SWORDV3 stakeholder call

The SWORDV3 project team are looking for expressions of interest from potential stakeholders as they develop a new technical standard and community and governance mechanisms for this updated version of SWORD. From the DPC announcement:

Expressions of interest are sought to become stakeholders in the project: to make suggestions, review activities and meet as required over the coming months.

In particular, the project team is interested in making contact with people who may wish to develop SWORD V3 libraries for their preferred platforms or languages since the aim is to provide some support for such activities during the project. Please contact one of the project team (ideally by mid-October) if you are interested in participating, and indicate if you are interested in the technical or community aspects of the project (or both!).

On the technical side, the project is creating a document that brings together the change requests and new use cases that have collected since the release of SWORDV2, culled from the github site, message posts and preliminary discussions with some stakeholders earlier this year. This has also suggested a way forward that breaks with SWORD’s AtomPub roots in order to provide a more up-to-date and flexible protocol. This will be circulated to stakeholders soon.

On the community side, a similar document outlining possible models for developing the SWORD community in the future will be circulated soon. This is a much more open set of choices since the SWORD user-base has expanded considerably since its first conception, and we are open to further suggestions! The final arrangements must be aligned with community wishes in order to be an effective sustainable solution.

More at http://www.dpconline.org/news/swordv3-project-stakeholder-call.

Ethics and Cybersecurity hackathon

Our colleagues invite applications for a hackathon, 13-14 May 2017.

Ethics and Cybersecurity hackathon – Oxford 13-14 May with Cyber Security Challenge UK

Deadline: 5 May!

Are you interested in the ethical and social effects of technologies? Come to the ethicon event, 13-14 May!

We are very excited to be running a new kind of event here in Oxford. The ‘ethicon’ is a twist on the hackathon. Participants work in teams to design a prototype system to solve a particular challenge. However in addition to thinking through technical details they also need to identify the potential social and ethical effects of the particular technology and find creative ways to address them. To assist with this, participants are put into groups so that students from computer science and social science/humanities/business backgrounds work together and learn from each other. The groups’ ideas are then judged by a panel of experts and prizes are available to the winning teams.

Each team will be made up of two technical undergraduates (from computer science or a related discipline), plus two non-technical team members from areas such as social sciences, philosophy, business (and who have an interest in ethics) from any UK University.  Deadline 5 May.

Details about how you can apply to take part are on their poster and: https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/news-events/part-first-ever-ethicon.

If you have any questions about the event, please email helena.webb@cs.ox.ac.uk.


Making Numbers into Notes: the making of Ada Lovelace’s generative music

This talk is part of the Oxford Women’s International Festival.

What: Making Numbers into Notes: the making of Ada Lovelace’s generative music

Who: David De Roure

When: 14.00—15.00, Tuesday 7 March 2017

Where: St Luke’s Chapel, Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG (map

Access: all are welcome

Admission: free

Booking: registration is required for the preceding talk: no booking is necessary for this demonstration

What would have happened if Charles Babbage had built the analytical engine, and Ada Lovelace had programmed it to generate music? Our “making” experiments have involved a variety of techniques, from a software simulator, a web app and the use of a computer algebra system, to construction of arduino micro controller hardware, agent based simulation and scripting for modern professional audio tools.  This talk will demonstrate some of these tools, and invite attendees to engage with us in taking the experiment forward.

This demonstration follows the Research Uncovered talk, The imagination of Ada Lovelace: creative computing and experimental humanities. If you would like to attend this talk, please book a place. There will be a short break between the two sessions.

The imagination of Ada Lovelace: creative computing and experimental humanities

In the 200 years since Ada Lovelace’s birth, she has been celebrated, neglected, and taken up as a symbol for any number of causes and ideas. A symposium to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth narrated many of these, including accounts of her generative relationship with Charles Babbage and his Difference and Analytical Engines.

This talk traces some of paths the idea of Lovelace  and her imagination of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine has taken, what basis they have in her life, and what they tell us about the devices and desires of their scholarship and society. It includes an account of our experimental humanities work in response to both Lovelace and the operatic Ada sketches of composer Emily Howard: we created a web application, Numbers into Notes, (an earlier version of which was described by David De Roure in a previous Research Uncovered talk) to produce music from maths through programming a digital simulation of the Analytical Engine, after Lovelace’s idea that “the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent”.

This collaborative research was supported through the following EPSRC project: Fusing Semantic and Audio Technologies for Intelligent Music Production and Consumption (EP/L019981/1). This talk was first given as a Digital Scholarship Seminar at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway.

