DiSC Research Connections: Noel Johnson


Join us for the next DiSC Research Connections presentation on Tuesday, March 24, 3 – 4 p.m. Noel Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Economics will present “Using GIS to Uncover the History of Persecution and Toleration in Europe” in 2001 Fenwick Library (Main Reading Room). This event is hosted by Mason Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC).

For most of European history, religious minorities were in a precarious position. Toleration was conditional and could fall apart quite easily. Jewish communities, for example, were more likely to be persecuted when environmental shocks such as the Black Death or bad weather occurred. Dr. Johnson will discuss how tools from GIS have played a vital role in his study of religious minorities in Europe and the gradual emergence of religious freedom.

For more information, please contact Wendy Mann, datahelp@gmu.edu

GIS Day on November 13

GIS Day, an annual event hosted by the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, will take place on Wednesday, November 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Fenwick Library.

This year’s theme is “The Intersection of GIS and Drones,” and will feature student work and competitions, employer vendors, and guest speakers.

For a full schedule of events, visit https://cos.gmu.edu/ggs/gis-day/.

DiSC Research Connections: Text Mining

Join us for a DiSC Research Connections presentation on “Text Mining Digital Humanities Blogs with APIs, OpenRefine, and R” on Tuesday, October 29, 3-4 p.m., in Fenwick 2001. This session will be led by Laura Crossley, PhD student, Department of History and Art History.

Speech Accent Archives Presentation 2/5

Join us for a DiSC Research Connections presentation “the sound of your voice: the speech accent archives” on February 5, 3-4 p.m., Main Reading Room, 2001 Fenwick Library.

Professor stephen h. weinberger, associate professor of linguistics, will discuss the architecture and the collaborative methodology behind the speech accent archive, and how practices are evaluated and lead toward a formulation of a set of best practices for online speech databases. Ongoing work on modifications to the archive will be addressed, particularly our new computational tools, the enhanced search capabilities with Unicode, and the new smartphone recording procedures. He will also describe how the archive is used as a research and teaching tool, with ways of sharing the data.

About the archive: the theoretical and practical value of studying human accented speech is of interest to linguists, language teachers, actors, speech recognition engineers, and computational linguists. It is also part of the research program behind the speech accent archive. The archive is a growing annotated corpus of English speech varieties that contains more than 2,700 samples of native and non-native speakers reading from the same English paragraph. The corpus contains more than 192,000 words of speech.  The non-native speakers of English come from more than 380 language backgrounds and include a variety of different levels of English speech abilities. The native samples demonstrate the various dialects of English speech from around the world.  All samples contain a complete digital audio version and include a narrow phonetic transcription.  Each speaker is located geographically, and crucial demographic parameters are supplied.  For comparison purposes, the archive also includes phonetic sound inventories from more than 200 world languages so that researchers can perform various contrastive analyses and accented speech studies.

DiSC Research Connections is a Mason Libraries’ program coordinated by the  Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC). DiSC Research Connections highlight digital research and teaching across the university in all disciplines. For more information, please contact Wendy Mann, wmann@gmu.edu