Exam Hours at the Libraries

The Davis Family Library will offer extended hours starting Sunday, December 6th. We will open at 9 am that day and be open 24 hours through Friday, December 11th, when we will close at the regular 11 pm. Saturday, December 12th will be regular hours, 9 am – 11 pm. 24/7 will resume on Sunday starting at 9 am and the library will close at 10 pm on Sunday, December 20th. A Middlebury College ID will be required to enter the library after 11 pm during this period.

Armstrong Library will maintain regular hours, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday, December 18th and 19th.

Full hours can be found at go/hours.

Digital Media Bootcamp Update

We have added four more workshop to the Digital Media Bootcamp series in January, including three sessions for the Digital Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp.

Wilson Media Lab

Wilson Media Lab

Title Date
Presentation Kick-starter @ 1pm January 7, 2016

You are in a group of people that have been given the task of giving a presentation on a topic, now what do you do? This workshop will walk you through some rapid prototyping and iterative feedback steps to create a draft of your presentation.

Digital Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp

Title Date
Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp – Visualizing Data @1pm until 4pm January 20, 2016
Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp – Mapping Data @1pm until 4pm January 21, 2016
Liberal Arts Data Bootcamp – Analyzing Textual Data @1pm until 4pm January 22, 2016
  • Title: Visualizing Data
  • Instructors: Ryan Clement & Alicia Peaker
  • Prerequisite: Working with Data

Description: In this session, we’ll cover some of the basic theory of visual communication, including how to choose the best visual representation for your data, and best practices for preparing visualizations for print, the web, or presenting. We’ll discuss traditional representations, including bar, line, and scatterplots, as well as touching on more advanced representations. After a discussion of how visualizations are used (and advanced) in humanistic research, we’ll use freely available web-based tools to create our own visualizations.

  • Title: Mapping Data
  • Instructors: Ryan Clement & Alicia Peaker
  • Prerequisite: Working with Data

Description: In this session, we’ll work through how to prepare, use, and present spatial data. We’ll start with an overview of spatial literacy topics, including how to select a projection (and why it’s important), working with map layers, and basic cartographic theory. We’ll then explore some library resources for creating maps and obtaining spatial data, and then create our own maps using free, web-based tools.

  • Title: Analyzing Textual Data
  • Instructor: Alicia Peaker
  • Prerequisite: Working with Data

Description: In this session, we’ll work through how to prepare, use, and analyze textual data (e.g. novels, newspapers, journals, plays, survey responses, etc.) to address humanistic research questions. While quantitative approaches may be appropriate for some research questions, this session will primarily focus on text mining as an exploratory practice that leads to or helps refine analysis.

We also have a number of seats still available in the following workshops that cover a range of topics, including browser-based video recording services, how the world perceives us on the internet, and opportunities to use equipment like the Leap Motion and Oculus Rift. Visit the DMBootcamp web site for more information.

A “first-rate beer” voucher, 2,000 years overdue (a new, very old acquisition for Special Collections)

In special collections, visitors often ask us, “What’s your most expensive item?” Or sometimes, “What’s the oldest thing you have?” In late November, we acquired our newest, oldest thing: a baked clay tablet that originated in ancient Mesopotamia (current-day Iraq), from roughly 2,000 BCE. This small tablet (measuring just about 1 inch x 1 inch and pictured here) is incised with cuneiform script, considered to be one of the earliest forms of writing. With the help of Middlebury alum Seth Richardson, Class of 1990, a historian of the ancient Near East at the University of Chicago, we’re learning more about our new acquisition. Likely in British and American hands since the early 20th century, our tablet is essentially a beer coupon. That’s right. Based only on preliminary examination, Dr. Richardson translated the first line: “3 liters of first-rate beer.” And as it turns out, the Western tradition of beer brewing began in Mesopotamia between 3500 – 3100 BCE. How do we know? Largely from cuneiform tablets like ours, which contain detailed records around beer production, the delivery of raw materials (barley, yeast, bread, flour), and the trading of beer products. Like apple cider production in colonial New England, ancient Mesopotamians lacked clean water, but had an abundance of grains and the know-how needed to ferment them. And they had the earliest known written alphabet to boot.
Funds for the purchase of this item were gifted by Jeri Bapasola, French School, 1978.
References
Beer in the Ancient World.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Accessed December 3, 2015.
Damerow, Peter. “Sumerian Beer: The Origins of Brewing Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Cuneiform Digital Library Journal, no. 2 (2012).

Systems Maintenance this Sunday, Dec 6th

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, Dec 6th from 6 am – 10 am we have the following activities scheduled:

 

  • The client based VPN service at the VT campus will be relocated between data centers. There will be 2-3 VPN service outages during the moves, each lasting up to 30 minutes.
    • Active VPN sessions will be disconnected during the service outages, but will be available to reconnect after the maintenance window.
  • The labs and offices in the Sunderland building (VT campus) will have 2-3 network outages each lasting up to 15 minutes.
  • The offices in Carr Hall (VT campus) will have 2-3 network outages each lasting up to 15 minutes.

 

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

 

Regards,

Billy

 

 

Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Middlebury College

Middlebury Undergraduate College Pilot Survey Results

We asked pilot participants to share their experience with Canvas by completing a survey at the middpoint of the semester. Questions were about their general impressions of Canvas, the ease of use and usefulness of specific features, and how they felt about the support provided. Below is the summary from the Middlebury Undergraduate College survey....

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Library hours for the Thanksgiving break

The Libraries will have reduced hours for the upcoming Thanksgiving break.

Davis:
Tuesday 11/24: 7:30 am – 8 pm
Wednesday 11/25: 9 am – 5 pm
Thursday-Saturday 11/26-28: CLOSED
Sunday 11/29: 9 am – 1 am

Armstrong:
Tuesday 11/24: 7:45 am – 5 pm
Wednesday-Saturday 11/25-28: CLOSED
Sunday 11/29: 4 pm – midnight

As always, complete hours can be found at go/hours/

Weekly Web Updates – November 23, 2015

We’re in the middle of a couple ongoing projects. First, we’re working with colleagues in CS&N to create “cookbooks” in Chef, a server management tool, that will allow us to define our production and development configuration and keep it in version control. We’re focusing on our cluster of servers that manage Drupal to begin.

Also this week and last, we’ve been working with Acquia on a pair of audits of our Drupal environment. Acquia is a professional services company, founded by the person who created Drupal. These audits should make our sites faster and more stable.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The global navigation on the MIIS webforms site now matches the regular site.