David De Roure is Professor of e-Research and Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre. He has strategic responsibility for Digital Humanities at Oxford and directed the national Digital Social Research programme for ESRC, for whom he is now a strategic adviser. His personal research is in Computational Musicology, Web Science, and Internet of Things. He is a frequent speaker and writer on digital scholarship and the future of scholarly communications.

Pip Willcox is the Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and a Senior Research at the Oxford e-Research Centre. She co-directs the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School and convenes its introductory workshop strand. With a background in textual editing and book history, her current work investigates narrative and the intersection between the material and the digital, exploring the experimental humanities.

Digital Manuscripts at the Bodleian: free event

MS. Kennicott 1

MS. Kennicott 1

On Monday 28 November we will be celebrating two major projects, the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project and the Digital Manuscripts Toolkit, with an event at the Weston Library. Tickets are free, but please book in advance to reserve a place. The event runs from 11am to 5pm, with a break for lunch, and speakers will include:

  • Nigel Wilson on digitized Greek manuscripts at the Bodleian
  • César Merchán-Hamann on digitized Hebrew manuscripts
  • Paola Manoni from the Vatican Library on their part in the Polonsky Project
  • Judith Siefring on the Digital Manuscripts Toolkit
  • Emma Stanford on IIIF and Digital.Bodleian
  • Rafael Schwemmer on the Bodleian’s IIIF manifest editor
  • and presentations by Oxford scholars on their work with the Digital Manuscripts Toolkit.

Anyone interested in manuscripts, digitization, or learning about new tools for dealing with digitized objects is encouraged to attend.

Book free tickets

Dispatch from the Oxford Research Software Developers Network kick-off meeting

On 05 May 2015 an email was circulated within the Digital Humanities at the University of Oxford calling colleagues that were working as research software (including data) developers. The idea was to keep in touch, share experiences and learn from each other; as well finding similar roles when contracts end (as University of Oxford works a lot with fixed-term contracts).

From the email:

The Oxford e-Research Centre, Computer Science and the Digital Humanities are working to set up a University-wide network of “Research Software Developers” (RSDs): those who combine expertise in programming with an intricate understanding of research, and support the work of researchers in developing the (usually bespoke) software that is fundamental to so much of modern research. Many such people are employed across the University, but are not always well supported by cross-university structures. As a result they are often isolated and difficult to retain within the University. We are thus looking to connect these individuals in order to share expertise, provide appropriate advanced training, and facilitate re-employment with the University, hence optimising the use of their skills to enhance the University’s research.

After a short survey was circulated and a mail-list had been formed, the first kick-off meeting happened on 8th June 2015. I participated in this meeting (as a team member of BDLSS) and below are some of my notes of the event.

The people that had their names down on the agenda (possibly starting it all) were:

  • Jonathan Cooper, Computer Science
  • David Robey, Oxford e-Research Centre & Digital Humanities
  • Wes Armour, Oxford e-Research Centre
  • Charles Crowther, Classics
  • Michael Davis, Bodleian Libraries

Jonathan Cooper started the discussion and presented a few ideas, based on the survey. The main focus of the discussion was to:

  • decide the frequency, location and time of day for regular meetings
  • decide the content of the meetings (particularly for Michaelmas 2015)
  • summarize the suggestions made in the survey responses
  • create a representative body to facilitate placement and lobby for recognition

A few trends and popular suggestions emerged in the discussion:

  • interests: sharing, networking, training, career development
  • meeting types: lightning talks, discussions, training courses, longer talks, hackathons
  • content focuses: groups, services, material, courses

Looking forward, the discussion settled on 1-2 hour monthly meetings, lightning talks and discussions, and occasionally longer events.

A few points were made about the importance of having a profile within the network to allow discoverability: not necessarily a whole CV, but basic information and links to your other profiles online (LinkedIn, Github accounts, etc.).

On 25/06/2015 a Slack account was created, which you can join at https://rsdn.slack.com/signup/. The initial website for the Research Software Developers Network (Oxford RSDN) is at http://rsdn.oerc.ox.ac.uk. The next meeting of the network will be held on Tuesday 28th July at 9.30-10.30am in Lecture Theatre B in the Wolfson Building, Computer Science department. If you are interested, just come along. For more information on how to get involved visit http://rsdn.oerc.ox.ac.uk/.

– Monica Messaggi Kaya