Chief Information Officer
National Endowment for the Humanities
Editor in Chief, Perseus Project
Computational Linguist, Perseus Project
Computer Scientist, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia
High Performance Computing (HPC) has had a dramatic impact on scientific research. Is there a similar potential for the humanities? To help answer that question, in December 2008, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the first recipients of the Humanities High Performance Computing competition. The goal was to identify humanities projects that were computationally intensive and had the potential to make new research breakthroughs by using the HPC resources provided by the DOE.
One year into the program, two of the projects will provide a briefing on what has happened to date. Project participants will discuss the complexities of moving code to an HPC platform, challenges they have encountered, and their experiences working with the HPC professionals at DOE. The Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University is using advanced computational linguistic technologies to experiment with the analysis of ancient texts for the study of classics and other fields. A project based at the University of Virginia uses HPC to process and analyze raw digitized datasets of culturally valuable objects such as artistic statuary, archaeological artifacts, and historical architecture in order to create highly accurate 3-D models for the study of art and architecture.