Digital Commons Events

Interested in seeing what digital tools your colleagues are using in their research and teaching? Ready to roll up your sleeves and learn to use a particular technology? See below for a list of upcoming events where faculty can learn about digital tools and technologies useful for their research and teaching.

Interested in seeing what digital tools your colleagues are using in their research and teaching? Ready to roll up your sleeves and learn to use a particular technology? See below for a list of upcoming events where faculty can learn about digital tools and technologies useful for their research and teaching.

(Looking for information on past Digital Commons events? See our event archive.)

Spring 2022 Events

Acadimension! 3D-Scanning and Augmentation in Research and Scholarship

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons featuring the Digital Imaging Lab
  • Panelists: Steven Wernke, associate professor of anthropology; Giles Spence Morrow, a postdoctoral research fellow in data science and anthropology; Ole Molvig, assistant professor of history, communications of science and technology, and physics; and Connor Gilmore, digital imaging specialist at the Digital Commons
  • Facilitator: Cazembe Kennedy, assistant director of the Digital Commons
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, April 6th, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Being able to recreate artifacts from the physical world and interact with them through a digital lens offers you a lot of power, flexibility, and opportunities to learn and teach. The technology and expertise to undertake this type of scanning of objects and augmenting them for research or teaching is available on our campus and some of your colleagues are using these tools for a variety of purposes.

In this Spotlight Event, we’ll hear from three panelists who are currently involved in 3D scanning for research and teaching, and a fourth panelist from the Digital Commons to show examples and discuss how we can be an in-house resource for your 3D scanning and image augmentation needs!

Steve Wernke (Anthropology) produces models, VR environments, and site maps of archaeological spaces, excavations, and artifacts and Giles Spence Morrow (Data Science Institute / Anthropology) uses advanced photogrammetry to produce virtual versions of archaeological sites.
Ole Molvig (History/Communications of Science and Technology/Physics) has taught 3D scanning workshops focusing on the mobile versions of iPhones and other low-barrier-to-entry artifacts.
Connor Gilmore (Digital Imaging Specialist) will give a live demonstration and provide information on resources and ways the Digital Commons can help you get started incorporating these technologies and tools, focusing on the Cinema 4D software.

This panel will provide a great blend of expertise from colleagues and helpful steps from your university-wide digital tools resource on how to begin, continue, or improve your 3D scanning academic journey!

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER HERE.

Fall 2021 Events

Geographic Information Systems: The Basics

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Facilitator: Stacy Curry-Johnson, librarian for geospatial data and systems
  • Date and Time: Friday, September 10th, 11:15am to 12:00pm
  • Location: Stevenson Library Room 3211

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become widely used in a variety of disciplines.  Have you heard about GIS many times, but not sure what GIS is or how it is used?  Are you unsure of how to get started?  What are my software options?  This workshop will start you down the path to use geospatial technologies in your research by guiding you through the foundational concepts of GIS and how to think spatially.  You will learn what GIS is, how find geospatial data, software options, and general Q&A on how you might incorporate GIS and mapping into your research.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students.

REGISTER here.

For more GIS workshops, see the DiSC events page.

Digital Presence: Understanding and Enhancing Your Research Impact

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Facilitators: Andrew Wesolek, director of digital scholarship & scholarly communications, and Steven Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, September 15th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Faculty and other researchers rely on a variety of impact metrics to quantify the impact of their research, and on aggregators like Google Scholar to communicate their research with others. However, not all impact metrics are equal, and aggregators don't always connect research with the right researcher.

In this workshop, Andrew Wesolek and Steven Baskauf from the Heard Libraries Office of Digital Scholarship and Communications (DiSC) will explore some of the more common impact metrics, how they are calculated, and their relative advantages. Learn how to enhance the online presence of your research and make it easier for research aggregators to communicate your work.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Spotlight Event: Teaching with Wikipedia

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Center for Teaching
  • Spotlight Faculty: Brooke Ackerly, professor of political science, and Kristin Michelitch, assistant professor of political science
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, September 21st, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)
Brooke Ackerly
Brooke Ackerly, Professor of Political Science
Kristin Michelitch
Kristin Michelitch, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Wikipedia is home to over 55 million articles. The website is a valuable source for information, but it also has systematic knowledge gaps, as well as biases toward historically privileged perspectives. Vanderbilt political scientists Brooke Ackerly and Kristin Michelitch have been working to correct these gaps and biases by engaging their students as Wikipedia contributors.

