[globaloutlookDH-l] Kickstarting GO:DH Minimal Computing Working Group with DH2014 Workshop

John Simpson john.simpson at ualberta.ca
Wed Feb 12 13:43:57 MST 2014


Hello Global DH,


Part of the GO:DH initiative was the creation of a working group focused on minimal computing.  This group is meant to ask questions about computer use that is decidedly *not* high-performance and to explore answers to these questions.  Both the maintenance and refurbishing of machines out of necessity and the use of new streamlined computing hardware like the Raspberry Pi belong squarely in the target area of this working group.  A short summary may be found at http://www.globaloutlookdh.org/working-groups/minimal-computing/ .


Haven’t heard of the minimal computing working group?  This shouldn’t be a surprise, we haven’t done anything yet!  That changes now.


We’d like to kickstart the working group into action by offering a workshop at DH2014 that will allow us an opportunity to get a survey of the state of minimal computing within the DH community and to set tasks for ongoing research and support in the area.  The tentative format for this half-day workshop is as follows:


1. A series of lightning talks (2-5 minutes) about current research or work being done with or in a minimal computing environment.  These would be drawn in advance with a CFP.  Those unable to attend the workshop but wishing to present would be invited to share videos.


2. A focused brainstorming session directed at collecting ideas and projects that the Minimal Computing Working Group or its members should consider pursuing.  It is hoped that some form of participation will be open to those not on site, but this will depend or the infrastructure that is available.  This goes for the third stage as well.


3. The selection of a set of tasks, directives, and/or projects that the minimal computing working group will coordinate and support.  These will follow directly from the previous stages but these might look something like programs to:
* provide training to the DH community to use minimal computing tools
* share/ship computing resources to areas that might better use them
* track hardware and software use in the humanities on a global scale
* provide or recommend packages of hardware and software that are effective and proven


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What I need to know from the community is what you think of this approach and whether or not you are willing to participate (either in person or by sending a video or by participating in the discussion or in some other way).
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I’d like to get the workshop application drafted this week so any responses to this in advance of Saturday, February 15, would be greatly appreciated.



Looking forward to hearing from you so that we can put this working group on track to provide great service to our community


-JohnJohn Simpson
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta
INKE and Text Mining & Visualization for Literary History


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