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CHI Announcements

Ethan Watrall

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April 8, 2014

May 2: Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellowship Information Session

April 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Join Dr. Ethan Watrall (Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative) On May 2 from 10-11am in Natural Sciences 407 (MATRIX conference room) for a casual information session about the Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Grad Fellowship Program. Attendees interested in applying for the 2014-2015 fellowship year will get an introduction to the program, including disciplinary and intellectual scope, expectations, activities, resources, and support.  Attendees will also get the opportunity to meet past and present CHI Grad Fellows to learn about their experiences in the program.  The session is open to any and all graduate students who are interested in finding out more about the CHI Grad Fellowship Program.

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David Walton

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February 28, 2014

important lessons learned by a novice in digital heritage preservation

February 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

For the novice computer programmer or coder, the digital preservation process can be very educational.  Yet, it can also be very frustrating.  The most difficult part for me was actually getting started building the platform to present the cultural heritage being preserved.  I had downloaded the files for the platforms I want to work and experiment with following the directions to a tee.  However, I was stuck.  What do I do now?  Where do I begin?  Two very simple, yet complicated questions.  A fumbled around for about two weeks, not really making progress.  I began to grow weary; I was having major problems that required minor solutions.  Spending much of the time data collecting, I became accustomed to working alone, problem-solving on my own and planning on my own.  Asking for help did not readily come to mind.  After realizing I needed help, I found myself apprehensive because I did not know what to exactly ask people when I asked for help.  All of a sudden, those two previously stated important questions seemed quite silly.  I was embarrassed.  It is here that a lessoned was learned.  Humility and thick-skin are important.

I reached out to two people that helped me greatly.  I wanted help and insight from two perspectives: a programmer’s and a fellow colleague who is more advanced in several of the platforms that I am working with.  I also wanted a diversity of world-view in any fashion I could configure, because ultimately world-views effect how we engage in problem-solving processes.  As a result, I consulted one woman and one man.  Their advice proved invaluable.  The very first step I needed to do was place a specific aspect of my data in a form that I could conceive it being displayed, presented and aggregated.  That simple exercise actually formed the basis of the questions that the programmer could assist me in.  First, I needed to assure that the code and files I had was not the issue.  Secondly, I needed to convey how I wanted to display, present and aggregate my data to the programmer and confirm if the skeletal codes I was building around were not flawed or errand. The answers to ‘What do I do now?  Where do I begin?’ did, indeed, get me started.

What I thus far have learned, as I transition from data collector to a curator of a “Virtual Black Romulus Cultural Heritage Map (VBRCHM),” is that one must never be afraid, embarrassed or hesitant to ask for help.  By definition and nature, projects such as mine are collaborative by nature.  Asking questions about coding, design, aesthetics and etc are vital and intrinsic to the character and success of the project.

Ethan Watrall

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February 6, 2014

Talus Released for Android

February 6, 2014 | By | No Comments

We are very happy to announce that the native Android version of Talus is now available for free from the Google Play Store. Created originally as a mobile website by Emily Niespodziewanski (a PhD student in the MSU Department of Anthropology) as part of her Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellowship, Talus aggregates dozens of the most commonly used bioprofiling methodologies into one easy-to-navigate mobile application. The app is designed to help forensic anthropologists, bioarchaeologists, and paleoanthropologists analyze human skeletal material without having to rely upon dozens of physical articles and books.

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Ethan Watrall

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August 27, 2013

Welcome to the New 2013-2014 Cultural Heritage Informatics Grad Fellows

August 27, 2013 | By | No Comments

The Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative is pleased to welcome seven new CHI Grad Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The new fellows come from the Departments of Anthropology, the Department of History, and the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures – and represent a wide variety of subdisciplines and areas of research.

In the following weeks, each fellow will introduce themselves in more depth, talking about what drew them to the program as well as some of the preliminary interests for their activities during the duration of the academic year.

In advance of these more detailed introductions, its my pleasure to briefly introduce this year’s cohort of fellows:

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