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"I'd like to know more about..." Workshop

Date & Time:
November 16, 2018 | 9:00 am - 2:30 pm
CHD 420
John Brosz, Matthew Croombs and Michael Ullyot

Join the Language Research Centre for the eighth annual “I’d Like to Know More About …” workshop.

The goal of this workshop is to provide students, established researchers, and members of the LRC community with an introduction to new areas and practical tools for enabling research. Please help spread the word by forwarding this invitation to anyone you know who might be interested!  
The workshop will feature three sessions as well as a free lunch.  If you’d like to attend any of the workshops, please respond to
Please let us know by November 3 which of the workshops you’d like to attend and whether or not you’d like to join us for lunch. Note - the workshop is free and open to the public.




Session Title

9:00 - 10:30 am                   

Michael Ullyot

A Centle Introduction to Natural Language Processing

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Matthew Croombs           

Cinema Against State Terror: October in Paris and the Work of Parallel Documentary

1:00 - 2:30 pm

John Brosz                        

Data Visualization: Chart Types and Encoding Data with the Visual Variables


9:00 - 10:30 a.m.  Michael Ullyot:
A Gentle Introduction to Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is less intimidating than its name suggests. It’s just using a computer to process texts written in ‘natural’ (i.e. non-computer) languages like English, Estonian, or Esperanto. It slices those texts into lists of words, and then it does things with those words: counting, sorting, categorizing, comparing, transforming, substituting, and visualizing them. NLP is behind every phrase you Google, and every query you pose to Siri or Alexa; but what concerns us in this workshop is its potential for language research. You’ll learn how to collect and process texts, and how to run algorithms that quantify your qualitative inquiries. A case study will be my work detecting rhetorical figures like chiasmus in Shakespeare (“Fair is foul, and foul is fair”). To benefit from this workshop you need no programming experience, only a willingness to treat texts as data. Visit Dr. Ullyot's blog.

Michael Ullyot

Dr. Michael Ullyot is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Calgary, specializing in early modern literature and the digital humanities. He has published articles on anecdotes, abridgements, and Edmund Spenser. His current projects include a monograph on the rhetoric of exemplarity, and a computer program that detects rhetorical figures of repetition and variation in literary texts. 

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  Matthew Croombs:

Cinema Against State Terror: October in Paris and the Work of Parallel Documentary

This talk will combine visual and discursive analyses of the French nation’s news press, alongside a close textual analysis of Jacques Panijel’s recently re-released documentary, October in Paris (Octobre à Paris, 1962), in order to map out the diverse ways in which a key event in recent European history was made intelligible by the period’s visual culture. Contrasting the orthodox historical assumption that October 17, 1961 was simply erased from media representation, I show that the repression of Paris’s Algerian community was strategically mobilized to shape public perceptions of violence in metropolitan France.

Matthew Croombs

Dr. Matthew Croombs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary. He is currently working on a manuscript on French documentary cinema in the sociopolitical context of the Franco-Algerian War. His work in the areas of film theory, European art cinema, and militant documentary has been published in Discourse, Screen, Cinema Journal, Third Text, and Scope.

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.  John Brosz:
Data Visualization: Chart Types and Encoding Data with the Visual Variables

Data visualization is an important tool for researchers, assisting in both analysis and communication of results. The use of appropriate visualization techniques can greatly increase the ability to gain insight from and ease the communication of data.  This session will focus on two areas; the first is an overview of data visualization and basic chart types.  The second looks at theoretical basis data visualization: the visual variables.  Visual variables include colour, brightness, position, orientation, shade, and texture and are the elements that are used to transform symbolic data into visual geometry.  After discussing these two topics the session will feature a group exercise in applying visual variables through sketching an example dataset.

John Brosz

Dr. John Brosz is the Research Data and Visualization Coordinator at the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library.  In this role John provides data visualization and research data management support, consultation, and training to scholars from a variety of areas across campus.  He also manages the Library’s Visualization Studio, a space for researchers to explore visualizations and data with the large, high-resolution display (the best of its kind in Canada).  Through his past position as a post-doctoral researcher and his PhD in computer science he has been actively involved in research related to information visualization, computer graphics, 3d modeling, and human-computer interfaces.