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Meet a Member – Giles Spence Morrow

Posted by on Monday, June 21, 2021 in Newsletter.

Giles Spence Morrow
postdoctoral fellow

How did you get involved with data science?

Archaeology has always had a data management problem. Traditionally, paper-based field notes, photos, drawings, maps, measurements and reports were relegated to grey literature and hidden away in personal research archives. It is nearly impossible to reconsider early work without access to the original material. With the advent of digital recording methods, this data has exploded in scale, and so have the management issues. My work with Data Science is looking towards ways that we can handle such complex material in a way that can bring forth new ideas hidden in the details. From using old excavation photographs to build 3D models of long lost sites and bring them into Virtual Reality, to using machine learning to analyze complex ceramic iconography and satellite maps Data Science has much to offer.

When you’re not at the DSI, what can we find you doing?

Exploring the amazing archaeological mound sites around middle Tennessee, hiking, cycle touring, hunting for antique furniture to restore and playing the musical saw (yes, and actual cross-cut woodworking saw).

What is a work related accomplishment you’re proud of?

Publishing three chapters of my dissertation and working on the development of the Digital Connoisseur project with DSI colleagues this past year.

What show are you currently binge watching?

Star Trek (The Original Series)

Favorite place to eat in Nashville?

Smiling Elephant!

If you could travel anywhere (money not a factor), where would you go, and why?

The Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts in NW China and Mongolia. I have always been interested in places that link societies and this region has been has been an amazing crossroads for generations.

If you could have only three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick and why?

Google Maps, The New York Times and Apple Podcasts. The freedom to get lost is something I find liberating, and the NYT and Podcasting apps keep me exploring ideas wherever I find myself getting lost.

hometown: Ottawa, ontario, canada
Nashville resident:  1 year, 8 months