[Humanist] 28.518 MA in Humanities Computing at Alberta

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Nov 27 07:05:36 CET 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 518.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:13:13 -0700
        From: Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel at ualberta.ca>
        Subject: MA in Humanities Computing

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to encourage you to recommend our MA in Humanities Computing to students interested in the digital humanities, new media, informatics and game studies. We are also interested in hearing from students who want to do an interdisciplinary PhD in Humanities Computing and another subject.

Please circulate this message to any interested students. The URL for the programme is:


Some reasons why students might want to consider Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta:

- We are one of the top graduate programmes in the field (established in 2001) and we have a great record of placing our students in library positions, computer lab positions, research projects, PhD programmes and industry jobs.

- There is significant depth in the field at the University of Alberta. We are a leading centre in Canada. We have five faculty who are closely involved in the programme and another five adjunct faculty. We have three labs run by the Arts Resource centre for teaching and research in the field.

- Students can do a 2 year thesis MA in Humanities Computing or a 3 year joint MA/MLIS (also with thesis). The double degree gives them a strong combination of academic and professional degrees with a breadth of career prospects. In both cases students can specialize in another field like (English, History, Philosophy, Music ...) should they want to continue on to a PhD in that field. There is room in the curriculum to take courses in the specialization and the thesis is then supervised jointly by someone in Humanities Computing and someone in the specialization.

- We have been successful for the five last years in finding funding for most of the students that we accept including international students. In many cases the funding is with grant funded research projects so students get to be involved from the first semester in real projects that lead to conference presentations and publications.

Some of the areas of research strength that students can get involved in include:

- Sean Gouglas, Maureen Engel and Geoffrey Rockwell are working in the area of locative media and game studies. Sean Gouglas led the development of a MOOC on Understanding Videogames. A number of MA students contributed to it. We co-organize a conference on Japanese Game Culture with Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. 

- Susan Brown is leading a large project called the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory that is developing a distributed editing environment. Graduate students are managing testing of modules, doing interface design, and looking at semantic web technologies. (cwrc.ca)

- Susan Brown and Geoffrey Rockwell are part of the Text Mining the Novel Partnership (??) and have projects on text mining, visualization and text analysis. Graduate students are reviewing tools, developing corpora for text mining research, building visualization tools, conducting usability research and studying literary corpora. (tapor.ca)

- Peter Baskerville and Sean Gouglas are studying Canadian history through land-use and census records. Student are entering and encoding materials, linking people across records and working with GIS systems to analyze the data. (ccri.uvic.ca/)

- Geoffrey Rockwell is part of the INKE project looking at new interfaces to knowledge. Students are studying historical interfaces and developing new touch-screen interfaces. (inke.ca)

- Maureen Engel, along with co-investigators Heather Zwicker, Daniel Laforest and Russell Cobb, heads the Edmonton Pipelines group, a research cell that employs digital mapping and visualization techniques to provide deep spatial narratives about urban spaces. From narrating suburbia, to crowdsourcing the solstice, to creating a layered map of aboriginal Edmonton, Pipelines uses digital tools as narrative provocation to challenge our views of our urban environments. (edmontonpipelines.org)

- Maureen Engel is also a co-investigator on the "Between the City and the River" project which is building a digital historical atlas of Edmonton's river valley, and a collaborator on ArtCan, a project that is building an online commons of resources on Canadian art, art history, and art education. She is an active member of HASTAC (hastac.org) and was co-chair of HASTAC 2013. (hastac2013.org)

- Scott Smallwood is working on electronic musical instruments and physical computing. He teaches courses on programming, circuit bending, and physical computing. Students have worked with him to build interactives for different purposes. (solarsoundarts.com/)

- Harvey Quamen is a project lead on the Editing Modernism in Canada project, which is digitizing the archives of Wilfred and Sheila Watson, two Edmonton authors. He uses big data techniques and data visualizations to investigate the contents of digital archives and was on the team that built WatsonWalk, a literary walking app of Paris. (emic.ualberta.ca/)

Students who want more information should feel free to contact the Director/Graduate Coordinator or core faculty:

Director/Graduate Coordinator: Scott Smallwood, scott.smallwood at ualberta.ca

Core Faculty: 
Geoffrey Rockwell, geoffrey.rockwell at ualberta.ca
Maureen Engel, maureen.engel at ualberta.ca
Harvey Quamen, harvey.quamen at ualberta.ca
Sean Gouglas, sean.gouglas at ualberta.ca

Please ask us questions, let us call you, or come for a visit!

Geoffrey Rockwell
Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing
Director of the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies
Blog: theoreti.ca

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