This weeks reading was a whole lot of google information. I enjoyed reading and watching about a feature that I use at least three times a day! I never really thought about the data set and the lexicon that went along with my innocent google terms such as “flourless chocolate cake” or “the history of Appalachian folk music” (for my thesis). I think that I understand the concept, every time you type something into google, it sends out a query to a database which in turn lists possible sources with the same words. As Peter Norvig reminds us, we have to understand that google and other search engines look for the actual word and not the concept itself so we may not always be happy with the results but generally we will receive what we ask for. I enjoyed the question and answer portion at the end of the talk, especially when Norvig briefly talked about OCR, when he related it to the book scanning project I knew that I had to look it up on, you guessed it, GOOGLE…which brought me to wikipedia…but we’ve already talked about that so…moving on. OCR is Optical Character Recognition, which is basically scanned documents that are cataloged in a database. It also is smart software that reads fonts and words so that these documents can be search-able just like any other term that we google. I immediately thought of the James Monroe group for this one with all of their transcriptions.
Dan Cohen took this idea little further when he talked about the H-bot tool and how a system like that could analyze and answer a question rather than looking for an actual word. When comparing Norvig to Cohen, I have to say that Cohen seemed to frame his explanation in a more user friendly way. Illustrating the user interface as well as explaining the process behind that tool.
I also enjoyed “Googling the Victorians”, I too appreciate the speed at which one can recover scholarly articles and periodicals via google. I personally use search the “scholarly article” tab for every research paper that I do, so thank you Patrick Leary for reminding me that I am not alone in this search!
As for group news:
I don’t know what Megan said at the ring ceremony but there are certainly more entries on our guestbook!!! Yay to her and her marketing skills! This weekend, Jonathan looked up faculty alumni and emailed them our introductory letter with the link to our website and I looked up the admission staff alums and emailed them the same information. We are all working on our research so as we plug along everyone should check the site OFTEN for updated information on the Alumni in the images. I plan on spending all of my free time tomorrow, Tuesday, on the third floor of the library looking through old year books! One of the time periods that I am responsible for is the 1910’s and 1920’s so I am really excited to search the pages of those old books! Other than that, we are still on track and moving forward everyday.
I will leave you with this picture as an homage to “Applying Quantitative Analysis to Classic Lit” in combination with the most unlikely of words to be googled together!