Summer Research Camp (2018)

Locations and Dates

WE1S summer research camps take place simultaneously at U. California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and California State U., Northridge (CSUN) during July 2 through August 4, 2018–usually for four days a week (five hours per day). See below for detailed schedule of activities.

At UCSB, the location will be the Digital Arts & Humanities Commons (DAHC), located in the Music Building. (See maps.) At CSUN, the location will be [TBD]. Occasionally, the CSUN group will travel up to Santa Barbara to join the UCSB group.

WE1S Map of UCSB
WE1S Map of UCSB
Map of location of DAHC in Music Building
Map of location of DAHC in Music Building

Location on Google Maps


Participants in the WE1S project’s two summer research camps at UCSB and CSUN will work in parallel on their separate campuses. But they will also rendezvous face-to-face  at UCSB during the initial and final weeks of the camp; and they will also often be in contact throughout the period by means of remote conferencing. Participants also collaborate through the WE1S project’s Ryver team communications platform.

UCSB Summer Research Group


Postdoctoral Scholars

The WE1S project will be joined by two postdoctoral scholars beginning July 1, 2018. Each of these scholars work in areas and methods that complement the project.

Research Assistants

CSUN Summer Research Group


Research Assistants

  • Mahbubah Anando (Computer Science)
  • Joyce Brummet (English)
  • Maureen Nyhan (Humanities)
  • Phu Nguyen (Computer Science)
  • Raymond Steding (English)
  • Jessica Takakjian (English)
  • Tania Tolteca (Chicano and Chicana Studies)
  • Samantha Wallace (English)
  • Katie Wolf (English)


Research Teams

Participants in the summer research camps will be organized into teams directed toward various goals. Each research assistant will be part of two teams–a morning session team focused on collecting and analyzing public discourse on the humanities in particular areas (e.g., from media in particular regions of the world or media addressed to diverse populations), and an afternoon session team focused on other kinds of tasks (e.g., prototyping WE1S’s eventual outputs, researching issues and contexts, or experimenting with alternatives to or extensions of the project’s main digital humanities methodologies. Project PIs, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars will facilitate the work of the teams and sometimes also be embedded in particular teams. At the end of the research camp, teams will give presentations to the visiting members of the WE1S Advisory Board, who will be on campus August 3-4 for a Board meeting (see below).

AM Teams (Morning Session Teams)

  • Collection/analysis teams responsible for analyzing topic models and materials collected for a particular area of the world or population group. The exact area of the teams are TBD, but examples might be:
    • U.S. team
    • Central & South America team
    • Diverse populations team
    • Commonwealth nations team
    • Western Europe team
    • Eastern Europe team
    • Mideast & Africa team
    • South Asia team
    • Far East team
    • Australia & New Zealand team

PM Teams (Afternoon Session Teams)

  • Different from the morning teams, afternoon teams are focused on a variety of research tasks that may include planning and prototyping, investigation of issues and contexts, and creating reports or resources. The exact nature of the teams are TBD, but initial ideas for teams include:
    • Imagining Outputs team(s) focused on designing the nature, content, and presentation of the WE1S project’s eventual deliverables to a variety of audiences, including segments of the public (e.g., politicians, journalists, parents, students), scholars, and digital humanists. Outputs to be sketched out or prototyped might also include the project’s eventual public site interface and interactive visualizations.
    • Experimenting with Methods team(s) focused on investigating ways to augment the WE1S project’s core methods, e.g., through alternate implementations of topic modeling, word embedding, other kinds of text analysis or corpus linguistics, clustering and sampling methods, and visualization.
    • Scholarly Deliverables Planning team focused on designing an ongoing or future publication, lecturing, and other research dissemination strategy that can enhance the careers especially of graduate-student, postdoctoral, and junior-faculty participants. For example, what articles based on the project’s research might interested participants author or co-author, and for what journals? What scholarly blog posts might participants write for the WE1S site or for their own blog to increase early-career professional visibility? What conferences could participants submit papers to? How can participants draw on the research themes or methods of WE1S to complement their own individual research for dissertations or articles?


Advance Orientation Materials

Research assistants and others participating in the 2018 WE1S summer research camp are asked to read the following materials in advance of the start of the camp. For research assistants, this is reading is on paid time, counting for 5 hours credited to the first week of the summer research camp.

Project Mission and Context

  • (1) WE1S Prospectus — This prospectus is a shortened distillation of the original grant proposal submitted by WE1S to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • (2) — Browse this site to learn about the umbrella organization of the WE1S project. 4Humanities is the grassroots international initiative started at UCSB in 2010 to research and create advocacy for the humanities. 4Humanities focuses especially on digital research and advocacy methods.

Project Technical Methods

The main digital humanities method used by WE1S to understand pubic discourse on the humanities is “topic modeling” — an important computational “machine learning” approach shared with other areas in the social sciences and the sciences. WE1S is also experimenting with other text analysis methods that extend, complement, or provide alternatives to topic modeling, including “word embedding” (or “word vectors”).