Students are, in fact, the ideal Wikipedians according to Ackerly and Michelitch, given their access to scholarly resources and support from faculty and librarians, as well as their "semi-expert" status. Thanks to resources from Wiki Education and support from Vanderbilt librarians, these faculty have integrated Wikipedia into their teaching and seen benefits not only to Wikipedia, but also to their own students' learning.

In this spotlight event, Ackerly and Michelitch will share their experiences teaching with Wikipedia. They will be joined by their Vanderbilt Libraries collaborators, Cliff Anderson and Mary Anne Caton. The course-based assignments and extra-curricular "edit-a-thons" they've used can be adapted by faculty in a variety of disciplines.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Digital Presence: Web & Social Media

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, VU Communications and Marketing
  • Facilitators: Jaclyn Antonacci, senior social media specialist, and Lacy Paschal, executive director of digital strategies
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, September 29th, 11:00am to 12:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

This "Digital Presence" workshop is open to any Vanderbilt faculty member interested in gaining a better understanding of how to use web and social media platforms to promote their work and research, reach key audiences, become more well-known as experts, and more. A faculty member who is well-versed in utilizing web and social media will join us to share expertise.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Professional Productivity: The Care and Feeding of Email

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Vanderbilt Information Technology
  • Presenters: Robert Talbert, professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University, and Damon Miltner, information systems manager, Vanderbilt IT
  • Date and Time: Friday, October 1st, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom
Robert Talbert
Robert Talbert, Professor of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University
Damon Miltner
Damon Miltner, Information Systems Manager, Vanderbilt IT

There's just too much email. That's a reality of working in the modern research university. But faculty don't have to be overwhelmed by their email. There are strategies for managing one's email, for using email efficiently as a tool to get important things done.

In this very practical professional productivity workshop, we'll hear from Robert Talbert, professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University and Vanderbilt PhD alumnus, about the workflows he uses to get to "inbox zero" on a regular basis. And we'll hear from Damon Miltner from Vanderbilt IT about time-saving tools and features available in Outlook, the email tool provided to faculty by the university.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Digital Presence: Academic Podcasting

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons
  • Panelists: Ed Cheng, Hess chair in law; Kate Stuart, assistant director, Office of Career Development; and Amy Hill, doctoral student in German and comparative media analysis and practice
  • Date and Time: Thursday, October 7th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Why start a podcast as an academic? In this "Digital Presence" panel, we will learn about three academic podcasts, each with a different mission and audience.

Digital Presence: Academic Podcasting
  • Law professor Ed Cheng is the producer of Excited Utterance, a long-running podcast featuring interviews with scholars in his research area (evidence and proof).
  • Kate Stuart produces the Beyond the Lab podcast and YouTube series for the Office of Career Development at the School of Medicine, featuring biomedical sciences PhD and postdoc alumni discussing their careers.
  • Amy Hill is a doctoral student who serves as teaching assistant and digital projects coordinator for the spring 2021 course, Monuments and Memory, whose students produced a class podcast, Now This Is Monumental!

Join us to hear the origin stories of these three podcasts and to learn why and how you might start a podcast to advance your scholarship, teaching, or disciplinary service.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER here.

Designing Effective and Engaging Research Posters

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons
  • Facilitator: David Wright, Stevenson professor of chemistry and dean of sciences
  • Date and Time: Monday, October 11th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)
David Wright
David Wright

Conveying your research in a clear and compelling manner through a single poster is a communication challenge. How can the visual design of a poster, with its combination of text and images, summarize complex research findings? And how can your poster complement and enhance your verbal presentation of your work? Join us for this workshop on research poster design led by chemistry and communication of science and technology professor David Wright, whose lab has designed multiple award-winning research posters.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER here.

