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Practicum Assignments

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on April 7, 2015 at 7:20:55 am


This page is a supplement to the main Assignments page for this course.  Detailed here are the individual practicum assignments for classes 3-8.


Course "practicums" are hands-on, small-scale exercises that ask students to experiment at a beginner's level with the tools of the digital humanities. Classes 3-8 in the course each include a practicum that should be completed before class. Typically, a practicum asks students to try out a digital tool and method, then to leave an interesting "souvenir" on a page they create on the Student Work site for this course. The "souvenir" can be as simple as a screenshot of, or link to, something created (or found) during the exploration.  (Practicums are not individually graded, but are graded as part of a student's Portfolio.) 



General Instructions for Leaving a "Souvenir" of Practicum Exercises


(i) Perform the practicum exercise

(See the instructions for the individual practicums below).


(ii) For each practicum, create a page on the Student Work site for this course through the PBWorks editing menu bar: "Pages & Files" > "New" > "Create a Page":


PBworks - Create a Page


(iii) Name the page "Your Name - Name of Practicum Exercise" (e.g., "Alan Liu - Text Encoding"), and place it in the folder on the site for that practicum (so that we can easily find all the student pages for a practicum together):


PBworks - Name Page and Assign to Folder


(iv) When your new page is open, select the "Edit" tab in the top menu.  Add your textual or other content.  Be sure to "save your work as you go: 


PBwworks - edit


(v) By default, editing is done in GUI or graphical user interface that shows you approximately what the final result will be.  However, you can also edit in the source-code view by toggling "source" in the editing interface:


PBworks - source code view


(vi) You can upload images and other media from your computer to the site using the "Images and files" tab in the editing interface.  Once the images are uploaded, then you can add them at your cursor location while editing a page by clicking on the link for the image in the sidebar:


Pbworks image uploader



Practicum 1 Assignment - Text Encoding

For Class 3

The purpose of this encoding exercise is to engage in just enough elementary encoding of text or other media in HTML to allow students to think about the underlying premises, concepts, and structure of text encoding.

  1. Go the folder called "Practicum 1 - Text Encoding" on the Student Work site and create a page there called "Your Name - Text Encoding".
  2. When your new page is open, select the "Edit" tab in the top menu.  Then click the "Source" button in the editing interface menu to toggle from the GUI (graphical user interface) editing view to the source-code view that allows you to do plain-text encoding. (You can always toggle back to the GUI view for a quick check on your work or as a cheat-sheet for basic encoding of HTML features.) Be sure to "save" your work as you go.

     PBWorks - Source Code

  3. Using the source-code view as much as possible, create a simple web page with any content, images, and links you wish (subject, of course, to good taste and copyright laws).  The page should include at least the following features:
    1. Text formatted in basic ways (as headers, bold, italics, etc.)
    2. Text in paragraph structures
    3. Text in lists
    4. Links
    5. A table
    6. An image


For tutorials and beginner guides to HTML go to the instructor's DH Toychest and look at the section on the Tutorials page on "HTML & CSS." Important: students who are beginners should not be intimidated by this assignment. Use the tutorials to learn the most basic concepts and try the most elementary encoding.  Your experiment doesn't even have to work; it can "fail" in instructive or interesting ways.  (For students more advanced in encoding, try the other encoding exercises included in the instructor's graduate course in the digital humanities).



Practicum 2 Assignment - Finding Digital Texts

For Class 4

  1. Browse the online document/image collections listed in the instructors DH Toychest > Data Collections and Datasets > Document/Image Collectsions section. in order to get a sense of what digital texts are available. Concentrate on texts that are no longer in copyright or texts that can be used under a Creative Commons license; and that are available in plain-text or HTML format).  Be sure to look especially at the larger, general purpose text collections that contain downloadable plaint-text, HTML, or XML files to see what is there--e.g.:
    1. EEBO-TCP Texts
    2. Internet Archive (click on "Download" link on a book page for download format options)
    3. Open Library
    4. Oxford University Text Archive
    5. Project Gutenberg
  2. Examine the corpus of nearly 2,731 nineteenth-century British novels in plain text format gathered by the Stanford Lit Lab from Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive and shared with the UCSB English Department: list of authors and novels (Excel spreadsheet); full-texts of the novels in plain-text.  Students on the UCSB network or using the UCSB VPN service can download the corpus as a .zip file (898 Mb).
  3. Collect either an example list of works that can be worked with in plain-text format or an example passage(s) from the works; and leave it as a souvenir of your experimentation on the course Student Work site (go to the folder "Practicum 2 - Finding Digial Texts" and create a page there called "Your Name - Finding Digital Texts").



