St. Olaf News

 

Student discusses digital humanities with Chronicle of Higher Education

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Professor of Computer Science Dick Brown (center) developed the High Performance Computing in Context (HiPerCiC) project to enable computer science majors, including (from left) Cody Gronseth ’13, Maggie Wanek ’15, Jay Petersen ’13, and Michael Stone ’13, to custom-build applications for professors in other disciplines that will enhance their research and teaching.

St. Olaf College computer science major Maggie Wanek ’15 tells the Chronicle of Higher Education that the digital tools she’s developed to help humanities faculty members with their research “illustrate the relevance and the versatility of computer science as pertaining to other disciplines.”

Wanek’s work with two St. Olaf history professors is part of the college’s new High Performance Computing in Context (HiPerCiC) project, which enables computer science majors to custom-build applications for professors in other disciplines that will enhance their research and teaching.

“This is beneficial for archaeologists and historians as it unlocks new capabilities for their work. It’s also beneficial to students and computer scientists as it gives us applicable work to do that has real impact in a discipline,” Wanek tells the Chronicle, which highlighted her work as part of a collection of articles exploring the digital humanities.

The HiPerCiC project, developed by St. Olaf Professor of Computer Science Dick Brown, is one of several digital humanities initiatives that the college is developing with the support of a new grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

As part of the project, Wanek is currently working with Associate Professor of History Tim Howe to develop an interactive website that will display, in real time, 3-D images of the artifacts found this summer at the ancient Roman town Antiochia ad Cragum in southern Turkey.

Prior to that, Wanek and Michael Stone ’13 worked with Professor of History Mike Fitzgerald to visualize voting returns in Reconstruction-era Alabama.