SC Conference - Activity Details

Humanities Scholarship in the Petabyte Age

Bruce Cole  (National Endowment for the Humanities)
Masterworks Session
HPC in the Humanities and Arts
Tuesday,  10:30AM - 11:15AM
Room 18A/18B/18C/18D
The "core dataset" for humanities scholars consists of objects like books, documents, journals, paintings, newspapers, film and audio recordings, sculpture - these are the things humanists study. In the past, these objects were read and searched on a very small scale; no one scholar could read more than a small subset of the works in his field. But in the "Petabyte Age," the scale of available materials has exploded. In just the past few years, massive amounts of cultural heritage materials have been digitized, and scholars now have access to millions of digitized books, journals, recordings, etc. In the sciences, the data-driven approach to knowledge afforded by supercomputing has made possible incredible breakthroughs. Now humanities scholars are exploring how this approach can benefit their disciplines. What new knowledge might humanities scholars acquire? What new questions might all this data compel them to ask? Can supercomputers allow humanists to mine these "mountains of digital data" in ways that advance their understanding and scholarship?
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