Categories
DH Incentive Grants Pedagogy Research Projects Tools

Raw Density & early Islamic law

Professor Joel Blecher received a DH Incentive grant from W&L for the course History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500. A pedagogical DH component of that course is for students to produce a set of visualizations of data that they have collected about the transmission of early Islamic law. The students will be using two tools for the visualizations: Palladio and Raw Density.

In this post we’ll examine the use of Raw Density. Separate posts will explore the use of Palladio and the data collection process. This post will provide one example of a data visualization of early Islamic law.

 Raw Density

Raw Density is a Web app offering a simple way to generate visualizations from tabular data, e.g., spreadsheets or delimiter-separated values. Getting started with Raw is deceptively simple: just upload your data.

The complicated part is deciding which of the sixteen visuals is best for your data. While an entire course could be taught on data visualizations, the purpose within this course is for the students to develop familiarity with visualizing historical data. Not all types of charts are appropriate for every type of data.

Our sample diagram uses the first option in Raw Density, which is what the creators behind Raw Density call an “Alluvial diagram (Fineo-like)”. (Fineo was a former research project by Density Design, the developers of Raw Density.) We’re using this type of diagram to show relationships among different types of categories.

Transmitters of early Islamic law

This diagram is based on 452 transmitters of early Islamic law. A transmitter is classified either as a companion or a follower. A companion is one who encountered Muhammad in his lifetime. A follower is one who lived in the generation after Muhammad’s death.

alluvialtransmittersStatusConverted

The data collected consists of 17 fields but for the purpose of this diagram we used only 4 categories: gender, transmitterStatus, Converted (Yes/No), priorRelgion. When the transmitterStatus was unknown then the transmitter was grouped into either other or undetermined.

In the diagram you can see how the colored ribbons visualize the data flow from the general category of gender to the more specific categories. The right-side of the diagram divides the transmitters into those that had converted from a prior religion (marked as ‘Yes’) and those that did not (marked as ‘No’).

Visualization allows for a clearer understanding of the data than is possible through a simple examination of tabular content in a spreadsheet. Visualization makes it easy to spot data collecting errors. For example, is there a distinction in the transmitterStatus field between Other and Undetermined or could we have collapsed that into a single field in our data collection form? Also, the visualization identifies where further research is needed, e.g., other data sources should provide details about whether the transmitters with undetermined/other status were companions or followers.

The students in this course will produce various visualizations using Raw Density.

Categories
DH Incentive Grants Pedagogy Project Update Tools

Raw Density & early Islamic law

Professor Joel Blecher received a DH Incentive grant from W&L for the course History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500. A pedagogical DH component of that course is for students to produce a set of visualizations of data that they have collected about the transmission of early Islamic law. The students will be using two tools for the visualizations: Palladio and Raw Density.

In this post we’ll examine the use of Raw Density. Separate posts will explore the use of Palladio and the data collection process. This post will provide one example of a data visualization of early Islamic law.

 Raw Density

Raw Density is a Web app offering a simple way to generate visualizations from tabular data, e.g., spreadsheets or delimiter-separated values. Getting started with Raw is deceptively simple: just upload your data.

The complicated part is deciding which of the sixteen visuals is best for your data. While an entire course could be taught on data visualizations, the purpose within this course is for the students to develop familiarity with visualizing historical data. Not all types of charts are appropriate for every type of data.

Our sample diagram uses the first option in Raw Density, which is what the creators behind Raw Density call an “Alluvial diagram (Fineo-like)”. (Fineo was a former research project by Density Design, the developers of Raw Density.) We’re using this type of diagram to show relationships among different types of categories.

Transmitters of early Islamic law

This diagram is based on 452 transmitters of early Islamic law. A transmitter is classified either as a companion or a follower. A companion is one who encountered Muhammad in his lifetime. A follower is one who lived in the generation after Muhammad’s death.

alluvialtransmittersStatusConverted

The data collected consists of 17 fields but for the purpose of this diagram we used only 4 categories: gender, transmitterStatus, Converted (Yes/No), priorRelgion. When the transmitterStatus was unknown then the transmitter was grouped into either other or undetermined.

In the diagram you can see how the colored ribbons visualize the data flow from the general category of gender to the more specific categories. The right-side of the diagram divides the transmitters into those that had converted from a prior religion (marked as ‘Yes’) and those that did not (marked as ‘No’).

