, etc., tailored to the interests of participants).

For the distant reading portion of the Workshop, key questions include: Do literary genres possess distinctive features at all possible scales of analysis and to what extent can these features be measured? Should the DH practices associated with distant reading be considered as “science” or “humanities”? How can the techniques of distant reading be applied to questions of gender, class, race, or other problems of identity, representation, and diversity?

The graphic mediation elements of the workshop will deal with a growing array of visual forms of knowledge production and consumption as they intersect with literary forms, and we will be investigating the ways in which diverse fields such as graphic design, mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, rhetoric, and philosophy and disciplines of the digital humanities, rhetoric, art history, architecture, and media studies have transformed and will transform literary study. As with the distant reading parts of the workshop, we will be trying to think through these interdisciplinary questions in terms of critical diversity.

Fall Semester events (all events take place in Linton Hall, Room 120):

• Meeting 1, September 19, 4:30-6:00. Histories of Distant Reading. Reading, “Graphs” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti (full text available online through MSU Library); “A Genealogy of Distant Reading” by Ted Underwood. Location: Linton Hall, Room 120
• Meeting 2, October 17, 4:30-6:00. Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading. Reading: selections from “Graphesis” by Joanna Drucker (to be circulated via email), and from “Comparative Textual Media” by Katherine Hayles (full text available online through MSU Library).
• Meeting 3, November 14, 4:30-6:00. Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends with Andrew Piper (guest via skype). Reading, “Novel Devotions” by Andrew Piper. Tentative Voyant workshop.
• Meeting 4, December 5, 4:30-6:00. Presentation of Works in Progress

Distant Reading/Graphesis Workshop: Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends (English Dept)

Distant Reading/Graphesis
Coordinators: Dr. Steve Rachman and Laura McGrath

This workshop is for faculty and graduate students who wish to learn more about two important turns in literary studies and digital humanities: distant reading and graphesis.

Over the two semesters of this academic year we will engage the techniques and theories operating behind these analytical approaches. This workshop will 1.) discuss current work in the fields of distant reading and graphical analysis, 2.) share examples of works-in-progress by scholars on and off campus, and 3.) introduce relevant technologies and programs (Voyant, Gephi, etc., tailored to the interests of participants).

For the distant reading portion of the Workshop, key questions include: Do literary genres possess distinctive features at all possible scales of analysis and to what extent can these features be measured? Should the DH practices associated with distant reading be considered as “science” or “humanities”? How can the techniques of distant reading be applied to questions of gender, class, race, or other problems of identity, representation, and diversity?

The graphic mediation elements of the workshop will deal with a growing array of visual forms of knowledge production and consumption as they intersect with literary forms, and we will be investigating the ways in which diverse fields such as graphic design, mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, rhetoric, and philosophy and disciplines of the digital humanities, rhetoric, art history, architecture, and media studies have transformed and will transform literary study. As with the distant reading parts of the workshop, we will be trying to think through these interdisciplinary questions in terms of critical diversity.

Fall Semester events (all events take place in Linton Hall, Room 120)

• Meeting 1, September 19, 4:30-6:00. Histories of Distant Reading. Reading, “Graphs” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti (full text available online through MSU Library); “A Genealogy of Distant Reading” by Ted Underwood.
• Meeting 2, October 17, 4:30-6:00. Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading. Reading: selections from “Graphesis” by Joanna Drucker (to be circulated via email), and from “Comparative Textual Media” by Katherine Hayles (full text available online through MSU Library).
• Meeting 3, November 14, 4:30-6:00. Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends with Andrew Piper (guest via skype). Reading, “Novel Devotions” by Andrew Piper. Tentative Voyant workshop.
• Meeting 4, December 5, 4:30-6:00. Presentation of Works in Progress

Distant Reading/Graphesis Workshop: Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading (English Dept)

Distant Reading/Graphesis
Coordinators: Dr. Steve Rachman and Laura McGrath

This workshop is for faculty and graduate students who wish to learn more about two important turns in literary studies and digital humanities: distant reading and graphesis.

Over the two semesters of this academic year we will engage the techniques and theories operating behind these analytical approaches. This workshop will 1.) discuss current work in the fields of distant reading and graphical analysis, 2.) share examples of works-in-progress by scholars on and off campus, and 3.) introduce relevant technologies and programs (Voyant, Gephi, etc., tailored to the interests of participants).

