[Humanist] 23.543 a correction & an announcement

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Jan 7 09:19:59 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 543.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Christopher J. Mackie" <CJM at mellon.org>                  (11)
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 23.538 - "Mellon closes down Mackie's

  [2]   From:    I-CHASS <chass at ncsa.uiuc.edu>                             (19)
        Subject: I-CHASS and NCSA Project Awarded Funding from NSF

        Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 18:51:00 -0500
        From: "Christopher J. Mackie" <CJM at mellon.org>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 23.538 - "Mellon closes down Mackie's program"
        In-Reply-To: <20100106084837.1A89544BEE at woodward.joyent.us>

Richard (and Willard and colleagues); My sincere thanks for thinking of me in the alert regarding Mellon's decision regarding the RIT program, but in the interests of accuracy I must note that, as the _Chronicle_ article mentions, the Program in Research in Information Technology was founded and led by Ira Fuchs, as whose Associate Program Officer I was privileged to serve from 2006 until this past Monday. 

Perhaps Ira will be no more excited than I am about appearing in this particular headline, but I think it is important that he be accorded full credit for his leadership and the many contributions he has made (and I expect will continue to make) to the digital humanities and to computing in general. 

All best,  --Chris

Christopher J. Mackie
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
+1 212.838.8400 (office: GMT - 5:00)
+1 609.933.1877 (mobile)
+1 646.274.6351 (fax)
cjm at mellon.org

        Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 19:59:48 +0000
        From: I-CHASS <chass at ncsa.uiuc.edu>
        Subject: I-CHASS and NCSA Project Awarded Funding from NSF

The Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is pleased to announce that the project GroupScope: Instrumenting Research on Interaction Networks in Complex Social Contexts has been awarded funding by the Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation Initiative of the National Science Foundation.  Marshall Scott Poole, Director of I-CHASS, is the PI of this project along with co-PIs David Forsyth and Mark Hasegawa-Johnson of the University of Illinois, Noshir Contractor of Northwestern University, and Feniosky Pena-Mora of Columbia University.  Peter Bacjsy, Associate Director of Image Analysis for I-CHASS, Alex Yahja, Assistant Director of Modeling for I-CHASS, and Dorothy Espelage, School of Education, are research scientists for this project.

Many of the most important functions in society are undertaken by large groups or teams.  Emergency response, product development, health care, education, and economic activity are pursued in the context of large, dynamic, interacting networks of groups.  Theory and research on such networks of groups is much less developed than research on isolated small groups or formal organizations.  A major challenge for research on networks of groups is the difficulties that accompany the collection and analysis of the huge bodies of high resolution, high volume, observational data necessary to study these large, dynamic networks of groups.  The goal of this project is to address this challenge by applying advanced computing applications to capture, manage, annotate and analyze these massive observational sets of video, audio, and other data.  The resulting data analysis system, GroupScope, will enable breakthrough research into social interaction in large, dynamic groups to be conducted much more quickly and with much higher reliability than was previously possible.  It will do this by automating as many functions as possible to the highest degree possible, including managing huge volumes of video, audio, and sensor data, transcription, parsing audio for critical discourse events, annotation and indexing of video streams, and coding interaction.  These first pass analyses can then be supplemented by human analysts (and their analyses in turn will feed into machine learning that will improve the computerized analysis).

GroupScope will be developed with the collaboration of social scientists studying emergency response teams, children’s playground behavior, distributed teams, and product development teams.  When developed, GroupScope will be deployed in a cyberenvironment, a Web 2.0 based cyberinfrastructure that enables a community of researchers to collaborate on common problems.  The cyberenvironment will enable multiple researchers to analyze and code the same group data for both small groups and large dynamic groups and networks.  Multiple analyses and codings working from diverse perspectives will enable discovery of previously unsuspected relationships among different levels and layers of human interaction.  They can also be linked to survey responses from participants, enabling linkage to the realm of perceptions and traits.

Many of the most fundamental advances in science have come through the development of new instruments, such as more powerful telescopes or microscopes that can allow scientists to view molecules.  In the same way GroupScope will shed light on the workings of critical functions performed by real world groups such as emergency response units, health care teams, stock exchanges, and military units.  GroupScope will also have applications in the training of those working in multi-team systems, such as first responders to disasters.  It can be used to record and “grade” training sessions, giving participants feedback on both strengths and weaknesses of their approaches.

NSF has supported the four-year GroupScope project with a grant of $1.95 million.  Preliminary development of GroupScope was generously supported by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and by the Critical Initiatives for Research and Scholarship Program of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois.

* * *

Founded in 2004 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I-CHASS charts new ground in high-performance computing and the humanities, arts, and social sciences by creating both learning environments and spaces for digital discovery. I-CHASS presents path-breaking research, computational resources, collaborative tools, and educational programming to showcase the future of the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

For more information on I-CHASS, please visit: http://www.ichass.illinois.edu

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