Visualization allows for a clearer understanding of the data than is possible through a simple examination of tabular content in a spreadsheet. Visualization makes it easy to spot data collecting errors. For example, is there a distinction in the transmitterStatus field between Other and Undetermined or could we have collapsed that into a single field in our data collection form? Also, the visualization identifies where further research is needed, e.g., other data sources should provide details about whether the transmitters with undetermined/other status were companions or followers.

The students in this course will produce various visualizations using Raw Density.

Categories
Incentive Grants

DH Incentive Grant Recipients

The Digital Humanities Working Group would like to congratulate Joel Blecher and Jon Eastwood on being recipients of funding from the second round of Digital Humanities Incentive Grants.  Feel free to take a closer look at both of their wonderful proposals for integrating DH techniques and tools into their courses:

Blecher proposal for Fall 2014 course

Eastwood proposal for Winter 2015 course

Also check out the proposals of past Incentive Grant recipients:

Wan-Chuan Kao: HotelOrient

Hank Dobin: Representing Queen Elizabeth

Sascha Goluboff: Campus Sex in the Digital Age

Howard Pickett: Connecting the Dots- Mapping Low-Income Needs and Services in the Rockbridge Area

 

 

Categories
Announcement Incentive Grants

Call for Digital Humanities Incentive Grants, 2014-2015

Washington and Lee faculty:

Are you considering employing Digital Humanities pedagogy in a fall 2014 or winter 2015 course? If you are undertaking an ambitious new augmenation of your teaching toolbox, one that will introduce you and your students to humanities/social science computing skill sets, tell us about it. Propose your fall or winter DH course-based project to DHAT@wlu.edu by Monday, 21 April, the first day of Spring Term. Members of the Digital Humanities Working Group will select two fall term and two winter term DH course projects for $1,000 stipends.

Competitve proposals will integrate computing tools such as visualization techniques (Mapplication, Timeline), data mining, computational analysis, digitized annotated editions of texts, or crowd-sourced interpretations. Preference will be given to plausible projects that will reach all students in your course: tell us about how you think you’d evaluate their work. How will your DH project help students meet course, program, or FDR learning objectives?

The DHAT (Digital Humanities Action Team) members are ready to assist DH projects, large and small. Check out what W&L faculty have already done at Generally Digital. If you have a course project you’d like to add to our blog, write to DHAT@wlu.edu .

All undergraduate courses and faculty are eligible to apply except for those who have already received an incentive grant in the first round.

Suzanne Keen, Dean of the College

Categories
Incentive Grants Pedagogy

DH Pedagogy Incentive Grant Winners

The Digital Humanities Working Group was inspired by the number, variety, depth, and breadth of the submissions to the incentive grant proposals.  The group had a lively discussion about the relative merits and impact of all the proposals.  In the end, we chose the following awardees:

  • Hank Dobin, ENGL 292: Representing Queen Elizabeth
  • Sascha Goluboff, ANTH 290: Campus Sex in the Digital Age
  • Wan-Chuan Kao, ENGL 382: Hotel Orient
  • Howard Pickett, Poverty 102: Field Work in Poverty Studies

We look forwarding to hearing about the awardees’ and their students’ experiences in these courses.  The awardees will be presenting their DH course projects–challenges, successes, failures, and lessons learned–in a Fall 2014 Faculty Academy session.

Categories
Incentive Grants Pedagogy

Digital Humanities Pedagogy Incentive Competition

Are you considering employing Digital Humanities pedagogy in a winter 2014 or spring 2014 course? If you are undertaking an ambitious new augmenation of your teaching toolbox, one that will introduce you and your students to humanities/social science computing skill sets, tell us about it. Propose your winter or spring DH course-based project to DHAT@wlu.edu by Halloween, the 31 of October. Members of the Digital Humanities Working Group will select two winter term and two spring term DH course projects for $1000 stipends.

Competitve proposals will integrate computing tools such as visualization techniques (Mapplication), data mining, computational analysis, digitized annotated editions of texts, or crowd-sourced interpretations. Preference will be given to plausible projects that will reach all students in your course: tell us about how you think you’d evaluate their work. How will your DH project help students meet course, program, or FDR learning objectives?

The DHAT (Digital Humanities Action Team) members are ready to assist DH projects, large and small. Check out what W&L faculty have already done at Generally Digital: http://digitalhumanities.wlu.edu/?page_id=38. If you have a course project you’d like to add to our blog, write to DHAT@wlu.edu .

All undergraduate courses and faculty are eligible.

Suzanne Keen, Dean of the College