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:
- Geographic Information System (GIS) Data Basics
- 3-D Modeling with Tinkercad
- Principles of Graphic Design
- Developing Your Professional Self
- Building a WordPress Portfolio
- Developing Engaging Presentations
- and More!
Check our website for a complete list of upcoming workshops and events.
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.
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.
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 Refworks, Zotero and Mendeley. Librarians will help you find the tool that is right for you and get you started using it.
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."
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.
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
At the Access Conference in Toronto in September 2015, I attended an all-day hackfest on data sonification, led by William Denton of York University and Katie Legere of Queen’s University. Data sonification is the translation of data into sound, much as data visualization transforms data into a graph or image. You can read about the workshop and see some examples of data sonification at Music, Code and Data: Hackfest and Happening at Access 2015.
In brief, it was a fast, fun, and practical introduction to both data sonification and the freely available Sonic Pi synthesizer software. Everyone who attended made some kind of music using a data file they brought with them or from provided sample files. The fact that we were able to get so far in a day speaks to both the skill of our hackfest leaders and the ease with which you can make sound with Sonic Pi.
I’d like to describe a few experiments, one from this workshop and another more recently, that have me excited about data sonification.Music from the circulation desk
I brought to the hackfest a csv file with the number of circulation transactions each day for a year--July through June--created from our Voyager system’s circulation transactions logs. The values ranged from roughly 100-1000. With such a broad range, I chunked up the values into a smaller set from 10-100 corresponding to Sonic Pi’s numbering of notes as on a piano keyboard. However, the pitches were so wildly dispersed, that while it was easy to hear outliers, the arc of activity through the semester was hard to perceive. The notes just didn’t make sense to my ears.
To provide a more listenable-- and I’m hoping, more meaningful--line, I assigned the chunks of values to specific notes in the C major scale, across two octaves. This is a much smaller range than the first version, and the notes feel more coherent, being in the same key.
Thinking there may be patterns in the volume of activity within the week, I added underlying drum beats to emphasize the first day of each week, Sunday. Finally, lighter beats accompany each note during the semester, underscoring the quiet in library activity during semester breaks.
You can listen to it here:Github beats
More recently, I worked with my colleague Dan Chudnov to make visible to the library staff the activity of our team, the Scholarly Technology Group. The steady work of creating and maintaining software to help our user community often simply looks like us working away on our computers with our heads down. Dan created a visualization of our team’s work as expressed in commits to our projects’ repositories on Github. We also wondered what our team’s work might sound like.
I focused on one software project, an interface to our catalog data and other APIs for discovery; we call it “Launchpad” internally. It’s something quite a number of us have worked on over the past three years. I started with a file which listed one Github commit per line, including the name of the file changed and the person making the change. I then assigned a pitch to each person on the team, all within the same key, giving the initial project manager (Dan) and current project manager (Michael Cummings) the tonic note to provide some centering. To add a sense of time passing, I added drum beats, with a sound sample for the two major rollouts of Launchpad to our user community.
You can listen to it and watch the supplementary logging within Sonic Pi on YouTube (best viewed fullscreen):
You can hear how the project started with three core developers, who worked intensively on the project through its first roll-out. Over time, participation broadened to a larger group, and each new person’s entry to the project is audible. It bears acknowledging that we’re hearing only a slice of the activity in the creation of Launchpad; this project had considerable contributions from others who represented end users, participated in testing, wrote documentation, conducted usability testing, and performed analyses to inform feature development.A few observations
In each of these experiments, the first few iterations were not pleasant to listen to. I struggled to make sense of the noise, lacking anything to latch onto, the audible equivalent of X and Y axes. A little knowledge of music goes a long way in providing some structure that our ears are trained to recognize: rhythm, key, tempo.
As in creating a visualization, aesthetic choices in sonification can interfere with accuracy. Even in these small experiments, I wrestled with choices that mute, in a sense, aspects of the data and could mislead a listener trying to understand the data. For example, in the Github sonification, I chose to represent the activity across time uniformly, one beat per commit. Obviously, the work was not evenly distributed across three years; the pace and changes in work intensity don’t come across in this sonification.
When it comes to coding, Sonic Pi was an easy entry point to making music from data, particularly when you don’t have a live orchestra at hand. The tips in William Denton’s blog post about reading csv files helped get me started, along with Sonic Pi’s built-in tutorial. Beyond Sonic Pi, there are many other software and tools to support data sonification; I’d be interested to hear what others have tried and found useful.
I'd also like to explore the growing cross-disciplinary literature on data sonification. Other examples of applying data sonification to library data include Denton's STAPLR experiment and Legere's research on using sonification to inform real-time library management decisions. In the end, these pieces were fun to create and made my colleagues’ work apparent in a new way. There’s something satisfying about hearing your work turned into music.
Glimpse some of the new spaces in Fenwick! Learn about the move and more at fenwickfocus.gmu.edu
Congratulations & Best Wishes from the University Libraries.