WE1S is implementing the above methods by developing a workflow management system (WMS) that is innovative as a paradigm for open, reproducible research in the digital humanities but that borrows for its nuts-and-bolts from common basic methods in the digital sciences, social sciences, and humanities. These nuts and bolts include the use of Markdown, scripting languages, serialization protocols (such as JSON), Jupyter “data science” notebooks, “containerization” solutions such as Docker, and versioning repository systems such as Github.

It is not important that all WE1S participants be hands-on with the project’s core technical or nuts-and-bolts methods. But for basic literacy about what is involved as participants analyze the results of topic modeling or listen to demos and presentations about the project’s WMS, some preliminary reading is useful. Participants in WE1S summer research camps are asked to read (or, in the case of some web sites, browse) the following materials designed to provide orientation for a subset of the project’s technical platform. The most import materials to concentrate on are those on topic modeling:

Topic Modeling

Word Embedding (Word Vectors)


Jupyter Notebooks

Juypter Notebooks (previously called iPython Notebooks) are “an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more.”




Schedule of Activities (July 2 – August 4)

The following schedule and description of activities may evolve as we approach the summer. See also the shared publicly viewable Google Calendar embeddd below (which can also be accessed at this link).

Orientation week (July 2, 3, 5)

(free day on Friday when RAs are credited for 5 hours of work for advance reading assigned above)

  • Monday (Orientation Day 1): (CSUN group will be physically at UCSB this day)
    • Morning Session (10am-1pm):
      • Introductions
      • Overview presentation on the WE1S project and summer camp (presentation by the project PIs Alan Liu and Scott Kleinman, with assistance from the other PIs)
      • Q&A about project, methods, outputs
    • Afternoon Session (2-4pm)
      • Overview presentation on the WE1S corpus collection list and staging (by project PI Lindsay Thomas)
      • Formation of collection/analysis teams for morning session work during rest of summer (“AM teams”). Each team will be responsible for analyzing topic models and materials collected for a particular area of the world or population group. (See “Research Teams” above.)
    • Social Event [TBD] at end of first day.
  • Tuesday (Orientation Day 2): During part of this day, the CSUN and UCSB groups will be in video conferencing contact with each other through the Zoom platform.
    • AM
      • ZOOM: Demo of the WE1S Workflow Management System (WMS), including the WE1S Manifest system (demo by PIs Jeremy Douglass and Scott Kleinman)
      • Training workshop on scheduling collection and topic modeling jobs using the WMS, and on analyzing collection results and topic models.
      • ZOOM: Sharing of problems, etc. between UCSB & CSUN camps.
    • PM
      • Formation of “PM” teams. Different from the morning teams, the afternoon teams are focused on a variety of research tasks that may include planning and prototyping, investigation of relevant issues and contexts, and the creation of reports.  (See “Research Teams” above.)
  • Wednesday [July 4th Holiday]
  • Thursday (Orientation Day 3): During part of this day, the CSUN and UCSB groups will be in video conference contact with each other through the Zoom platform (53-second video on how to use Zoom).
    • AM
      • Training workshop on scheduling collection and topic modeling jobs using the WMS, and on analyzing collection results and topic models (continued).
    • PM
      • Initial PM team meetings to discuss goals, tasks, milestones.
      • ZOOM: Teams report out to other project participants.
  • Friday: Paid no-work day for RAs. (RAs are credited for work on this day for the 5 hours they spent on reading the advance orientation materials.)
    • AM or PM [TBD]: PIs, postdocs, and project managers meet to discuss the results of the week and to fine tune plans for the rest of the summer research camp.


Regular Weekly Schedule in July

  • AM
    • AM Team work on collecting and analysis
  • PM
    • PM Team work
  • ZOOM: “Summit meetings” on Thursdays at the end of each week when project participants at UCSB and CSUN share findings, ideas, or problems and also do planning together.
  • Social events to be scheduled periodically or ad hoc.


Advisory Board Meeting

  • August 3
    • AM
      • PIs and postdocs meet with Board
    • PM
      • RAs present to Board
    • Dinner for Board, PIs, and postdocs
  • August 4
    • AM
      • Advisory Board members to be embedded with particular teams for discussion. (For example, three or four Board members with research interests or expertise relevant to the work of a team will sit in with that team.)
    • PM
      • PIs and postdocs meet with Board
    • Dinner for the Board and all summer research camp participants including RAs


Scheduling Absences from the Research Camp

Some participants in the summer research camp have obligations that require them to be away during particular days of the camp, which is fine. The teams on which a participant sits and the camps as a whole can work around absences. The only requirement is that participants pre-schedule absences if possible. For this purpose, UCSB participants should contact Giorgina Paiella, the UCSB WE1S project manager (and herself a summer participant). CSUN participants should contact Scott Kleinman.




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