Professional Productivity: Calendar Like a Pro

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Vanderbilt Information Technology
  • Presenters: Corbette Doyle, senior lecturer in organizational leadership, and Damon Miltner, information systems manager, Vanderbilt IT
  • Date and Time: Friday, October 22nd, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom
Professional Productivity: Calendar Like a Pro

Calendaring is hard. Between planning your work week, scheduling meetings with students and colleagues, and carving out time to get stuff done, faculty calendars fill up fast. How can you fit everything in? And how can use your calendar strategically to be more productive?

In this very practical professional productivity workshop, we'll hear from Corbette Doyle, senior lecturer in organizational leadership, about the tools and approaches she uses to managing her calendar, including her recent switch from TimeTrade to Calendly. And we'll hear from Damon Miltner from Vanderbilt IT about scheduling and time management tools in Outlook, the email tool provided to faculty by the university.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Close Reading, Far Reading: Using Text Analysis in Research and Scholarship

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Center for Digital Humanities
  • Panelists: Mark Schoenfield, professor of English, Rebecca VanDiver, assistant professor of African and African American art, and Pedro Rodriguez, postdoctoral fellow in data science and political science
  • Date and Time: Monday, October 25th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)
Close Reading, Far Reading: Using Text Analysis in Research and Scholarship

Between born-digital texts and the digitization of archival texts, researchers in the humanities and social sciences now have digital access to large bodies of written materials. How might this access enable both new questions and new answers to old questions? What tools and techniques can faculty and scholars use to see patterns in collections of digital or digitized texts? And how we train computers to understand the meanings encoded in these texts?

Join us for a panel of faculty and researchers who are learning and developing text analysis techniques to practice both close reading and "far" reading. Their work will provide inspiration for new approaches to your scholarship, and they will recommend ways to get started with text analysis methods.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER here.

R Lessons

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Instructor: Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Dates and Times: Wednesdays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, starting September 1st
  • Location: Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (EBL 010)

These lessons allow learners to develop programming skills as part of a group of learners working through the curriculum together, or on their own and at their own pace. We are planning to offer in-person lessons, although it is possible to participate remotely via Zoom. Advance registration is required to participate remotely and recommended to participate in-person.

One cycle of beginner lessons will be offered during the fall semester on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, September 1 - October 6. The lessons are designed to get you started using R through the popular RStudio interface. They will introduce the basic R data structures and will teach the basics of manipulating data, calculating basic statistics, and making simple plots.

An intermediate level introduction to data visualization with ggplot will also be offered during fall 2021 on Fridays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, September 3 to October 8. This hands-on lesson series will quickly get you started using the R library ggplot to create data visualizations. These lessons assume that you have a basic familiarity with R and RStudio. However, those with no background can still participate by trying and modifying the provided code examples.

For more information about all DiSC R lessons including the schedule of sessions, venue, and registration details, visit the course website.

GitHub Lessons

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Instructor: Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Dates and Times: Tuesdays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, starting September 7th
  • Location: Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (EBL 010)

During fall 2021, the Office of Digital Scholarship and Communications (DiSC) will be offering a short series of lessons on managing websites using GitHub. This hands-on series of lessons will quickly get you started creating a free website using GitHub Pages. These lessons assume that you have a basic understanding of GitHub. However, those with no background using GitHub are welcome to attend since they can quickly catch up by watching a few introductory videos to get them started interacting with GitHub using the GitHub Desktop software (command line NOT required).

We are planning to offer the lessons in-person, although it is also possible to participate remotely via Zoom. Advance registration is required to participate remotely and recommended to participate in-person.

For more information about these lessons including the schedule of sessions, venue, and registration details, visit the course website.

Python Lessons

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Instructor: Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Dates and Times: Wednesdays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, starting October 20th
  • Location: Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (EBL 010)

These lessons allow learners to develop programming skills as part of a group of learners working through the curriculum together, or on their own and at their own pace. They are designed to get you started using Python in Jupyter notebooks and teach the basics of the Python language.

One cycle of beginner lessons will be offered during the fall semester on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, October 20 - December 1. We are planning to offer the lessons in-person, although it is also possible to participate remotely via Zoom. Advance registration is required to participate remotely and recommended to participate in-person.

For more information about all DiSC Python lessons including the schedule of sessions, venue, and registration details, visit the course website.