Faculty Manhattans & Martinis


Part of the goal of the Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative is to get faculty to enrich their knowledge of techniques and concepts so we can then share it with a wider audience. Over the last couple of years, we have been keen to push network analysis to the forefront. This fall a group of faculty and students–undergraduate and graduate–have met weekly as part of a proseminar on networks (QAC 239) and we’d like to show and tell a bit about network theory and analysis, especially now that our first course introducing students to networking—is heavily subscribed and ready to launch this January. (QAC 241)

So please come join us for a Manhattans & Martinis seasonal fête, featuring good drinks, satisfying snacks, and easygoing discussion. We’ll meet on Monday, December 15th at 4PM in Allbritton 311.

You’ll be able to hear your colleagues give glimpses of the power and grace of network analysis. We’ll learn from David Beveridge, Psyche Loui, Francis Starr, and Pavel Oleinikov about what network analysis is, what it’s good for, and how you and your students can learn a little more about it.

By December 15th, the term will be over, the grading marinading, and the bartender will be tending her bar, from 4PM.

Allen Carroll: “Story Maps: Geo-Enabled Storytelling in the Digital Age”

Talk: Monday, November 17th at 3pm
GIS, remote sensing, GPS, and the Internet have transformed maps
from static documents into dynamic windows on a rapidly changing world. Combining
maps with multimedia content and user experiences comprises a powerful new
storytelling medium. Allen Carroll, former chief cartographer at National Geographic
and current program manager of storytelling at Esri, will describe his recent adventures
developing map-based narratives.


Allen Carroll is Program Manager for Storytelling at Esri. He leads Esri’s Story Maps
team, which develops open-source web apps that enable thousands of people to tell
their own place-based stories combining interactive maps and multimedia content. The
team also develops its own story maps in order to prototype new user experiences and
to demonstrate best practices for map-enabled storytelling. The team’s website is at
storymaps.arcgis.com. In addition, Allen helps guide strategy for organizing Esri’s online
content and for serving its global user communities.
Allen came to Esri after 27 years at the National Geographic Society. As chief
cartographer at NGS, he was deeply involved in the creation of the Society’s renowned
reference and wall maps, globes, and atlases. He led the creation of the Seventh and
Eighth editions of the World Atlas, incorporating satellite imagery and innovative
thematic maps into the editions and integrating them for the first time with interactive
Web resources. He spearheaded the publication of many new maps and Web resources,
ranging from decorative wall maps and supplement maps for National Geographic
magazine to special projects featuring biodiversity, conservation, and indigenous
cultures. He is a former member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee.

Lev Manovich: How to see 300 million images? Exploring large cultural data to unlearn what we know


Lev Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which was described as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a Professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Software Studies Initiative that works on the analysis and visualization of big cultural data. In 2013 he appeared on the List of 25 People Shaping the Future of Design.

His website is manovich.net.

November 7, 2014; 3 PM in Russell House, 350 High Street.

This talk is sponsored by the Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative 

Christopher Weaver: The Informed Entrepreneur: Applying Lessons of Experience and Science to Improve Startup Success


Biography: Chris Weaver teaches in Materials Science and Engineering and Comparative Media Studies/Writing. He received his S.M. from MIT and was the initial Daltry scholar at Wesleyan University, where he earned dual master’s degrees in Japanese and Computer Science and a CAS Doctoral Degree in Japanese Ethnomusicology and Physics. The former Director of Technology Forecasting for ABC and Chief Engineer to the Subcommittee on Communications to the US Congress, he founded Bethesda Softworks, a leading software company that is credited with the development of physics-based sports simulation and creating the original John Madden Football for Electronic Arts as well as the Elder Scrolls role-playing series. He has numerous patents in interactive media, security, broadband and telecommunications engineering. A former member of the Architecture Machine Group and Fellow of the Research Program on Communications Policy, he is currently a Board Member of the Communications Technology Roadmap Group in the Microphotonics Center at MIT.

