Tuesday 26 May 2009

I'm Hiring!

... for a Research Assistant, for a new project looking at users, web 2.0 technologies, and how virtual research environments can be designed in the best way...

Applications are invited for the full-time post of Research Assistant in the UCL Department of Information Studies to work on LinkSphere: a joint research project with the University of Reading, funded by the JISC Virtual Research Environment 3 programme. The project will develop a virtual research environment which will allow cross-repository searching across various digital collections and archives, producing a useful user interface to various disparate digital collections. The project will study the way that social networking technologies are used by academics and how they might be integrated into a VRE. Development of the technologies will be undertaken at the University of Reading, with user analysis and usability from the team at UCL.

The post will involve: conducting qualitative studies and recording, analysing and writing up the results as part of a research team at UCL, collaborating with the team at Reading University, and with the wider academic community utilizing the system. We aim to discover how researchers are using advanced technology, virtual research environments, and web 2.0 and social networking applications. We wish to design the virtual research environment to ensure that the needs of both actual and potential users are represented.

Further information on the LinkSphere project will be available shortly from the project website (http://linksphere.org/).

The duration of this full-time appointment will be 1 October 2009 to 31 March 2011 and the salary will be at UCL Grade 6, spine point 24, £24,877 per annum plus £2,781 per annum London Allowance. Applications must be emailed to Kerstin Michaels, Departmental Administrator, UCL Department if Information Studies k.michaels@ucl.ac.uk in two PDF files:-

1. a covering letter, CV and contact details of three referees to be submitted together in one file called X_LinkSphere.pdf (where X is the applicant's surname).

2. the completed UCL form, including equal opportunities monitoring form, to be submitted as one file called X_UCL.pdf (where X is the applicant's surname).

Interested candidates can also contact Dr Claire Warwick (c.warwick@ucl.ac.uk, tel: 020 7679 2548) or Dr Melissa Terras (m.terras@ucl.ac.uk, tel: 020 7679 7206).

Further information, including the job description and UCL form, can be downloaded from: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/infostudies/kerstin-michaels/vacancies/

Interviews will be held on Tuesday, 7 July 2009.

UCL Taking Action For Equality.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 10th June 2009.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Digital Classicist Summer Seminars

Digital Classicist/ICS Work in Progress Seminar, Summer 2009

Fridays at 16:30 in STB3/6 (Stewart House), Senate House, Malet Street,
London, WC1E 7HU
(July 17th seminar in British Library, 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DW)

June 5 Bart Van Beek (Leuven)
Onomastics and Name-extraction in Graeco-Egyptian Papyri
June 12 Philip Murgatroyd (Birmingham)
Starting out on the Journey to Manzikert: Agent-based modelling and
Mediaeval warfare logistics
June 19 Gregory Crane (Perseus Project, Tufts)
No Unmediated Analysis: Digital services constrain and enable both
traditional and novel tasks
June 26 Marco Buechler & Annette Loos (Leipzig)
Textual Re-use of Ancient Greek Texts: A case study on Plato's works
July 3 Roger Boyle & Kia Ng (Leeds)
Extracting the Hidden: Paper Watermark Location and Identification
July 10 Cristina Vertan (Hamburg)
Teuchos: An Online Knowledge-based Platform for Classical Philology
July 17 Christine Pappelau (Berlin) *NB: in British Library*
Roman Spolia in 3D: High Resolution Leica 3D Laser-scanner meets
ancient building structures
July 24 Elton Barker (Oxford)
Herodotos Encoded Space-Text-Imaging Archive
July 31 Leif Isaksen (Southampton)
Linking Archaeological Data
August 7 Alexandra Trachsel (Hamburg)
An Online Edition of the Fragments of Demetrios of Skepsis


We are inviting both students and established researchers involved in
the application of the digital humanities to the study of the ancient
world to come and introduce their work. The focus of this seminar series
is the interdisciplinary and collaborative work that results at the
interface of expertise in Classics or Archaeology and Computer Science.

The seminar will be followed by wine and refreshments.

For more information please contact Gabriel.Bodard@kcl.ac.uk,
Stuart.Dunn@kcl.ac.uk, Juan.Garces@bl.uk, or Simon.Mahony@kcl.ac.uk, or
see the seminar website at http://www.digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2009.html

Friday 15 May 2009

Thinking Cap On

Just back from a couple of days in Oxford, where we had a great workshop for the e-Science, Technology and Documents project [link]. Good presentations from all the team, and we are making strong progress.
Am all fired up now to crack on with this - a concentrated day and a half on one project always makes the way to proceed much clearer.

