Archive for the ‘Community Building’ Category

Loretta Auvil and other collaborators from the SEASR Services project are attending the Topic Modeling for Humanities Research Workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The workshop will be on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Maryland Institute for Technologies in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Loretta Auvil attends Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science 2011 which occurred Nov. 20-21, 2011. With many of the collaborators from the SEASR Services project, a set of demonstrations were prepared as part of the Software Demonstration program. Our work with Matt Jockers from Stanford prompted the Topic Modeling demonstration. Our work with Ted Underwood on the Google Ngrams data and correlation analysis prompted the development of the web application, “Correlation Analysis and Ngram Viewer“. A paper describing the demonstration, “SEASR Analytics” is available here.

Ted Underwood, one of our collaborators on the SEASR Services project, also attended and presented,
“Combining topic-modeling and time-series approaches to reveal trends in 18th- and 19th-century discourse.” This paper is also available here.

I attended ThatCamp London in June that incorporated a Developers Challenge. So I (with a little help from Boris Capitanu) decided to participate and leverage existing SEASR/Meandre flows that we have created in order to demonstrate how they could be used to create a mashup. I chose to use the Victoria and Albert Museum Collections data because they created an API to access their data. I created two new components. One to process and query the API iteratively until all results are retrieved. The second one is more generic for selecting specific json fields from the data.

I modified 4 existing web service enabled flows to use these components to retrieve the data and create the visualizations. Once I had the 4 flows functioning separately, I created an html page that passes the search query to each flow and create the visualizations for the mashup. The first view is a tagcloud of the description of the objects that satisfy the query. The second view is a ngram tagcloud of the historical significance attribute of the objects. The third applies entity extraction to the data, extracting the location and plotting these locations on a map, where the sentences containing the locations can be read. The fourth one also applies entity extraction and extracts people, organizations and locations and creates links between entities that coexist within 2 sentences. This was just a quick prototype to showcase the capabilities of the Meandre environment for a mashup. So ultimately these flows could be optimized for performance.

I put together a screencast in a short time frame to satisfy the Challenge deadline. So the video is not polished because there was no time for editing or tweaking the search term. Thus, here is the video in its raw form. The good news was that I received an Honorable Mention for the submission, “… with a neat SEASR flow that used the API from the Victoria and Albert Museum and visualized searches in multiple ways.” The winner announcement for the Developer Challenge is here.

The SEASR Team will participate in University of Victoria’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute on June 7-11, 2010. You can find information at The course entitled “SEASR in Action: Data Analytics for Humanities Scholar” will be taught by Loretta Auvil and Boris Capitanu.

The course will provide an introduction to the SEASR analytics with hands-on training with the tools.

Loretta Auvil of the SEASR Team will be participating in a workshop at Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology Conference (COLTT). The workshop takes place at the University of Boulder on August 13, 2009 from 1:30-3:45pm. The workshop will focus on SEASR Analytics for Zotero. You can register for the event at the COLTT website above.

This presentation will highlight the integration of two powerful tools–Zotero for data management and SEASR for analytics. Zotero was developed at the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, and is a tool aimed at facilitating a user’s research process by providing mechanisms for collecting, managing, and citing Internet resources (websites, articles, books, etc.). Zotero functions as an extension of the popular open-source browser Firefox. One of the key features provided by Zotero is the ability to automatically extract metadata from online resources as part of the resource collection process and to store it conveniently. Zotero also provides advanced tagging and searching functionality, allowing the user to organize, find, and visualize the collected resources effortlessly.

SEASR provides a semantic-enabled web-driven dataflow-execution environment that allows others to create their own analytical components. The initial analytics are meant to be demonstrations to show capabilities such as tag cloud generation, sentence summarization, entity extraction, and citation network analysis of the selected data assets. Additional text analysis capabilities are forthcoming. SEASR provides analytics to enhance scholars’ use of digital materials by helping them uncover hidden information and connections, supporting the study of assets from small patterns drawn from a single text or chunk of text to broader entity categories and relations across a million words or a million books. These analytics are also provided as a Firefox extension. This application allows researchers to use the SEASR analytical tools with their Zotero assets in a straightforward way.

Bernie Ács of the SEASR Team made a remote presentation for the NINES/18th Connect Workshop held in Dublin on July 15, 2009. The presentation included an overview of the SEASR project. Also in remote attendance were Loretta Auvil and Xavier Llorà of the SEASR Team.

The presentation is available here.

Jun 29


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Loretta Auvil, Boris Capitanu, and Amit Kumar of the SEASR Team participate in THATCamp 2009 at George Mason University on June 27-29, 2009. We had the opportunity to have a session on SEASR Analytics. We also had the opportunity to discuss SEASR with many humanities researchers.


Loretta Auvil and Bernie Ács of the SEASR Team participated in the Digital Humanities 2009 Conference at the University of Maryland on June 22-25, 2009. We had a poster called “SEASR Integrates with Zotero to Provide Analytical Environment for Mashing up Other Analytical Tools” by Boris Capitanu, Xavier Llorà, Loretta Auvil, Michael Welge, and Bernie Ács. We also had the opportunity to have discussions with many humanities researchers.

The SEASR Team held a Follow-up SEASR Workshop on the Monday, June 22, 2009 of Digital Humanities 2009 week. Loretta Auvil and Bernie Ács presented updates to the SEASR project. We had presentations from Andrew Ashton of Brown University, Clare Lewellyn and Michael Krot of JSTOR, Anoop Kumar of Tufts (VUE), and Susan Schreibman of Digital Humanities Observatory.

The presentation materials are available at

Bernie Acs and Loretta Auvil of the SEASR Team participated in Bamboo Workshop 5 held June 17-19 in Washington DC. Attendees participated in discussions regarding the Bamboo proposal to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.