University News

Black Neighborhoods, Gentrification, and the Great Recession: Study Reveals a Mixed Bag

American University News - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 00:00
SPA Associate Professor Derek Hyra researches the effects of the 2007-2009 recession on three historic, redeveloping black neighborhoods.
Categories: University News

The Science Guy at AU

American University News - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 00:00
Bill Nye will appear in Bender Arena in February.
Categories: University News

AU Signs Climate Action Pledge, And Attends COP21

American University News - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 00:00
AU signed climate pledge and sent representatives to COP21 in Paris, France.
Categories: University News

Share Your AU Happily Ever After

American University News - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 00:00
Add your story and photos to our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project!
Categories: University News

AU's Top 10 of 2015

American University News - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 00:00
A look back at some of the most significant events of 2015
Categories: University News

Major Construction Complete at New Washington College of Law at Tenley

American University News - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 00:00
American University is proud to announce that major construction of the new Washington College of Law on the Tenley Campus is complete.
Categories: University News

An Experiment with Social Feed Manager and the ELK stack

The George Washington University - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 10:49
January 13, 2016Justin Littman

The latest in our social media harvesting experiments for the Social Feed Manager project involves analysis, discovery, and visualization of social media content. An analytics service may help satisfy two needs:

  1. 1. For the collection creator, being able to evaluate the content that is being collected so as to adjust the collection criteria. For example, for Twitter a collection creator may discover additional hashtags to collect. Since a collection creator may be collecting a rapidly evolving event, this requires near real-time analysis.
  2. 2. For the researcher, being able to analyze the content. Though many researchers will need to export the social media content for use with other tools, having available some sort of an analytics service may meet the needs of some researchers and may lower the barrier to performing social media research.

We also wanted to test the extensibility of the SFM architecture to make sure that additional services can be readily added.

The ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack was selected for this experiment. It was selected primarily on the intuition that it was a good fit, rather than an analysis of its features or a comparison against other options. For those not familiar with this stack, Kibana is the discovery and visualization interface, Elasticsearch is the data store, and Logstash loads Elasticsearch with data. We’ll refer to our own implementation as SFM-ELK.

In SFM infrastructure, harvesters, such as the Twitter harvester, invoke the APIs of social media platforms and record the results in WARC files. Harvesters publish warc_created messages to a message queue whenever a WARC file is created. This provides the critical hook for SFM-ELK to perform loading -- a message consumer application listens for warc_created messages. When it receives a warc_created message, it:

  1. 1. Invokes the appropriate WARC iterator (e.g., TwitterRestWarcIter) to read the WARC file and output the social media records as line-oriented JSON.
  2. 2. Pipes this to jq, which filters the JSON. Most types of social media records contain extraneous metadata which do not need to be indexed in Elasticsearch. Logstash supports various mechanisms for filtering and transforming loaded data, but jq proved better for JSON data.
  3. 3. Pipes this into Logstash, which loads it into Elasticsearch.

Once properly loaded into Elasticsearch, the data is available for discovery and visualization using Kibana. Note that additional data is loaded as new WARC files are created.

For the purposes of this experiment, data harvested from Twitter’s search API using the search terms "gwu" and "gelman" was used.

While understanding the full power and flexibility of Kibana involves a significant learning curve, some of the functionality is readily usable. For example, to discover the tweets mentioning GWU’s President Knapp, enter “knapp” in the search box on the Discover screen:

or to find tweets posted by @gelmanlibrary:

Kibana allows you to easily adjust the timeframe of any discovery or visualization:

To demonstrate the sort of visualizations that might be useful for a collection creator or researcher, we created a Twitter dashboard:

Here’s each of those visualizations in a more readable size:

Note that the dashboard is periodically refreshed as new data is added.

As should be evident, this experiment barely scratches the surface of the capabilities of the ELK stack, or more generally, the potential of adding an analytics service to Social Feed Manager.  The code for SFM-ELK is available at https://github.com/gwu-libraries/sfm-elk. Instructions are provided to bring up a Docker environment so that you can give it a try yourself. Keep in mind that this is only a proof-of-concept and it is not currently in scope of SFM development.

If any of this is of interest to you or your organization, collaborators are welcome.

P.S.  It was just announced that Washington University in St. Louis, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, and the University of California, Riverside were awarded a Mellon grant for a project titled "Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content." Since there’s a clear need to support researchers' and archivists' needs for good analytical tools, we look forward to their work. Follow the project at @documentnow.

Welcoming the Newest Alumni Board Members

American University News - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 00:00
Meet the university’s newest alumni leaders
Categories: University News

New Report Finds D.C. is Highly Attractive to Millennials

American University News - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 00:00
AU's Kogod School of Business launched a research project initiated to find out what Millennials want in a place to live and work, and how the greater Washington area measures up.
Categories: University News

New Era of Innovation and Impact at CMSi

American University News - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 00:00
With new leadership, fresh collaborators and a portfolio of exciting projects, 2016 promises to be a big year for the Center for Media & Social Impact.
Categories: University News

Student Receives Inaugural Scholarship for International Affairs

American University News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 00:00
Salman Haji, SIS/MA ’16, is the inaugural recipient of the Charles and Eleanor Iversen Scottish Rite Scholarship for graduate students in the School of International Service (SIS).
Categories: University News

Learn the Skills Professors Want and Employers Expect!