But for now, back to reality, and that email pile to tackle...


... for your emails re: the below post. If you havent received one back yet, you soon will!

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Are you a user?

I'm doing a little study into high quality, but non-academic, and non-institutional web resources. The type of "virtual museums" or online communities created by enthusiasts, producing varied and exhaustive documentation of ephemera. How and why are these created? How do they link to existing institutional resources? and does anyone use - or will admit to using - resources created by amateur enthusiasts in academic research?

There is a wide community that glance at this blog, so if you fancy pausing for a minute do drop me a line with your opinions (m.terras AT ucl.ac.uk), or post your comments below. Any comments made will be anonymised if/when I write this up properly (it depends on what I find out - this is very much preliminary research at the moment).

I really is a fascinating area - more and more virtual communities are emerging that are using platforms such as flickr to host their "virtual archives", producing exhaustive documentation about topics hitherto ignored by many memory institutions. But I could rant on for ages... here are some questions to think about, if you have a minute. Thanks!

Part A. About you and your research
1. Can you describe your area of academic interest?
2. At what stage of your academic career are you? (student, postgraduate student, research assistant, lecturer, professor, etc)
3. Do you commonly use digital resources (of any nature) in your research? If so, can you provide a few examples of commonly consulted resources?
4. Do you use social networking and Web 2.0 resources, such as Flickr or Wikipedia, outside of your academic work?

Part B. Non-Institutional Digital Resources

5. Have you ever used amateur or non-institutional digital resources to aid you in your research? (This may include wikis, blogs, online collections, virtual museums, Flickr groups, etc).
6. Can you think of any examples where consulting such material has provided information you could not find elsewhere? Or been more efficient than looking for the research in a traditional “memory institution”?
7. Would you trust digital resources that do not come with the imprimatur of an established institution? What are your reactions to such resources?

Part C. Any Further Comments?

8. Is there anything else you would like to add regarding your attitude, views, impressions, concerns, use, interest (or disinterest) in digital resources created by amateurs and enthusiasts?

Friday 8 May 2009

The Ancient World in Silent Cinema

An afternoon & evening of silent film screenings with piano accompaniment and related talks for silent films with settings in Biblical or Near Eastern Antiquity. As with the first screening of films set in ancient Greece & Rome which we held in January, almost all of the films to be screened in June are not available for purchase in video or DVD format, and are rarely shown in cinemas. They survive as viewing copies in film archives. The event is open to the public and admission is free. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Monday 22 June 2009,
at UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH

More info here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/GrandLat/newsandevents/events/silentcinema

(Unfortunately I'll be in the states. bah.)

Wednesday 6 May 2009

back to the future II.

“We can try a little experiment. Let us resort to the fiction of programming an information transducer, a machine to read [ancient] texts. While so far only human beings have learned it, it is equally possible, and may one day be tried, to teach this skill to a machine …”
Erica Reiner (1973) “How We Read Cuneiform Texts.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 25: 3 -58, p.6.

(and see our project: http://esad.classics.ox.ac.uk/)

Digital Heroes

Great video about digital preservation, in a Ren and Stimpy stylie:

Friday 1 May 2009

Back to the future.

I have a real soft spot for chancing across things written about technological change prior to, say, the 1960s or 1970s. I dont mean things like "we'll all be living on the moon, wearing reflective suits!" but asides made in academic texts about the state of affairs then, that take on a whole new meaning when you realise the Internet was just around the corner. Take this for example, from Clarke, M. L. (1959), “Classical Education in Britain 1500-1900”, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 175-6.

We have moved still further from the Ancient World. In literature and the arts we have seen a startling break with tradition, and above all the technological revolution which we are witnessing is transforming our lives and insensibly affecting our outlook, encouraging us to live in the present, judging everything by the standard of technical efficiency and assuming that the latest is always the best. Descartes compared the study of antiquity to foreign travel; it was useful, he said, to know something of the manners of different nations, but when too much time was spent in travelling, men became strangers to their own country ‘and the overcurious in the customs of the past are generally ignorant of those of the present’. Today, there is very little danger of living in the past...