Blogs

Androids, Automata, Avatars, and Agency

January 30, 2019
by Catherine Nicole Coleman

On Tuesday, February 5, in the Bender Room at Green Library, Jessica Riskin and Oussama Khatib will join Nicole Coleman in conversation about robotics past and future. Both have been thinking deeply about artificial life and artificial intelligence throughout their careers. While Khatib has been building robots and breaking new ground in human-robot collaboration, Riskin’s work explores the way that early automatons influenced the mechanistic view of mind and body, evolution and inheritance, and how our relationship to machines continues to influence our thinking today about whether human beings have agency in shaping their destiny.

students attending the workshop

Learners give high marks to coding skills workshop

January 28, 2019
by Amy E. Hodge

Last week, Stanford Libraries hosted our 10th two-day Carpentries workshop (I think -- I'm starting to lose count!). These workshops are designed to teach foundational coding and data science skills to graduate students, post-docs, research staff -- really, anyone on Stanford's campus who is doing research and needs to develop computational skills to help them get their tasks done more efficiently and less painfully. 

This workshop focused on the open source tools of shell, Git, and R, and focused on tasks like automation, version control, and modular programming. We had a fabulous all-female instructor team that included the Libraries' Claudia Engel, Mary-Ellen Petrich from LOCKSS, and Melissa Ko, lecturer in the Thinking Matters program. Our instructors were assisted by helpers John Borghi, Max Czapanskiy, Edgar Vivanco, and Amy Hodge.

The Carpentries (and the Libraries, for that matter) are very interested in assessment so that we can check how good a job we're doing. Fourteen of the nineteen attendees at our workshop filled out our survey at the end of the event, and here's what they had to say:

Graph of pageviews

SDR Deposit of the Month: Dissertation on AI breakthrough makes leaderboard

Occasionally I review the analytics for content published via the Stanford Digital Repository to see what is currently trending. Upon returning to my Lathrop desk in January after the recent winter break, I checked in and discovered that a dissertation submitted last month by student Danqi Chen had enjoyed a whopping 2,736 pageviews in just four weeks since it was published on December 11, 2018. That is an extraordinarily impressive number!
Cover image of Mapping Sam

Two new children's books

January 18, 2019
by Kathryn M Kerns

Each year Cubberley Education Library gets many books for children and young adults which we list in our guides by various subjects, genre, etc. for our patrons.  However, sometimes we get books that don't fit the usual categories.  Here are two of them:

Your data + Google Dataset Search

January 16, 2019
by Amy E. Hodge

"I was wondering if you know anything about getting datasets discoverable on Google Dataset Search?"

We recently received this query from a Stanford researcher who had deposited content into the Stanford Digital Repository.

The short answer: request a DataCite DOI from Stanford Libraries, which you can do by emailing doi-contact@lists.stanford.edu.

For those of you unfamiliar with Google Dataset Search or who are interested in the details behind the response, read on! 

Snail emblem

Beautiful books: new Spotlight exhibit showcases rare and antiquarian books

January 15, 2019
by Ann K.D. Myers

A new online exhibit, Beautiful Books: A collection of some of Stanford's rare and antiquarian books, highlights Special Collections' efforts to digitize books with unique or noteworthy features. It includes fine examples of engraved and woodcut illustrations, astronomical diagrams, typographical innovation, fine bindings, and more. The books are artifacts of multiple points throughout history, from the earliest printing in the late 1400's to the 20th century.

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