By Linda B. Glaser | March 17, 2016
Technology has changed all aspects of our lives, even ancient fields of study in the humanities. The College of Arts and Sciences’ fourth Big Ideas Panel, part of its New Century for the Humanities celebration, explored technology in the humanities March 15 in Klarman Hall’s Groos Family Atrium.David Mimno, assistant professor of information science, brought a unique perspective to bear on the topic. His course, Data Mining for History and Literature, introduces students to research methods in computer-assisted scholarship, including representing text documents in computational forms.Computation is about abstraction, Mimno told the audience, while the humanities are about specifics and things “being more complicated.” His goal is to find a synthesis between these different ways of seeing the world. “Abstraction is useful but not necessarily accurate when you get down to the details,” he added.