Talk: There is more to entrepreneurship than luck. Learn some of the science behind key entrepreneurial principles and test your knowledge in the process. Christopher Weaver (MALS ‘76/CAS ‘77) is the Founder of Bethesda Softworks, creators of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls series. He will discuss the building of one of the largest private games companies in the world, and will share some of the lessons he learned along the way.

November 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM in Usdan 108

Sponsored by DaCKI, The Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and the College of Integrative Sciences


Stephen Berry, Digital Humanities


Stephen Berry is Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era in the Department of History at the University of Georgia and the author or editor of four books on America in the mid-19th century, including House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, A Family Divided by War. Berry is co-director, with Claudio Saunt, of both the Center for Virtual History and the Digital Humanities Initiative on the UGA campus. A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Berry’s work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

WORKSHOP: “The Digital Humanities at A(nother) Crossroads.” In an informal brown-bag setting historian Stephen Berry, Co-Director of the University of Georgia’s Digital Humanities Initiative, will discuss the major trends and players in digital humanities with an emphasis on how information technologies are reshaping, but not revolutionizing, humanities research and teaching. October 22nd at noon, in Usdan 108

TALK: “CSI Dixie: Death Investigation and the Civil War Era South.” Come learn what the morgue can tell us about life and death in the nineteenth-century South. Based on a deep reading of the extant coroners’ inquests for the state of South Carolina, Berry provides glimpses into the sad intimacies inherent in the varied ways people go out of the world. “No society should be judged solely from its morgue,” Berry concludes, “but every society has to answer for its morgue.” October 22nd at 4:15pm, in Wyllys 112


Gary King: Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship

King is one of the most innovative and influential social science methodologists, much of his work probing the challenges and building solutions for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. He has pioneered research using automated textual analysis, health care evaluation, voting behaviours, international conflict, and the study of human mortality, to name just some fields in which he’s applied his methods.

King talks about “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship,” a recent collaborative investigation into the goals, scope, and effects of censorship by the Chinese government, an excellent exposition both of the impressive scope of big data analysis and its potential relevance to contemporary social and political understanding.

April Glaser: NSA Spying, Digital Privacy, and Your Rights Online

The U.S. government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans and people all over the world. Since this was first reported by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop illegal activities and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

Glaser talks about two cases in which EFF is suing the NSA for violating the First and Fourth Amendment rights of their clients. She considers some of the spying programs that have been revealed since Edward Snowden began to disclose details about government spying last summer. Glaser discusses what is happening in Congress and the White House in response to the ongoing revelations of mass government surveillance. She provides an overview of digital rights activism mounting worldwide against mass surveillance and talk about how to engage in the growing movement to protect our rights in the digital age.

Ryan Cordell: Viral Textuality: Uncovering Reprinting Networks In 19th Century Newspapers

Ryan Cordell, Assistant Professor of English, at Northeastern University has routinely contributed to thinking on digital matters in research and in the undergraduate curriculum as you can see from his writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education among other venues.

The title of his talk is “Viral Textuality: Uncovering Reprinting Networks in Nineteenth-Century Newspapers.” The project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is described here: http://viraltexts.org.

Cordell’s research reflects the best possibilities in the digital humanities. He writes literary history. He collaborates to do so, with computer scientists among others, and he’s revealing new phenomena with old methods and new.

Alongside traditional means of interpretation and contextualization, Cordell takes big data—newspapers for instance—and applies the latest text mining and network analysis to trace key parts of nineteenth century US culture, as they went viral via contemporary social media.

Kim Diver and Phil Stern: Geospatial Data Visualization and Analysis using GPS

Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative – Philip Stern Workshop. The focus will be on how tools like GIS (Geographic Information Systems) among others can help us to analyze and visualize complex data, whether derived from texts or physical spaces. Presenters: Phil Stern (Assistant Professor of History at Duke University, and a graduate of the Wesleyan class of 1997) and Kim Diver (Visiting Assistant Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University).