Almost over already

Wow, this day certainly went by quickly, and there was hardly any time to report on what I’ve been doing here on the Day of DH blog. (In brief, I watched some videos about statistics from the Coursera course I’m following; most of the time I spent writing a first draft for a preliminary proposal preparing a full proposal which would let me spend 4 years doing nothing but text analysis; read a few chapters of a very funny crime fiction novel,  “Que d’os” by Jean-Patrick Manchette; had dinner; wrote some emails; the usual stuff.)

The one thing I really still wanted to do as the last thing to do on Day of DH 2013 was to look at my posts from last year’s Day of DH. One thing is really funny: back then, I reported on having received funding for a small workshop here in Würzburg about scholarly blogging; well, believe it or nor, we pushed back the date for this workshop so many times, every time with a good reason, that it is finally taking place later this week! The other thing is that I noted last year that spring is finally here and it feels good to have some sun and fresh air; this year, Day of DH is a bit later and yet, spring is not really here yet. Well, it will come around soon I bet!

Done with some work, now let’s have some fun!

Since my initial post here, I have been very busy sorting out some administrative things. One was to write some emails to solve some last-minute issues concerning the workshop on scholarly blogging we are organizing here in Würzburg this Thursday, in collaboration with de.hypotheses.org. To my surprise, we were booked out quite rapidly and have people coming from all over Germany. I’m really excited about the workshop! Less exciting, but also very important, was to continue clearing some administrative issues concerning my soon-to-start little project on parallel texts in the context of CLARIN-D. And some more things involving funding, budget, and administration…

That was the work part, and of course I’m already in the middle of the fun part: blogging about DH! My memory is still very fresh of the three-day workshop I participated in last week and called the “Nijmegen Spring School in e-Humanities“, organized by Mike Kestemont and Marten Düring. The concept was very simple: one day Python, one day R, and one day Gephi, each day with different instructors. It was really a workshop to get started with each of these technologies, so not everything was new to me. But it was a good mix of freshening up some things and being introduced to some new things.

I was particularly struck by how neat ipython notebooks are pedagogically, because the explanations and the exercises are directly one next to the other. (And it is really cool that in addition to the two chapters we completed in the course, there are four more we were also given so that I can continue on my own.) The R part was more familiar terrain for me, but the pace was quick so that I did learn quite a bit. And the Gephi part was really cool, really helped me get started with network visualisation. I just wish we had had another day to learn how to get our own data into Gephi. The data I would want to visualize with Gephi, like topic models or some results from stylometry, are not in a format which you can just throw into Gephi; indeed, most data isn’t. So what I need now is some time to apply my newly-acquired Python skills to the task of transforming my topic modeling data into meaningful nodes and edges tables for import into Gephi. If you know a good (i.e. detailed) tutorial on how to do this, please let me know!

I guess writing this was the fun part for this morning, so I’m going back to the work part. Just as a closing remark; this work/fun dichotomy is of course inappropriate in the context of DH, mostly; for me, DH is above all an area in which work and fun are the same thing!

Done with some networking, now let’s work

Hi there everyone! I’m very excited to start this year’s Day of DH, which is the second one for me after Day of DH 2012. One of the things I would like to do today is look at my old posts from last year. Just now, I finished chatching up on my RSS information lifeline, pushed some of the more interesting items to Twitter and marked some things to be read more thoroughly later (or never). Also, I downloaded the instructional videos for the “Making Sense of Data” course I’m following on Coursera so that I can watch them later today offline.