Practicum 3 Assignment - Text Analysis 1

For Class 5

  1. Browse the text analysis tools (especially those with checkmarks red check mark or blue check mark) listed in the instructor's DH Toychest > Tools section > Text Analysis section.
  2. Using a collection of texts (perhaps one you assembled from the previous practicum), experiment with one or more of the following three tools that allow you to work with your own texts: Antconc, Voyant Tools (see Voyant documentation), and Lexos. (You need to use all three tools by the end of the next practicum.) Leave souvenirs of your experimentation on the course Student Work site (go to the folder "Practicum 3 - Text Analysis 1" and create a page there called "Your Name - Text Analysis 1").


Practicum 4 Assignment - Text Analysis 2

For Class 6

  1. Complete or deepen your experimentation from the last practicum with the Antconc, Voyant Tools, and Lexos tools on a collection of texts that you have gathered in plain-text format.
  2. Leave souvenirs of your experimentation on the course Student Work site (go to the folder Practicum 4 - Text Analysis 2 and create a page there called "Your Name - Text Analysis Exercise 2").


Practicum 5 Assignment - Topic Modeling

For Class 7

  1. Experiment with David Mimno's online In-Browser Topic Modeling and/or the downloadable Topic Modeling Tool (both based on the MALLET topic modeling suite)
  2. Download, install, and experiment with the full MALLET topic-modeling suite, which runs from the command line. (See The Programming Historian Tutorial "Getting Started with Topic Modeling and MALLET" for instructions on installing and running MALLET).  Copies of MALLET are also installed on some of the workstations in South Hall 2509 (see software inventory for machines in SH 2509).  An ideal experiment is to topic model a small collection of multiple texts (e.g., several articles that you have extracted as plain text and put in a folder) or a "chunked" plain-text version of a long text (e.g., a novel with separate files for each chapter).
  3. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course Student Work site (go to the folder Practicum 5 - Topic Modeling and create a page there called "Your Name - Topic Modeling").


Practicum 6 Assignment - Social Network Analysis

For Class 8

  1. Work through Par Martin Grandjean's Gephi tutorial ("Introduction to Network Visualization with GEPHI").  (For other Gephi help resources, see instructor's DH Toychest > Tutorials> Network Visualization) (Ideally, you will be able to install and run Gephi on your own computer. However, there will also be installations available for use in South Hall 2509.)
    1. If you want to install Gephi on your own machine:
    2. (You may also be interested in an article explaining the frequently used "ForceAtlas2" layout option for Gephi visualizations.  The article is technical, but gives a sense of what would be involved in unlocking the "black box" of concepts behind such algorithms: Mathieu Jacomy, et al. , "ForceAtlas2, a Continuous Graph Layout Algorithm for Handy Network Visualization Designed for the Gephi Software" [2014])
  2. Try to understand the logic/format of the two .csv files used in Grandjean's Gephi tutorial (one that identifies the "nodes" and the other the "edges," or relations between nodes).  Then choose a very limited work or works that would be of interest to humanities scholars (e.g., a chapter in a novel, a scene in a play or film, an hour of a Twitter timeline from a conference) and create your own nodes and edges .csv files (which can be created in a plain-text editor or exported from a spreadsheet or even work processor).  Use your.csv files in Gephi to create a visualization.  (If you wish, you can create just a hypothetical set of nodes and edges "as if" you were analyzing something even though you don't have time to do that for real at present.) 
  3. You may also be interested in downloading, unzipping, and opening or importing in Gephi some of the other Gephi datasets available from Wiki.Gephi.org in a variety of formats (.gexf and .gml)
  4. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course Student Work site (go to the folder Practicum 6 - Social Network Analysis and create a page there called "Your Name - Social Network Analysis").











































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