CUNY GC ITP Program

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Event Invitation: Implementing Historical Algorithms

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    Patrick Smyth
    Participant

    Hi friends,

    I wanted to invite CUNY DHers and pythonistas to an event coming up at Columbia on Tuesday: Implementing Historical Algorithms. We have a Python User Group up here that I was inspired to start based on this community at CUNY and it would be great to close the loop and have you visit. The presentation will be by Jeff Binder, a former Digital Fellow and current postdoc at Penn State, and he\’ll be showing us how to implement some historical procedures that can be conceived of as modern algorithms, which will raise some interesting conceptual questions. You can register for the event here:

    https://events.columbia.edu/go/algorithms

    You can also send me an email at patrick.smyth@columbia.edu to get on the list. I\’ll have to close out registration Monday morning (already in trouble for letting too many people into the library), so go ahead and sign up even if you think there\’s only a small chance you can make it. This event is open to the public as long as people are registered by Monday morning, so feel free to share.

    Thanks, and hope to see you at the event!

    _____

    The word algorithm only became a technical term in the 1960s, making it a distinctly modern idea. But procedures that we can now recognize as algorithmic have existed for millennia, from Euclid’s method for computing the greatest common denominator to Ada Lovelace’s famed equation-solving program. In this workshop, we will attempt to implement a selection of algorithm-like procedures from past ages in Python. Doing so will raise conceptual questions, since the most obvious ways of doing things with modern computers are not necessarily equivalent to the methods by which people would have computed in the past. By grappling with these challenges, we will arrive at a better understanding of the social conditions that are needed to make computational procedures legible.

    This presentation will be led by Jeffrey M. Binder, postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University’s Center for Humanities and Information, specializing in the very early history of computation (pre-1900), Enlightenment studies, Romantic literature, and digital humanities. Jeff is the creator of the Homespring esoteric programming language and received his PhD from The Graduate Center, CUNY.About Python User Group

    Python User Group is a meeting for those using Python in their research or who are curious about the Python programming language. Every two weeks, the group will present a workshop or lead a discussion about a specific use case for Python. At the end of the meeting, there will typically be time for collaborative work, questions, or discussion with fellow researchers or practitioners.

    If possible, please bring a laptop to Python User Group. It is also frequently helpful to have Anaconda, a distribution for Python, installed. You can download Anaconda for Python 3.7 here:

    Anaconda Python/R Distribution

    Python User Group is part of the Foundations for Research Computing program. You can visit the Foundations for Research Computing website to find out about other upcoming events and trainings and to subscribe to our mailing list:

    https://rcfoundations.research.columbia.edu

     

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