The George Washington University - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 11:42
January 11, 2016

Prepare yourself for academic and professional success  by learning the communication skills you need.  The GW Libraries offer a wide range of free workshops, which are open to all GW students, staff, and alumni.

Spring topics include:

Check our website for a complete list of upcoming workshops and events.

Blue Wings Project Photos & Poems Displayed in Gelman

The George Washington University - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 11:24
January 11, 2016

The GW Libraries are thrilled to host a display of photographs and poems from the Blue Wings Project on bulletin boards throughout Gelman. Blue Wings Project brings together writers and artists of all disciplines to explore and make cross-national connections. The project is lead by the Corcoran School New Media Photojournalism (NMPJ) Master of Arts program in collaboration with the Afghan Women's Writing Project (AWWP). Originally launched as a classroom-based project in Spring 2015, Blue Wings has expanded to include the entire university community. BFA Photojournalism and New Media Photojournalism graduate students were invited to read and respond to the writings of AWWP authors, all of whom are women residing in Afghanistan. The result is an exciting launch of virtual conversations between the writers in Afghanistan and photographers at the Corcoran. #bluewings

Afghan Women's Writing Project
The Afghan Women's Writing Project (AWWP) was founded in 2009 to support the human rights of an individual to tell her story. AWWP provides a platform for Afghan women to develop their voices and discover their power in the world without the filter of the media or other influences. AWWP works with women in Afghanistan and helps them to write in English and Dari. Students sent their writings to the wokrshop which later get published in an online magazine. AWWP has also published two collections of poetry and prose, available online: The Sky is a Nest of Swallows (2015) and Washing the Dust from Our Hearts (2014).

New Media Photojournalism
The New Media Photojournalism program at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is the first of its kind, created to help visual journalists study and excel within the changing world of photojournalism. 

 

Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

American University News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 00:00
SPA professor James Thurber co-edits a new book on polarization and gridlock.
Categories: University News

The You That You Create: Personal Stories of Identity, Difference, and Power

American University News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 00:00
Event will highlight stories of race, class, dis/ability, gender, and sexual identity.
Categories: University News

The Black Gay Experience

American University News - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 00:00
New American Studies course examines the multiplicity of sexual identities.
Categories: University News

Lit Review How To: Holiday Boot Camps for Grad Students

The George Washington University - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 16:13
January 6, 2016

Are you a graduate student working on a literature review for a thesis or dissertation?  Get serious about your scholarship by attending these 30-minute workshops to learn tips that will save you time and sanity.  Our "boot camps" on Martin Luther King's Birthday and President's Day offer several popular workshops together - attend one or all.

All sessions will take place in Gelman Library, Room 301-302.  Please bring your own computer.  Kids off school? Quiet and happily occupied offspring are welcome.

Monday, January 18 (MLK's Birthday) & Monday, February 15 (President's Day):
9:00-9:30: The Basics: Mapping your Research
9:30-10:00: Searching Beyond Gelman
10:00-10:30:  Citation Management
10:45-11:15:  Citation Chasing
11:15-11:45: Staying Current in One's Field

The Basics: Mapping your Research
What is a Literature Review, and what information do I need to begin one? Learn tips on how to begin your search, discover keywords, and narrow topics. Save time and frsutration by discovering how to find the right databases and resources for your topic using GW Libraries’ tools. 

Searching Beyond Gelman
How do you know what research is out there?  How can you know what you don't know?  Be sure with a comprehensive search of all published book literature using Worldcat.  This workshop is best for disciplines that write books, especially the humanities and social sciences.

Citation Management
Once you've done all that research how do you keep track of it?  Step away from the notecards and learn about online citation tools like RefworksZotero and Mendeley. Librarians will help you find the tool that is right for you and get you started using it.

Citation Chasing
How do you build on someone else's research?  How do you find the research they used? Learn to chase down those citations like a pro in this short workshop.

Staying Current in One's Field
A successful graduate student participates in the research conversation of her/his field. If you need help getting started, this workshop will help you find out how to stay current. You'll learn how to set up journal table of contents alerts, search alerts, and identify key journals in your field.

If you can't make it to all of the sessions or need more information be sure to check out the research guide "What Graduate Students Need to Know."

Study Modernism in Paris this Summer

The George Washington University - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 14:46
January 6, 2016

Explore the journey of Picasso, Diaghilev, Kertesz, Stravinsky, & others who forged artistic collaborations and established Paris as the center of Modernist thought in the early 20th century.  

Visiting museums, touring iconic architectural sites and viewing contemporary performance spaces, we will measure today's art against the past.

Learn more at www.gwuparis.com or contact Professor Mary Buckley or Librarian Bill Gillis.

June 1-14, 2016
Paris: Modernism and the Arts, Then and Now —TRDA 4595w
No language requirements   
3 credits, WID, Elliot School and Cultural Studies Course Humanities GCR

Changes to Accessing the Library's Electronic Resources from Off Campus

American University News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 00:00
New login procedures for off-campus access to electronic resources.
Categories: University News

Gun, Fire, Motor Vehicle Safety Practices Linked to Parents’ Depressive Symptoms

American University News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 00:00
School of Public Affairs assistant professor Taryn Morrissey conducted a study that links parental depression to increased safety risks for their children
Categories: University News

Pages