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Data mining proposals strike paydirt

December 7, 2009

Last Friday the NEH and its international partners announced the winners of the first “Digging into Data Challenge” grants. The successful projects promote research using large-scale data analysis in the humanities and social sciences.

“Trying to manage a deluge of data and turn bits of information into useful knowledge is a problem that affects almost everyone in today’s digital age. With this international grant program, NEH is hoping to seed projects that will not only benefit researchers in the humanities, but also lead to shared cultural understanding.” – NEH Chairman Jim Leach

Working with digitized music, one group will develop tools to analyze its underlying structures. Another group will analyze 18th-century letters, looking for the effects of the Enlightenment. Others will attempt to gain new knowledge about the history of crime from “The Old Bailey Online.” At a minimum, each research team involves three institutions from two countries.

The projects are being funded by four agencies in the US, UK, and Canada. For more information, see the  NEH press release the Digging into Data website and an article at the Wired Campus blog.

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