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Week 8

It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of the Digital Scholarship Summer Research Fellows program. 8 weeks ago I was on a 13-hour flight from Beijing to JFK, and between the naps and the meals and way too many movies, I started thinking about possible directions I can take my research in the weeks to come. The changes that I had seen in China in my short time back reminded me of the numerous trips I made back there since migrating to Singapore when I was four. Each time I visited, there were significant changes I noticed and in recent years Internet use in China seems to be booming and seeping into every aspect of people’s lives. Wanting to learn more about the recent Internet developments within the country and their significance in the context of China, I decided to make this the focus of my project this summer. Now 8 weeks later, I’m excited to share with you the site that this initial idea led me to create:

It is incredible how digital scholarship projects can be tailored to so many different fields. Tyler, Justin, Rennie and I all came in with research topics that were vastly different and the tools that we needed to complete our projects also varied greatly. From Voyant to Tableau, each week we were introduced to digital tools that I had never heard of. While I ended up only using ESRI StoryMaps and TimelineJS, the exposure to the myriad of tools out there is extremely valuable and I can see them being applied in so many ways beyond my summer project. This summer also confirmed my interest in Economics. The process of researching my topic has been very enjoyable and I am eager to delve deeper into this area of study.  I also hope to have the opportunity to work with the Economics and East Asian Studies department in the future to build upon what I have created this summer.

The past 8 weeks have opened my eyes to the vast amount of resources students have access to on campus. There are so many academic journals and articles we have at our fingertips, and the librarians have been incredibly helpful in the process of navigating through these sites and huge amounts of information. This summer has also shown me the value of collaboration and the sharing of ideas. Our trips to Bryn Mawr and Gettysburg were especially helpful in giving us a glimpse of what students from other colleges are working on and also exchange ideas and propose changes that can better our individual projects.

A big thank you to Carrie and Courtney for introducing us to the world of Digital Scholarship this summer, and for giving us so much help and support over the past 8 weeks. I also want to thank Justin, Rennie and Tyler for their suggestions and input that contributed greatly to my final project. The conversations ranging from “is dead a state” to trouser choices have been fun.

Week 4 – Rennie Heza

From encoding Civil War documents to visualizing the Tate Collection, our program facilitators have exposed us to the wide-ranging applications of digital scholarship in the modern era of technology. The tools involved in these demonstrations have been equally comprehensive. Given the first year of the Bucknell DSSRF program is already halfway done, one of this week’s focuses was identifying the main tools with which I will spend the rest of the summer working. Below I will explain the tools I have decided to use, and briefly explain why I’ve selected these tools.

First, my research question, though it has been altered since the DSSRF program began, still includes data visualization. For that reason, I will present most of data in Tableau. Tableau Public allows for open-access data visualization with any properly formatted data. I especially prefer Tableau to similar products for its simple and aesthetically pleasing designs. Tableau allows for user-interaction, where visitors to my site can highlight or click on data points to discover more about specific players and teams. I feel strongly that my final site should allow users to choose the path taken when exploring the site, so Tableau is key in making this wish a reality. Using the individual player data combined to form team metrics, I can use Tableau to demonstrate the team statistics with the strongest predictive abilities.

In order to prove which metrics will be included to create an accurate and contextually reasonably model, I will be using R. Though we did not review the essential applications of R during the DSSRF program, I am fortunate to have a bit of experience in basic R. Beginning with a team-taught “Math and Politics” IP course I took my sophomore year, I have been experimenting in R for about 2 years. Not only is R capable of facilitating the creation of highly advanced models, but R is user friendly as well. In particular, an immensely helpful resource is Stack Exchange. On this open forum, users offer answers to questions already asked, as well as questions I pose to the community. Thus, R is a valuable asset to even the least code-inclined individuals given the support available 24/7 from around the globe.

I foresee smaller tools such as Rawgraphs and even TimelineJS playing a role in this project in the future. However, given the quick pace of the DSSRF program, my priority is to have a poignant presentation when July 21st rolls around. Thus, narrowing my focus to Tableau Public and R is the best way to ensure project completion.