Engaging Humanities & Social Sciences Researchers Across Canada



Compute Canada’s Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) Team had a busy summer participating in three major events held across Canada. The first, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, is organized annually by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and was held at Ryerson University from May 27 to June 2.

Congress attracted over 8,000 attendees from disciplines ranging from theatre research, literature studies and history to education, sociology, and communications. The Compute Canada team met with researchers during the conference to consult on upcoming grant applications, inform researchers about available Compute Canada services, and provide workshops introducing the command line interface.

The Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) is the first and largest of what has become a global offering of summer schools targeted at those within the digital humanities. Held each year at the University of Victoria, this event attracted approximately 900 participants for 2017. In partnership with DHSI, Compute Canada offered four courses this year (Programming Fundamentals, Cloud Introduction, Big Data Introduction, and Fedora Introduction), as well as an afternoon workshop. Next year, an additional workshop is planned to introduce researchers to agent-based modelling tools and methods.

DH is the global digital humanities conference and this year it was held in Montréal with support from the Canadian Society of Digital Humanities and McGill University. Compute Canada’s (HSS) Team had a strong presence at the event, including:

  • Engaging in a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Cyberinfrastructure Consultation;
  • Partnering to deliver a workshop on Photogrammetry and OCR with High Performance Computing Machines;
  • Participating on a panel discussing the role of digital humanities Support in central IT organizations;
  • Chairing a panel of papers on text/network analysis;
  • Chairing a discussion on coordinating digital humanities training in Canada; and,
  • Presenting an EDUCAUSE paper on building capacity to support the digital humanities that John Simpson and Megan Meredith-Lobay both contributed to.

DH returns to Canada in 2020 when it will be hosted by the University of Ottawa.

“This summer represents a shift in focus for Compute Canada around supporting the Humanities and Social Sciences,” says John Simpson, Lead of Compute Canada’s Humanities and Social Sciences Team. “Given the contacts within the community and initial successes that we have seen in our collaborations, the focus going forward will start moving towards replicating/sharing the outcomes of these processes, such as training courses, with the larger group of humanities and social sciences researchers in Canada who have not been able to benefit from our efforts so far.”

Interested in learning more about the Humanities and Social Sciences team? Would you like to share your thoughts on where their efforts should be spent to benefit the HSS research community? Send an email to team-hss@computecanada.ca or contact John Simpson directly at john.simpson@computecanada.ca.

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