Yale Himalaya Initiative Program Director and Associate Research Scientist in the South Asian Studies Council Mark Turin has been granted a Fellowship for Academic Year 2013–2014 to develop a hands-on and collaborative class exploring the links among Yale’s exceptional collections from and about the Himalayan region.
Yale’s holdings of Himalayan materials are rich and largely unexplored. Professor Turin will enhance his course with technology to assist students in producing a crowdsourced open catalog, which will be folded back into the existing catalog holdings and made visible through ORBIS. Through the class, and through the use of appropriate technology, students will create catalog entries and virtual collections of Yale’s holdings that are media-rich and populated with links and metadata, adding context to these little-documented Yale collections.
The process will be experimental and challenging for students who rarely have the pleasure of working with primary materials during their undergraduate careers, and will require them to evaluate different sources of information, weigh their values and legitimacies, and bear in mind the enduring residue of their coursework in the archive.
The course is scheduled for Fall 2013 under course numbers SAST 363, EAST 363, ANTH 317, and HSAR 479.
Frank Keil and Philip Langthorne
The potential for creative uses of technology to improve experimental design is abundant in the cognitive sciences. The Cognition and Development Lab has adopted the use of touchscreen interfaces for conducting experiments with children under a “computer game” model, made all the more engaging for children by their ability to interact directly with the objects on screen.
Professor Keil and Philip Langthorne of the Yale Cognition and Development lab are developing a software solution that would serve as an experimental toolkit for the iPad, optimized for the cognitive sciences at the outset, allowing researchers to design experimental environments for children and adults that would later be “played out” by study participants in or outside of the laboratory setting. The project will tightly integrate cognitive methodologies and computer science application with practical implications for both the conduct and teaching of psychological science.
ITG funded Maxim Thorne’s college seminar, “Philanthropy in Action”. Further description is available on the course website.
ITG supported Professor Wexler’s Photographic Memory Workshop. Further information is available on the project website.
Beginning in 2009 as an effort to capture the historic moment of President Obama’s inauguration in photographs and interviews, Professor Matt Jacobson’s Historian’s Eye project has evolved into a website presenting a collection of 1000+ photographs and an audio archive addressing Obama’s first term in office, the 2008 economic collapse, two wars, the raucous politics of healthcare reform, the emergence of a new right-wing formation in opposition to Obama, the politics of immigration, Wall Street reform, the BP oil spill, and the seeming escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide. In addition to catching these moments like fireflies in a mason jar, the project seeks to encourage a new relationship to history itself—a mental habit of apprehending the past in the present and history-in-the-making.
Professor Jacobson has introduced the Historian’s Eye website as a primary source in his Formation of American Culture challenging his students to similarly pursue this kind of relationship with history. The Instructional Technology group worked with Professor Jacobson to produce the website and explore how it is used in his teaching.
Michael Klingbeil, an Assistant Professor in the Music Department, received a fellowship providing resources for students to work directly with advanced digital media hardware for interactive, real-time, digital media creation and live performance. These resources will enhance two courses, “Fundamentals of Music, Multimedia Art, and Technology” and “Applications in the Composition and Performance of Music, Multimedia Art, and Technology” taught by Klingbeil. The use of the advanced hardware, including alternate controllers and sensor interfaces, will encourage students to be more critical and reflective about the nature of digital media creation, the underlying assumptions made by interface and instrument designers, and the artistic influence of these assumptions. Klingbeil’s students will chronicle their reflections and recordings of their performances using web-based portfolios that are being developed as another key component of the fellowship.
Kariann Yokota, Assistant Professor of American Studies and History, is developing a web-based teaching/research gateway to material objects in Yale’s collections that helps scholars explore the transoceanic exchange of objects, ideas, and people between America and Britain as well as America and Asia during the post-Revolutionary period. Also as part of the fellowship, Yokota is working with the Instructional Technology Group and the Library to design assignments for her “American Culture in the Revolutionary Era” course which will encourage students to develop their visual and material literacy skills by investigating objects as historical evidence.
Computer Science Professor Paul Hudak revamped Haskore, a computer music language of his own invention. Improvements included creating a friendlier user interface for writing and compiling programs along with enhanced and expanded user output options to allow production of several different musical data formats such as a MIDI and others. These developments helped students in two courses on the Fundamentals of Computer Music by reducing the learning curve in using Haskore, quickening the development pace of projects, and allowing the expression of more powerful computer music idioms. Generally speaking, this work allowed students to devote more time and attention to design, and less time to inconsequential detail, thus leading to more ambitious assignments and independent projects.
Reid Lifset and Matt Eckelman
Reid Lifset, a faculty member in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and Matt Eckelman, a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering, created a virtual pulp and paper mill where students could visit an industrial facility without the constraints imposed by physical travel and safety concerns. The McCredie Fellowship allowed Lifset and Eckelman, together with Yale’s Instructional Technology Group, to contract NMC Virtual Worlds to construct the Elihu Pulp and Paper Mill simulation in the 3D virtual world of Second Life. Walking through the mill using avatars, the students encounter accurate 3D models of machinery including sound and movement. Data are also embedded at key areas of the facility which visitors can access by clicking floating question marks.
Computer Science Professor Julie Dorsey augmented two introductory, undergraduate Computer Graphics courses by developing interactive, 3-D learning objects that demonstrate otherwise abstract concepts underlying computer graphics. The ability to control input to the interactive demonstrations allowed students to test hypotheses, visualize cause-and-effect scenarios, and develop a richer understanding of the relationship between the mechanics of computer graphics and what is observed. The McCredie Fellowship provided funding for two student assistants who worked with Dorsey to design and support the learning objects.
Seth Fein, an Assistant Professor of History, enhanced his undergraduate courses by facilitating his students’ engagement with audiovisual primary resources for the purpose of historical analysis. The McCredie Fellowship funded a student assistant and hardware to assist in his work organizing and deploying a vast archive of multimedia resources. Fein also employed course blogs where he and his students were able to comment on course themes and share primary source material. In his Film and History course, the students created film clips that they used for class presentations and produced analytical, narrated, documentary-style films for their final projects.
Inspired by the collaborative environment of laboratories in the physical sciences, English Professor Pericles Lewis developed the Modernism Lab, a virtual space designed to encourage similar collaborative learning opportunities in the Humanities. The Lab supports undergraduate courses on Modern Poetry, the Modern British Novel, and Joyce’s Ulysses and a graduate course in English and Comparative Literature, “Moderns, 1914-1926.” Students in the classes and other modernism scholars contribute annotated records of the primary sources and criticism they consult in a shared database. This database is an ever-expanding, collective pool of research they can use to inform their written assignments. The written assignments are published to a wiki enabling students to add links to the database and to inter-related passages in each other’s writing.