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This was off to a great start! We headed out for coffee and when we came back Loretta Auvil was ready with her intro to text analytics and description of SEARSA hands-on workshop with this tool would take most of the afternoon. Very exciting! During the afternoon, Auvil told us about the interface they are developing at NCSA in this area - text analytics - where they are trying to mashup the tool with news feeds, google maps, etc. We then discussed the meaning of "mashup" as an application that uses two different data sets and uses one data set to plot it somewhere else (another different dataset). By the way, "mashups" are identified on the Horizon Report 2008 - a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative ? as one of the 6 key technologies that will have a major impact in education. The best part was for me to see example of work conducted at UIUC. My favorite was NEMA - a Dynamic Visualization of Music Classification Systems - a sort of an audio genre classifier. As the music plays a complex algorithm measures its mark of jazz, blues, rap, pop etc - as the tune plays! After this great workshop we had a presentation by Susan Noakes with the intriguing title:"Globalization of medieval ages"

Oakes identified the  obstacles in addressing the problem as being:

o       perception of vast quantity of material to be identified, organized, analyzed, debated , disseminated 

o       Disciplinary and sub-disciplinary fragmentation creates isolated debates, lack of access to global terminology for research and teaching  Noakes, Heng and Aytes learned about SEASR in the ICHASS meeting of March 2008 and the two former scholars develop Gazetteer - a keyword list. The Minnesota Center for Medieval Studies funded the development of an initial data base on Africa, the Asias, and the middles 500-1500 C.E (ca. 1200 documents) and the data analysis is currently in progress. 

And the evening came too quickly! We headed to the campus cafeteria where excited students were getting ready for their last week of classes.


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