Summer Research Camp (2019)

Summer Research Camp Locations and Dates

The second WE1S summer research camp takes place simultaneously at U. California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and California State U., Northridge (CSUN) during July 1 through August 2, 2019—usually for four days a week (five paid working 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 the Humanities Research Lab in Sierra Hall 194. Occasionally, the CSUN group will travel up to Santa Barbara to join the UCSB group. The default Zoom meeting URL for all-hands meetings between UCSB and CSUN is:

Maps (scroll to see all if viewing on small screen)

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
UCSB Music Building
UCSB Music Building
Music Building Entrance (DAHC inside)
Music Building Entrance (DAHC inside)
Music Building Entrance (DAHC inside)
DAHC entrance door


Collaboration Tools: WE1S participants also collaborate through the Ryver team communications platform, a PBworks site, and the project Google team drive. For remote conferencing, WE1S uses Zoom (instructions). (For “instant” meetings started by Alan Liu, join at:

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.

UCSB Summer Research Group


Postdoctoral Scholars

  • Dan Costa Baciu (Ph.D., 2018, Architectural History, Illinois Institute of Technology)
  • Abigail Droge (Ph.D., 2018, English, Stanford University; Stanford Literary Lab member)

Research Assistants


CSUN Summer Research Group


Research Assistants


Illinois Institute of Technology Summer Research Group
(Collaborators with WE1S)

Graduate Students


Research Teams

Graph of WE1S Summer Research Camp Teams
Graph of WE1S Summer Research Camp 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 (AM) team focused on exploring the project’s corpus and topic models to address research questions, and an afternoon session (PM) team focused on other kinds of tasks (e.g., planning WE1S’s eventual outputs, technical and design work, and documentation and research blog work). Some times will include members from both UCSB and CSUN (working together with the aid of the project’s collaboration platforms: Zoom, Ryver, PBworks, and the project Google team drive). At the end of the research camp, teams will give presentations at a summer capstone conference with the WE1S Advisory Board as remote audience for part of the proceedings.

AM Teams (Morning Session Teams)

  • Team 1

    • Research Area: Students and the humanities / The humanities “crisis”
    • Team members: Rebecca Baker, Mauro Carassai, Kimberly Teaman Carroll, Abigail Droge, Samanthan Cline, Ray Steding, Leila Stegemoeller
  • Team 2

    • Research Area: Locations, times, and other sectors where the humanities light up
    • Team members: Dan Baciu, Cindy Kang, Sara Lafia, Sandra Quintana, Sihwa Park
  • Team 3

    • Research Area: Social groups and the humanities
    • Team members: Sami Alsalloom, Susan (Su) Burtner, Melissa Filbeck, sam goli, Giorgina Paiella, Jamal Russell
  • Team 4

    • Research Area: Economic contexts of the humanities
    • Team members: Kristen Cornelius, Phillip Cortes, Caitlin Hawkins
  • Team 5

    • Research Area: Broader profile of the humanities in society
    • Team members: Malinda Hackett, Alan Liu, Paul Parrett, Tarika Sankar
  • Team 6

    • Research Area: The humanities in different media (news print, TV, born-digital news, social media)
    • Team members: Joyce Brummet, Joseph Jaffray, Ryan Leach, Kenia Rodriguez
  • Team 7

    • Research Area: Impact of government, funding agencies, and foundations on public discourse on the humanities
    • Team members: Alanna Bartolini, Sean Gilleran, Christina Roberts

PM Teams (Afternoon Session Teams)

  • Interpretation Lab Team
    • Team members: Dan Baciu, Susan (Su) Burtner, Melissa Filbeck, Sean Gilleran, Cindy Kang, Sara Lafia, Ryan Leach, Ray Steding
  • Project Final Outputs Planning Team
    • Team members: Sami Alsalloom, Alanna Bartolini, Mauro Carassai, Kim Carroll, Abigail Droge, Caitlin Hawkins, Jamal Russell, Tarika Sankar
  • Project Documentation & Dissemination Team
    • Team members: Joyce Brummet, Sam Cline, Kristin Cornelius, Phillip Cortes, sam goli, Joseph Jaffray, Naz Keynejad, Paul Parrett , Sandra Quintana, Christina Roberts, Kenia Rodriguez, Leila Stegemoeller
  • Team X
    • Team members: Rebecca Baker, Kristin Cornelius, Sara Lafia

Advance Orientation Materials

Research assistants in WE1S are asked to read the following materials in advance of the start of the camp if they are not already familiar with the project’s goals and methods. (For new RAs in WE1S, this reading is paid time, counting for 5 hours credited to the first week of the summer research camp.

