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Ada Lovelace Day 2013

October 15th marks Ada Lovelace Day, an annual celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. As I read through posts commemorating the day, it got me reflecting on my own experience. It's not just that I admire Ada Lovelace and the women that followed after her. It's that I quite literally wouldn't be here without them.

Keep reading about the woman most repsonsible for my career.


The Digital Humanities on Ada Lovelace Day

Today, October 15, is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate the contributions of women in computing (and in other science and technology fields); a time to remember the nineteenth-century's fascinating and brilliant "first computer programmer" Ada Gordon Lovelace; and an excellent opportunity to praise and encourage the Adas of our day. I'm especially lucky and proud to be able to count a great number of computing women as colleagues, friends, and role models in my field.

Melissa Terras, a DH colleage at University College London, has just contributed a must-read contribution to this year's Ada Lovelace Day celebrations: "Father Busa’s Female Punch Card Operatives," an account of some of the women (with never-before-published historical photos) who contributed to the efforts of the founding father of humanities computing, Fr. Roberto Busa. If you have limited time to celebrate the day, please stop reading me and go read Melissa's essay.

A House Divided

In this week’s post, I want to address a question that I have been asked quite often since coming to Stanford University Libraries, and one that made its way into a comment of Michael Widner’s recent blog post of the DH reading group's discussion of Matt Jocker’s  new book, Macroanalysis: “I’m intrigued by the division within linguistics that Hettel describes; if there were a link to a blog post or something like that explaining it, I’d be interested in following up and learning more.” I searched online to see if someone had already written such a post and came up empty, so to help anyone out there who might want to understand these differences I have drawn a basic portrait of computational language analysis on my blog ( Feel free to check it out if you're interested in a reductionist view of two basic divisions within the field of linguistics.

My Alt-Ac Life

I just wrote a piece on my blog about the kind of digital humanities work I do at Stanford. Given the interest in alternative academic careers, I find it useful to share stories about the sort of work I'm doing, challenges I work on, and the collaborations I engage with in my career. My interest in alternative academic careers stemmed from my interest in digital humanities, hence the reason for this. I won't repost everything here, but head over to the blog if you're interested. 

Shakespeare Goes to the Opera Part 1: Scraping Query Results from Opening Night!

A little over a week ago, the Stanford University Library announced the launch of a new collection/tool that was created in collaboration between hText Services and the Music Library: Opening Night! Opera and Oratorio Premieres. It is a Blacklight gem web application (Ruby on Rails application powered by a SOLR index) of the metadata for 38,000 different operas and oratorios when they were first performed between 1589 and 2001. My two part blog post series titled "Shakespeare Goes to the Opera" focuses on three things: sharing a methodology for unlocking metadata from query results in an application like Opening Night! via web scraping; sharing how to use Google Fusion tables to create interesting visualizations and analyses; and demonstrating Opening Night! has metadata that is of interest even to those of us without formal training in Music, or more specifically the history of operatic performances.