Research and Development

Robocamp 2016

I had the pleasure of spending a week with the folks in the Architecture School learning and playing with their Kuka robot (named Karl, This was the first run of a hopefully recurring camp to introduce faculty and staff to the robot arm in the Fab-lab in the A-school. Most of the participants were…. Continue reading “Robocamp 2016”.

Reflections on a Year of DH Mentoring

[Cross-posted on the Digital Humanities at Washington and Lee University blog] This year I am working with Eric Rochester on a fellowship project that has me learning natural language processing (NLP), the application of computational methods to human languages. We’re adapting these techniques to study quotation marks in the novels of Virginia Woolf (read more about the project here). We…. Continue reading “Reflections on a Year of DH Mentoring”.

Augmented Reality and Simulation

A few weeks ago the Scholars’ Lab went on a field trip to the School of Architecture’s “FabLab” to check out a project Chris Gist and Melissa Goldman had been working on, a sand table that has a projector and a Kinect connected to a computer that projects a topology on to the sand. This…. Continue reading “Augmented Reality and Simulation”.

//TODO – Introduce Code Concepts

One of the most fun (and challenging) things I get to do is to introduce people to programming concepts. I’ve done this in a lot of different environments ranging from intensive week-long courses with Humanities Intensive Learning and Training, to year-long apprenticeships our Praxis Program, to day-long intros with events like Rails Girls and Rails Bridge. All…. Continue reading “//TODO – Introduce Code Concepts”.

Watermarking and OCR-ing Your Images

In the process of my dissertation research I have accumulated over 2,000 images, nearly all scans of documents. One goal of my dissertation is to make these documents open and available (where appropriate) in an Omeka repository. In order to more correctly attribute these documents to the archives where I got them, I need to…. Continue reading “Watermarking and OCR-ing Your Images”.

Neatline 2.4.0

We’re happy to announce a new version of Neatline which adds a couple new features along with resolving a few small issues. The two main features in this release  were implemented based on community feedback. First, it’s now possible to set the opacity of a WMS layer when its selected using the “selected” opacity setting. Previously…. Continue reading “Neatline 2.4.0”.

Adventures in Converting Subversion to Git

While the Scholars’ Lab was founded in 2006, we manage a lot of projects that had their roots in the eText Center in the late 1990s. These projects have lived through the numerous “best practices” of the various eras, many still bearing the marks of those bygone eras (you see a lot of projects that used…. Continue reading “Adventures in Converting Subversion to Git”.

Monkey Mind

A monkey is easily flummoxed by a coconut. A hole is cut into the coconut and filled with sweet food (or something shiny). The monkey slips her hand into the coconut, grasps the treat, and is trapped. She can readily unhand the treat (or shiny object), but is unwilling to let go. Letting go, for…. Continue reading “Monkey Mind”.

Refactoring Ivanhoe

As one of last year’s Praxis Fellows, I helped build Ivanhoe, a “WordPress Theme enabling collaborative criticism through roleplay – for scholars, students, and cultural enthusiasts.” While Ivanhoe was perfectly functional when released, one could not say that it exemplified orderly, well-formed code. It was, and is, after all, code written by novice developers. That…. Continue reading “Refactoring Ivanhoe”.

Troubleshooting Acceptance Testing in RSpec and Capybara

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been pair programming with Eric. Together, we’ve been building out a suite of acceptance tests for Ivanhoe to provide a basic check on critical, user-facing functionality as we refactor parts of the codebase. While learning to write basic tests has been relatively straightfoward for me, due to the natural…. Continue reading “Troubleshooting Acceptance Testing in RSpec and Capybara”.