2016: Second Virtual Symposium Schedule

visitahSecond Virtual Symposium on Information & Technology in the Arts & Humanities

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
1pm – 5pm ET/10am – 2pm PT
#VisitAH  —  @asist_ah


The schedule of this year’s Virtual Symposium is as follows:

10:00 – 10:20 A.M. Introductions (Jeremy McLauhlin, Krystyna Matusiak, Diane Rasmussen Pennington)
10:20 – 10:50 A.M. Nicky Agate, MLA – MLA Commons/CORE
10:50 – 11:35 A.M. Cory Lampert, UNLV – Linked data
11:35 – 12:15 P.M. Student presentations
12:15 –  1:00 P.M. Martin Calvino – Art and technology data visualization
1:00 -1:45 P.M.   Katherine Walter, Nebraska
1:45 -2:00 P.M.   Open Q&A and closing

SIGAH will provide a speaker biography, picture, and an abstract for each talk by Tuesday, May 17.

NOTE: All times are Pacific Daylight Savings Time.

Jeremy L. McLaughlin, San Jose State University, Chair-SIG AH

Krystyna Matusiak, University of Denver, Chair-SIG VIS


Diane Rasmussen Pennington, University of Strathclyde










Diane Rasmussen Pennington is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Information Science at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. She earned her MS and PhD in Information Science from the University of North Texas, and she was Assistant Professor at The University of Western Ontario. Diane has published more than 40 works and delivered over 80 presentations in the overlapping areas of information organization, social media, non-text information indexing and retrieval, and digital consumer health information.


Nicky Agate, The Modern Language Association (MLA)








Building CORE: a Social Humanities Repository

The Modern Language Association’s repository, CORE, was created in partnership with Columbia University Libraries and modeled on the libraries’ institutional repository. Like other repositories, CORE facilitates open-access distribution, discussion, and citation of the many products of humanities research, including pre- or postprints, conference presentations, data sets, and learning objects such as syllabi and slide decks. What makes CORE stand out, however, is its social facet, the fact that it is not an independent entity but an integrated part of MLA Commons, the very environment in which MLA members already connect with one another. A member can choose to share any deposited item with up to five MLA subdisciplinary groups on the Commons, which in turn triggers preference-dependent e-mail notifications to members of that group, providing the author has an immediate and self-nominated community of interest to serve as an initial audience for his or her work.


In this presentation, Nicky Agate, project manager for digital initiatives at the MLA, will discuss the process, challenges, and next steps in building and refining CORE.

Nicky Agate is project manager for digital initiatives at the Modern Language Association, where she manages MLA Commons, the MLA repository Commons Open Repository Exchange (CORE), and the nascent interdisciplinary network Humanities Commons. She holds a Ph.D. in French literature from New York University and an M.F.A. in literary translation from the University of Iowa. Together with her colleagues in the MLA’s office of scholarly communication, she facilitates and champions new and open forms of communication and collaboration in the humanities.


PhD Student Paper Award Winner – Hyerim Cho, University of Washington

Master’s Student Paper Award Winner – Louisa Trott, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Cory Lampert, University of Nevada Las Vegas








Link It: Exploring Semantic Richness in Digital Collections

This presentation provides an overview of the UNLV Linked Open Data project; demonstrating how LOD principles can be applied to CONTENTdm digital collections. Topics covered include concepts and principles guiding communities creating LOD, evolution in the role of metadata creator/LOD contributor, and key benefits to digital library researchers.

Cory Lampert is the Head of Digital Collections at the UNLV University Libraries where she is responsible for operations and strategic planning for a dynamic department that comprises digitization facilities, several digital collections systems/technologies and grant-funded projects such as the Nevada Digital Newspaper Program. Cory’s research interests are in the areas of linked open data, strategic planning for digital libraries, and mentorship of new librarians. When not working on digital libraries and metadata, she likes hiking the peaks of the Mountain West.

Martin Calvino, Scientist/Artist/Technologist










Integrating Art with Knowledge Visualization and the Pursuit of Science

This presentation will focus on my personal experience and the journey from being a graduate student in life sciences three years ago to becoming an entrepreneur and then artist. Although art has always been present as a core component of my upbringing, furiously sketching abstract drawings in any piece of paper I could, I dedicated myself to a career in life sciences, relegating any artistic activity to the category of ‘stress reliever’ and ‘hobby’ as means to distract myself from the daily pressure of academic life. The first concrete opportunity in which I integrated my artistic curiosity with science was in 2013 when writing a paper in the field of plant comparative genomics. I came to realize at the time that many of the graphs I prepared to communicate my findings had a high degree of aesthetics and artistic abstraction. I remember thinking: “Wow, this is kind of art!” and that impression stayed with me as testimony of artistic curiosity mixed with analytical thinking. When I started my own company in 2014 and decided to develop knowledge visualization software with the objective to glance a particular field of knowledge from a visual perspective, the integration of my artistic sensibility with the principles of user experience design came very handy. As I worked with developers in creating software features that involved interactive graphs and visualization diagrams, the opportunity to include artistic sensibility grew as well. Indeed, not only the software had components of ‘abstract art’ in it but also the webpage included at the time ‘digital art’ on top of the tabs that composed the pages. Such integration was well received by many colleagues in the life sciences community. From this experience I developed a love for coding and information visualization and design. I conceived a clear vision as to how one could integrate seemingly unrelated fields into a singular enterprise to address an important problem in today’s world: information overflow and our capacity to digest relevant content from it. Thus, from October 2015 I decided then to take a dedicated time to explore, reflect and re-invent myself professionally at the intersection of the aforementioned disciplines. Indeed, I started by learning to code and using my new acquired language to program computers to ‘help’ me create abstract art with the idea of gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to produce highly engaging visual content that can be used far beyond the realm of pure art with the long-term goal of integrating it with scientific activities; an artistic approximation to science.

Martin Calvino is a digital technology artist, entrepreneur and scientist. He is currently working on his first book addressing from a visual perspective the topic of social media’s cover images from user’s profiles as dedicated canvas space to create abstract art. His long-term goal is to integrate digital abstract art with science as a novel channel to communicate complex processes and discoveries to mainstream society. Prior to his artistic efforts, Martin’s entrepreneurial activity involved the creation of a novel cloud-based software tool for the visualization and retrieval of knowledge contained in digital libraries of scholarly articles. This experience developed in him a deep interest for information visualization and design. Martin holds a PhD in plant molecular genetics from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in the same field of study from Tsukuba University. Originally from Uruguay, he enjoys reading biographies, dancing Argentine tango and drinking yerba mate. He lives in Highland Park, New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

Katherine Walter, University of Nebraska, Lincoln








Digital Humanities: An Overview and Case Study

Digital Humanities has become a focus of interest in libraries and an increasing number of positions are described as digital humanities librarians, although the responsibilities vary. The concept of digital humanities itself also varies widely depending on where you are in the world and your institutional context. This presentation describes some trends in digital humanities, briefly considers digital humanities internationally, and describes the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,, as a specific case study.

Katherine L. Walter, Professor and Chair of Digital Initiatives & Special Collections in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) Libraries, is responsible for coordinating the Archives & Special Collections, E-Text, and Scholarly Communication units. She also co-directs the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, a joint initiative of the UNL Libraries and the College of Arts & Sciences. Its faculty have tenure homes in the departments of Anthropology, Art & Art History, Classics & Religious Studies, English, History and the Libraries.