Center for Digital Scholarship to host open house on Feb. 18 & 19

Author: Stephanie Healey

CDS Open House

All College of Science faculty, postdocs and graduate students are invited to attend the Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) open house to learn how the center’s state-of-the-art technologies can transform the ways teaching, research, and scholarship are performed and preserve.  There will be two open house sessions tailored to the sciences: Tuesday, February 18 from 8:30 a.m. — 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday, February 19 from 3:30 pm — 5:00 pm.

Several College of Science researchers are already actively collaborating with the center.  Michael Hildreth, professor of physics, and his research group collect massive amounts of data in their field of particle physics, specifically on proton-proton collisions that occur 40 million times a second.  “If I were to stick one year’s worth of data on Blu-ray discs, I’d have a stack as high as the Eifel Tower,” Hildreth explained. “We are working with the expertise at the Center for Digital Scholarship to try to understand how to save our data, save the knowledge associated with our data, and make it available for future researchers.” In addition to the CDS, Hildreth is also working with Douglas Thain, associate professor of engineering, and the Center for Research Computing on this project.

"Because scientific projects are increasingly interdisciplinary, rely on data analysis, and are often mandated to share data; scientists can no longer operate alone,” said Rick Johnson, program co-director for digital initiatives and scholarship and head of data curation and digital library solutions. “To make an impact, scientists need collaborations with engineers, librarians, GIS specialists, and computational scientists. They need sophisticated tools for analyzing, preserving, and sharing their data.”

The center opened last November and has become a valuable resource for many researchers very quickly. “The Center for Digital Scholarship's primary purpose is to be the hub for experts in the library and across campus to connect researchers to the resources they need,” Johnson explained.  “As word has spread, foot traffic has dramatically increased from last semester to this semester as students and faculty are figuring out they are not alone.  Ironically, many of the experts in the CDS have been in the library and campus for years, and people are just now finding out about them because of the CDS."

The center can serve as a place to get started, assist with advanced-level research and function as a referral service to other digital expertise on campus. Available services include data use and analysis, text mining and analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), metadata consultation, data management planning, and  high capacity digitization services. Workshops, training and research consultations are also available for faculty and students.