For the distant reading portion of the Workshop, key questions include: Do literary genres possess distinctive features at all possible scales of analysis and to what extent can these features be measured? Should the DH practices associated with distant reading be considered as “science” or “humanities”? How can the techniques of distant reading be applied to questions of gender, class, race, or other problems of identity, representation, and diversity?

The graphic mediation elements of the workshop will deal with a growing array of visual forms of knowledge production and consumption as they intersect with literary forms, and we will be investigating the ways in which diverse fields such as graphic design, mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, rhetoric, and philosophy and disciplines of the digital humanities, rhetoric, art history, architecture, and media studies have transformed and will transform literary study. As with the distant reading parts of the workshop, we will be trying to think through these interdisciplinary questions in terms of critical diversity.

Fall Semester events (all events take place in Linton Hall, Room 120):

• Meeting 1, September 19, 4:30-6:00. Histories of Distant Reading. Reading, “Graphs” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti (full text available online through MSU Library); “A Genealogy of Distant Reading” by Ted Underwood.
• Meeting 2, October 17, 4:30-6:00. Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading. Reading: selections from “Graphesis” by Joanna Drucker (to be circulated via email), and from “Comparative Textual Media” by Katherine Hayles (full text available online through MSU Library).
• Meeting 3, November 14, 4:30-6:00. Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends with Andrew Piper (guest via skype). Reading, “Novel Devotions” by Andrew Piper. Tentative Voyant workshop.
• Meeting 4, December 5, 4:30-6:00. Presentation of Works in Progress

Quello Center Workshop: Text Analytics for Mining Twitter Data

Led by Dr. Stuart Shulman, Founder & CEO, Texifter

Find out more at http://quello.msu.edu/event/text-analytics-for-mining-twitter-data-a-workshop-by-dr-stuart-shulman/

Overview of Workshop

Participate in this workshop to learn how to build custom machine classifiers for sifting Twitter data. The topics covered include how to:

• construct precise social data fetch queries,
• use Boolean search on resulting archives,
• filter on metadata or other project attributes,
• tabulate, explore, and set aside duplicates, cluster near-duplicates,
• crowd source human coding,
• measure inter-rater reliability,
• adjudicate coder disagreements, and
• build high quality word sense and topic disambiguation engines.

DiscoverText is designed specifically for collecting and cleaning up messy Twitter and other text data streams. Use basic research measurement tools to improve human and machine performance classifying data over time. The workshop covers how to reach and substantiate inferences using a theoretical and applied model informed by a decade of interdisciplinary, National Science Foundation-funded research into the text classification problem.

The key breakthrough led to a patent (US No. 9,275,291) being issued on March 1, 2016. We built a tools for adjudicating the work of coders. For example, if I ask 10 students to look at 100 Tweets that mention “penguins” and code whether or not they are about the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, there will be imperfect agreement. Some coders will have deeper knowledge of the subject and some Tweets will be inscrutably ambiguous. Adjudication allows an expert to review the way the group labeled the Tweets and decide who was right and wrong. This method of validation creates a “gold standard” and it allows us to score over time the likelihood that an individual coder will create a valid observation. Participants will learn how to apply “CoderRank” in machine-learning. The major idea of the workshop is that when training machines for text analysis, greater reliance should be placed on the input of those humans most likely to create a valid observation. Texifter proposed a unique way to recursively validate, measure, and rank humans on trust and knowledge vectors, and called it CoderRank.

The Quello Center is hosting this workshop. It will be free to participants, but limited in numbers, so please sign up as soon as possible to reserve your space with Anne Marie Salter at the Quello Center: saltera3@msu.edu

Longer Bio

Dr. Stuart W. Shulman is founder & CEO of Texifter. He was a Research Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the founding Director of the Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP) at the University of Pittsburgh and at UMass Amherst. Dr. Shulman is Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, the official journal of Information Technology & Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

Distant Reading/Graphesis Workshop: Histories of Distant Reading (English Dept)

Distant Reading/Graphesis
Coordinators: Dr. Steve Rachman and Laura McGrath

This workshop is for faculty and graduate students who wish to learn more about two important turns in literary studies and digital humanities: distant reading and graphesis.

