21.184 postdoc at Oxford in e-science, imaging and ancient documents

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 07:32:10 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 21, No. 184.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 07:16:58 +0100
         From: simon mahony <simon.mahony_at_KCL.AC.UK>

(Sub-Faculty of Ancient History)


Further Particulars

1. General Introduction

Funding has been secured through the AHRC-EPSRC-JISC Arts and
Humanities E-Science initiative to appoint a post-doctoral Research
Assistant, for a period of three years from 1 October 2007, to work on
the application of Information Technology (IT) to ancient documents
under the supervision of Professors Alan Bowman FBA, Sir Michael Brady
FRS FREng, and Dr. Melissa Terras (UCL). The Research Assistantship
will be held in the Faculty of Classics and supported at the Centre for
the Study of Ancient Documents and the Oxford E-Research Centre
(Directors: Dr. Anne Trefethen and Prof. Paul Jeffreys). The initial
salary will be in the range GBP 25,889 - GBP31,840 (Academic Related, Grade
7), according to qualifications and experience.

2. Aims and objectives of the project
The postdoctoral Research Asssistantship is attached to a project which
will develop a networked software system to support the imaging,
documentation, and interpretation of damaged texts from the ancient
world, principally Greek and Latin papyri, inscriptions and writing
tablets. Full details of the project are available electronically from
Professor Bowman on request (alan.bowman_at_classics.ox.ac.uk). The main
focus of the project is to develop a support system by methods of
aiding (by image enhancement), representing and tracking the reader's
developing decipherment and understanding of documents, by iteratively
and progressively facilitating the inclusion of new insights and
conjectures over prolonged periods of study and by a building a
computer-generated, human-readable representation of the range of
possible 'solutions' as well as the contingencies of such possibilities
derived from contextual knowledge or direct perception of the text.
The RA will work in close collaboration with a doctoral student whose
work he/she will help to supervise. The following should be viewed as
indicating the area of work to be undertaken in collaboration with the
doctoral student.

a. Building an interface to image analysis software developed by
Professors Brady and Bowman for analysis of Latin stilus tablets.
b. Designing and implementing an interface to the components
described in (a-c), in collaboration with the current JISC-funded VRE
project 'A Virtual Workspace for the Study of Ancient Documents' (PI
Professor Bowman).
c. Acquiring familiarity with work at Oxford University and
elsewhere on Virtual Research Environments and on the design and
implementation of interfaces to enable scholars to access the system to
be designed and implemented, typically over the Internet.
d. Developing a decision support system, closely modelled on those
developed in the Department of Engineering Science by Professor Brady
and colleagues;
e. Incorporating into the decision support system representations
of letter shapes and words in Latin and/or Greek, and associated
knowledge building upon the doctoral work of Dr. Melissa Terras.
f. Acquiring familiarity with work done in the broader Digital
Humanities and Humanities Computing community regarding the development
of computational tools to aid humanities researchers in undertaking
their complex research tasks

Detailed tasks to be underaken by the RA:

1. The implementation of a set of image analysis algorithms, the
majority of which have been developed on previous projects led by the
Principal Investigators (PIs);
2. to enable such algorithms to be applied to images of a range of
ancient documents, either locally or over the internet by a scholar who
may access the system over the Internet and whose resources may not be
in Oxford.
3. the development of an interface to a software system, which
includes the image analysis algorithms developed in (1), import/display
of a set of images of ancient documents, and the decision support tool
developed by the postgraduate student associated with the project; and
4. provide documentation on how to use the system as well as
appropriate levels of training and support in its use.

3. Qualifications, Training and Experience.

--postgraduate degree, ideally a doctorate, in a subject that has
a substantial computing component (e.g. Computer Science, Engineering,
Mathematics, Physics) OR a postgraduate degree in the humanities,
together with evidence of expertise in programming and Informatics;
--Track record of published work concomitant with the age and
experience of the candidate;
--Evidence of experience in programming in modern computing
languages such as Java, C++, and using internet standards such as XML;
--Evidence of ability to work collaboratively as a member of an
inter-disciplinary team;
--Evidence of interest in Humanities based research, and research

--Some knowledge or ability to acquire some basic knowledge of
the language of Latin and Greek documents; and
--Experience either of working in image analysis or with images
of ancient documents.

4. Method of application

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a statement detailing
the applicant's experience, qualifications and suitability for the
post, along with any relevant publications and the names and addresses
of two referees, who should be asked to send their references directly
to the address below by the closing date.

All application materials, including references, must be sent,
preferably by email as well as in hard copy, to Ms Ghislaine Rowe,
Graduate Studies Administrator, Ioannou Centre for Classical and
Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles' , Oxford OX1 3LU (01865 288397,
ghislaine.rowe_at_classics.ox.ac.uk) to reach her not later than 4 July
2007. It is expected that interviews will be held on Monday, 16 July.
Any further enquiries may be addressed by email to Ms Rowe or to
Professor Alan Bowman (alan.bowman_at_classics.ox.ac.uk).

Simon Mahony
Research Associate
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London
Kay House
7 Arundel St
London WC2R 3DX
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2813
Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 2980
Received on Mon Jul 30 2007 - 02:53:59 EDT

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