4.1012 Syllabus: Computer Methods for Humanities (1/144)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 12 Feb 91 15:49:01 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1012. Tuesday, 12 Feb 1991.

Date: Mon, 11 Feb 91 10:56:20 EST
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: graduate course in humanities computing

Members of Humanist may recall that a few months ago I reported on a new
graduate programme in humanities computing at Toronto. The programme
consists of two half-courses: CCH1001H, "Instructional Methods by
Computer"; and CCH1002H, "Basic Research Methods by Computer". Earlier I
reported on the first of these; now that the second is in progress, I
can offer you the syllabus.

Approximately a dozen students from a wide variety of departments are
currently enrolled. Please note that the syllabus is subject to change.

Willard McCarty
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CCH 1002H, Jan.-Mar. 1991

CCH 1002H. Basic Research Methods by Computer. W. McCarty (CCH)
and others.

Introduces students to the ways in which the computer may be
applied to fundamental problems in academic research. Its aim is
to show how research can be conducted more efficiently and
accurately, and how the researcher can take advantage of
resources and techniques formerly unavailable or forbiddingly
difficult to access. Students will learn how material from
printed and online sources can be electronically extracted,
stored, classified, arranged, and retrieved; how texts can be
analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively; and how both common
and usefully idiosyncratic methods of research can be modelled on
the computer without complex programming.

Prerequisites: either (a) CCH 1001H, or (b) basic familiarity
with MS-DOS and/or Macintosh and the permission of the
Maximum enrollment: 18.
Requirements: seminar participation and several short
Date, time, and place: Wednesday, 23 January to 3 April 1991,
7-9 p.m., in room 14321 Robarts Library (take an elevator
from the 4th floor).


Interested students should register at the CCH, Monday through
Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; please see W.
McCarty, 14297D, 978-3974, McCarty@VM.EPAS.UToronto.CA.


Registered students will have free access to MS-DOS and
Macintosh microcomputers and to the CCH/EPAS mainframe facility
(VM/CMS and UNIX), including electronic mail. The microcomputers
support a wide variety of instructional and research software,
some of which has been developed at Toronto.

Course Outline..

23 Jan. Organization of the course; introduction to the subject
(W. McCarty). The impact of the computer on research:
observing how it is actually done and modelling its
mechanical components. Division of the research process
into analytical and synthetic stages; how computers may
be applied to each stage.

30 Jan. Online resources (G. Rockwell; TBA). Bibliographical and
textual resources via mainframe, network, and
microcomputer; electronic seminars, conferences, and
bulletin boards. Various online media and their
characteristics. [Data Library; ARTFL; Dante; CD-ROMs:
TLG, OED; Internet libraries; Humanist &c.]

6 Feb. Database, Textbase, and Knowledge-Base (C. Leowski).
Structuring information for retrieval; how the nature of
particular information influences this structure;
database management techniques; the specific demands of
texts, sounds, images; hypertext; what the knowledge-base

13 Feb. Data capture and encoding (A. Oliver). Capturing data by
keyboarding and optical scanning; error-detection and
proofreading. Analysis prior to encoding: data structure
and content; intended use. Encoding strategies.
[WordPerfect 4.2, Urica; optical scanning equipment]

27 Feb. Close Reading and Analysis of Text (W. McCarty).
Concordances and other forms of retrieval; finding images
and ideas through words; proper names and periphrastic
expressions; metatextual tagging; searching strategies;
studies of vocabulary; graphic representation of
structures and thematic developments; content and
discourse analysis. [TACT; texts of Milton and Ovid]

6 Mar. Numerical methods (B. Brainerd) The place of numerical
methods in literary criticism and textual research in
general. Using statistical evidence to help solve
literary questions -- e.g. disputed authorship, dating of
texts, developing stylistic diagnostics. The
epistemological nature of statistical results. Workshop:
finding statistical parameters (means, variances, etc.)
and understanding their meaning for data from
Shakespeare's plays.

13 Mar. Lexicography (T. R. Wooldridge). Use of electronic
dictionaries (e.g. OED, Robert); extraction of
information from highly structured e-dictionaries (e.g.
OED) and loosely structured e-dictionaries (e.g. Nicot);
complementarity of e-dictionaries and literary databases
(e.g. Robert and ARTFL). Personal lexicons.

20 Mar. Editing texts (S. Dumont, M. Zier). The basic steps of
editing a text; two kinds of computer-assisted editing
and their applications; use of common tools. Analysis of
textual variants. [Textual editing software: MTAS, Norm,
and utilities; TUSTEP.]

27 Mar. Evidence, structure, and argumentation (W. McCarty).
Transformation of data into argument; collecting,
classifying, arranging, and retrieving instances; pattern
recognition; writing from electronic notes. [Annota;
wordprocessor and simple textbase software

3 April Programming (J. Bradley). Levels of programming and kinds
of languages; when programming is appropriate.
Formulating the problem to be solved or describing the
process to be simulated. Procedural thinking and its
representation; basic craftsmanship. Coding, debugging,
and usability testing. Documentation.


J. Bradley, Computing Services
B. Brainerd, Departments of Linguistics & Mathematics
S. Dumont, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
C. Leowski, EPAS/Humanities Consortium
W. McCarty, Centre for Computing in the Humanities &
Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies
A. Oliver, Department of French
G. Rockwell, Computing Services & Department of Philosophy
R. Wooldridge, Department of French & Centre for Computing in
the Humanities
M. Zier, Dean of Men, University College