Over the two semesters of this academic year we will engage the techniques and theories operating behind these analytical approaches. This workshop will 1.) discuss current work in the fields of distant reading and graphical analysis, 2.) share examples of works-in-progress by scholars on and off campus, and 3.) introduce relevant technologies and programs (Voyant, Gephi, etc., tailored to the interests of participants).

For the distant reading portion of the Workshop, key questions include: Do literary genres possess distinctive features at all possible scales of analysis and to what extent can these features be measured? Should the DH practices associated with distant reading be considered as “science” or “humanities”? How can the techniques of distant reading be applied to questions of gender, class, race, or other problems of identity, representation, and diversity?

The graphic mediation elements of the workshop will deal with a growing array of visual forms of knowledge production and consumption as they intersect with literary forms, and we will be investigating the ways in which diverse fields such as graphic design, mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, rhetoric, and philosophy and disciplines of the digital humanities, rhetoric, art history, architecture, and media studies have transformed and will transform literary study. As with the distant reading parts of the workshop, we will be trying to think through these interdisciplinary questions in terms of critical diversity.

Fall Semester events (all events take place in Linton Hall, Room 120):

• Meeting 1, September 19, 4:30-6:00. Histories of Distant Reading. Reading, “Graphs” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti (full text available online through MSU Library); “A Genealogy of Distant Reading” by Ted Underwood.

• Meeting 2, October 17, 4:30-6:00. Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading. Reading: selections from “Graphesis” by Joanna Drucker (to be circulated via email), and from “Comparative Textual Media” by Katherine Hayles (full text available online through MSU Library).
• Meeting 3, November 14, 4:30-6:00. Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends with Andrew Piper (guest via skype). Reading, “Novel Devotions” by Andrew Piper. Tentative Voyant workshop.
• Meeting 4, December 5, 4:30-6:00. Presentation of Works in Progress

Brief Introduction to Topic Modeling

This workshop will introduce participants to the basics of Topic Modeling.

Register to attend here.

Getting Started in the Digital Humanities: Beginner Tools

Find out about the Digital Humanities: what it is, resources on campus, and events on campus and beyond this semester. Then get started in the Digital Humanities through introductions to and hands-on experimentation with text analysis and visualization tools.

Register to attend here.

Further adventures in the digital humanities?

As anticipated on this very blog, I recently spent a week in Indianapolis attending a workshop on computational text analysis at HILT 2016. We spent our time surveying a number of different tools, techniques, and concepts related to text analysis, so I walked away with a greater appreciation for data cleaning, Weka, HathiTrust, metadata, Python, and much more. The most frustrating part of the workshop was that we visited each topic so briefly and that we had so few opportunities to apply these techniques to our own work. I can’t fault the workshop organizers for these decisions—helping participants take a dozen wildly different datasets through deep dives into a particular technique would have been difficult—but I was excited enough by a lot of the concepts we covered that I was itching to try them out myself. This was the most true of topic modeling, a technique for identifying different “topics” (or themes, or discourses, or…) in the documents of a particular corpus. As we tried out this technique on a corpus of slave narratives, I was amazed at how an algorithm was able to tease out what seemed to be clearly distinct themes within and across these narratives. One of our instructors warned us against being too impressed, explaining that the underlying math was actually really simple. He certainly had a point, and I know the importance of not being blindly wowed by what an algorithm seems to do, but to not think of topic modeling as amazing because it really comes down to conditional probabilities seemed to me akin to choosing to not recognize the wonder of the French language because at its roots, it’s an arbitrary collection of mouth sounds. That said, neither French nor topic modeling can be really useful or truly amazing for me unless I spend some time figuring out how it works. I went to HILT hoping to learn a couple of neat tricks, but I came away convinced that topic modeling could have some real value for me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve added to my notebook full of dissertation brainstorming scribbles a number of references to topic modeling, and over the next few months, I hope to learn more about the process, dive more into the details, and make this a part of the work that I do.

Workshop–Introduction to TEI

Instructors: James Walters
Description: James Walters of the Syriaca (syriaca.org) project will introduce concepts and practical issues for using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) to analyze textual data.