About WE1S 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) Summer Research Questions [preliminary draft] — These questions will evolve through team brainstorming during the summer.

About WE1S 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 system (Workspace and Manager) 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 technical platform, some preliminary reading is useful. Participants who are new to WE1S are asked to read (or, in the case of some web sites, browse) the following materials to gain orientation:

Topic Modeling

WE1S Platform for Interpretation of Topic Models


Schedule of Activities (July 1 – August 2)

The following schedule and description of activities may evolve.

Pre-orientation meeting for RAs who are new to WE1S
(last week of June, date TBD)

RAs who are new to WE1S will be credited for 6 total hours of work for reading advance orientation materials and a pre-orientation meeting with a project PI . The date of the pre-orientation meeting is TBD (probably the last week of June).


Orientation week (July 1, 2, 3)

  • Monday (Orientation Day 1) — (CSUN group will be physically at UCSB this day)
    • AM Session (10am-1pm)
      • Introductions
      • Orientation and status-of-project presentations by PIs
      • Formation of AM and PM teams
    • PM Session (2-4pm)
      • Initial planning meetings for AM & PM teams
    • Social Event (approx. at 4:30 pm): carpool to the bar at Beachside Cafe (map)
  • Tuesday (Orientation Day 2) — During part of this day, the CSUN and UCSB groups will be in video conference with each other through the Zoom platform.
    • AM
      • Topic Model Observatory hands-on workshop
      • Interpretation Protocol hands-on workshop
    • PM
      • Planning meetings for AM & PM teams (continued)
  • Wednesday (Orientation Day 3) — During part of this day, the CSUN and UCSB groups will be in video conference with each other through the Zoom platform.
    • AM — Preparing for the workflow in the coming weeks
      • Process of brainstorming and “operationalizing” research questions for week 2 of the camp.
      • Getting familiar with available topic models that can be used in the summer (preparing to use Interpretation Protocol modules 1-2 to get an overview of models).
      • Workshop led by Lindsay Thomas on using the WE1S Workspace Jupyter notebooks to produce additional visualizations for models that are missing some visualizations.
    • PM
      • Planning meetings for AM & PM teams (continued)
  • Friday (WE1S project leaders only) — PIs, postdocs, and project managers meet if needed to discuss results of the week and fine tune plans for the summer research camp. (This meeting will be called only if necessary.)


Regular Weekly Schedule in July-early August

AM sessions: 10am – 1pm   |   PM sessions: 2pm – 4pm

  • AM Teams (Research Questions)
    • During each week, each AM team addresses one research question. (However, in the first full work week [week 2], the AM work will also occupy the PM time.)
      • Monday morning: brainstorming session for the following:
        • Fine-tune a research question and “operationalize” it (design how to answer it practically) with available topic models and interpretation protocol modules.
        • Prepare for useful context a set of companion or follow-on questions that might be pursued later.
        • Conduct initial exploration of a topic model(s) with the research question in mind.
      • Tuesday-Wednesday: Teams work on interpreting topic models. (In mid-week, the research question can be revisited to see if it needs to be revised.)
      • Thursday: Each team produces a short report answering its research question.
  • PM Teams (Special Tasks)
    • PM team work
  • Thursday “Summit meetings”
    • All-hands meetings at the end of each week for project participants at UCSB and CSUN to share findings, ideas, problems and to plan together.

Summer Capstone Conference (August 2)

  • Advance work for the conference (week before Aug. 2)
    • WE1S Advisory Board receives from the PIs a report on developments since last year. (Paragraphs written on various parts of the project will also feed into the second-year progress report due in fall.)
    • Advisory Board also receives an agenda for a two-hour meeting with WE1S summer participants on Aug. 2, plus a set of two or three questions that the summer group decides they need guidance on (so that the Board can listen to the team presentations during the capstone conference with the questions in minds).
  • Friday, August  2
    • 10 am: WE1S summer participants (including members of the CSUN group) arrive in the DAHC to set up.
    • 11am – 1pm: Zoom meeting with Advisory Board
      • 11 – noon: Lightning presentations by the summer AM teams (1-slide only presentations of research highlights, including one key finding; no introductions or transitions)
      • noon – 1pm: Discussion with the Board
    • Lunch (1 – 3 pm): catered lunch and socialization
    • 3 – 5 pm: All-hands WE1S wrap-up meeting
      • Discussion of work going forward
      • Designed “triage” session of project goals that need to be set aside to complete the project in its third and final year.


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 or during parts of each day, which is fine. The teams on which a participant sits can work around absences. But it would be ideal if participants can pre-schedule absences by noting them on the WE1S Google drive “Teamwork Dashboard” on this sheet: “Known absences during summer.”


[Under Construction]