Turing Lecture: Data science or data humanities?

Opportunities, barriers, and rewards in digitally-led analysis of history, culture and society

Learn more Add to Calendar 03/05/2019 02:00 PM 03/05/2019 04:00 PM Europe/London Turing Lecture: Data science or data humanities? Location of the event
Tuesday 05 Mar 2019
Time: 14:00 - 16:00

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The Turing Lectures



This event is now full, however you can join remotely by visiting our YouTube channel on the day.

Melissa Terras is the Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh‘s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, leading digital aspects of research within CAHSS, and Director of Research in the new Edinburgh Futures Institute. Her research focuses on the use of computational techniques to enable research in the arts, humanities, and wider cultural heritage and information environment that would otherwise be impossible.

With a background in Classical Art History and English Literature (MA, University of Glasgow), and Computing Science (MSc IT with distinction in Software and Systems, University of Glasgow), her doctorate (Engineering, University of Oxford) examined how to use image processing and machine learning to interpret and read deteriorated Ancient Roman texts. She is an Honorary Professor of Digital Humanities in UCL Department of Information Studies, where she was employed from 2003-2017, Directing UCL Centre for Digital Humanities from 2013. Books include “Image to Interpretation: An Intelligent System to Aid Historians in Reading the Vindolanda Texts” (2006, Oxford University Press) and and “Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader” (Ashgate 2013) which has been translated into Russian and Chinese.

She is a Trustee of the National Library of Scotland, serves on the Board of Curators of the University of Oxford Libraries. is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and Fellow of the British Computer Society. You can generally find her on twitter @melissaterras.

About the event

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What are the opportunities, issues, and rewards for researchers developing data-led approaches to answer research questions in the Arts and Humanities? How can we build and utilise appropriate computational methods for the analysis of our past and present societies? What possibilities and barriers are there in working in this crossover point from data science to the humanities? And how can the humanities contribute to development of data science approaches? From the development of Handwritten Text Recognition for archival material, and the mining of millions of words of historical newspaper archives, this talk will showcase a range of innovative international research projects, whilst also giving pointers on how others can approach this interdisciplinary space successfully. In addition, it will raise issues of how tricky yet rewarding “interdisciplinary research” – which we are all now being encouraged to do – can be.

14:00 - 14:30 - Registration

14:30 - 14:35 - Introduction (Barbara McGillivray)                          

14:35 - 15:25 - Data science or data humanities? (Melissa Terras)

15:25 - 16:00 - Q&A

16:00             - Close




The Alan Turing Institute

1st floor of the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

51.5297753, -0.12665390000006

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