Undergraduate Work

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    Jenna Briasco

    Studying History of Art & Architecture and Historic Preservation, Jenna will be graduating in just a few short months. Over the last four years at Pitt, she has explored medieval and Renaissance history in depth and the Italian language, as well as more contemporary studies and the built environment. Since 2011, she has enjoyed interning with the Glen Ellyn Historical Society, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the University Art Gallery. Jenna is looking forward to exploring the rest of the Balkans upon graduation.

    Categories: 
    • HAAARCH!!! 2014
    • Undergraduate Work
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    Danny Augenbraun

    I spent my freshman year as an undeclared and confused college student. After missing the fall semester of my sophomore year for reasons out of my control, I came back to the University of Pittsburgh with a new set of goals and newfound interest for learning. After declaring as an Art History major and a Studio Art minor I realized that I was finally pursuing what I was truly interested in. Currently, I am working with Prof. Bender, Emily Lilly of PACES, and four other undergraduates on a collaborative, community-service, program teaching art history to a group of high school students at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy. When I am not busy with schoolwork, I enjoy running and difficult crossword puzzles. 

    Danny will be presenting his paper "Learning Through Teaching: Answering the Question of Why Art History Matters" at HAAARCH!!! 2014. He will also be presenting as part of the group presentation "Encounters: Art in the City."

    Categories: 
    • HAAARCH!!! 2014
    • Undergraduate Work
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    Paige Anderson

    Paige Anderson is in her second year at the University of Pittsburgh as an Architectural Studies major with minors in Economics and Studio Arts.  Graduating with honors from East Aurora High School in Buffalo, NY, she intends to continue her slow migration Southwest at a graduate school studying either Urban Design, Industrial Design, or continuing Architecture. A member of the D1 cross country and track and field teams at Pitt and member of the “4.0 Scholar Athlete Club,” she enjoys sleeping in her spare time. Though, in the summers she can be found travelling, hiking with her dogs and making cupcakes.  This year she is going to explore Europe for a few months before starting an internship with Front Studio Architects in Pittsburgh.

     

    Categories: 
    • HAAARCH!!! 2014
    • Undergraduate Work
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    Francis Dashwood

    Today I learned a rake was an 18th century playboy, while researching Francis Dashwood the 11th Baron le Despence. Look at that picture: He seems to have so much fun, unlike all the other 18th century men, who look all too serious. I also am continuing to ameliorate my data formatting and inputting skills. I am getting better and quicker at it, because I am a lot more used to it. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Lab Report Spring 2014: Undergrads in the lab

    The Lab hosts several work-study students each year. Last term, Karen worked on data entry for Itinera (and helpfully logged bugs as she went); this semester Dan returns (third year running) to help with Drupal, building Collective Access features, and is assisting Natalie build a database in Filemaker. Piero, who is planning on studying business but recently has found himself increasingly intrigued by Mexican modernism, has been scanning and cataloguing the images to support teaching, including for Jennifer Josten and all the pictures from Terry Smith’s textbook, Contemporary Art: World Currents. He’s also been tapped to handle all our social media (more below). Two “First Experiences in Research” (FE-R) students were also sent over from the Office of Undergraduate Research, to do, well, undergraduate research. Alex has been supervising their introduction to research resources, the Grand Tour, Itinera, close reading, and data entry. Everyone laughs a lot and I have discovered that working through heavy interpretation problems collaboratively helps solve the problems faster. Sara and Rose slip in and out too, working on an e-book that will function as a tour guide for art on campus.

    Read the full report here.

     

    Categories: 
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    A Day Full of Dates

    When I think about dates being vague, I do not think of days, weeks, months, or years.  My mind automatically goes to everything associated with those awkward fist dates, whether it be trying to pick out an appropriate outfit, figuring out exactly where you are going or what you are doing, and deciphering the other person's intentions.  Maybe my mind automatically goes there because it is Valentine's Day, I am wearing a sweater that says "love," and Google doodle  is of candy hearts that all tell their own love story.  Maybe it is just a coincidence that this day, Valentine's Day, is all about the perfect date.  

    Today, in the lab, we were again trying to figure out the perfect dates for Nicholas Revett's journey.  We only have some exact dates for Revett, such as his baptismal date, the date he left England, and his date of death.  Some dates for Revett were very vague, like he was in Pola for a three month period after May 1750, but returned to Venice before January 1751.  Sources leave their audience the job of interpreting this information, as both the sources we used said he was there for three months.  This is helpful, but does not tell the enitre story for Itinera.  Itinera uses chronology, and therefore dates, as a means of organization so today we worked out what the three months meant, how to input the information, and how the user will see the information.  We did not spend all morning deducing Revett's three months in Pola.  His tour consists of ten stops, many of which we can only attribute probable dates, and so we worked on assigning dates to his entire journey.  You can easily see how today was all about dates.

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Back to the Lab Again

    Play the song as you read. :)

    I GOT A SECRET FORMULA: for all the ways to write the dates for the two different types of date entries (display date and indexing date).

     Like with Dexter, entering the lab is always as interesting as a new t.v. episode of our own t.v. sitcom.  And it happens to be released every week. :D This week on "Back to the Lab Again" was a continuation of playing Shirlock two weeks ago and entering data into Itinera last week. We got more in depth with Alex, Marybeth, Alison and Wawa as they attempted to perfect the format of their data entry for Nicholas Revett into Itinera. Dan co-starred for some comic relief to this stressful, high-intensity, brain workout episode. 

    (As you can tell I watch too much Arrested Development, and feel like shows should be narrated as awkwardly as Arrested Development is.... every episode.)

    NEXT WEEK ON "BACK TO THE LAB AGAIN": more biographical data entry. :)

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    The CRAAP Test

    The CRAAP Test tortured me throughout high school.  I used it in basically everyone of my classes.  But honestly, it taught me a lot.  I can determine if a website is credible in like five seconds flat.  I was so suprised to see that Itinera did not pass. Working behind the scenes on Itinera, I know it is credible.  I've seen the process in action.  However, there was no information about Itinera anywhere on the site.  There was no copyright information, no authors, no creators, no editors, no sponsors.  Even though I knew the website was credible, there was nothing on the website confirming that.  This totally may be my science background kicking in, but the fields of research are still primarily thought to be science-oriented.  The OUR supported this assumption with the templates they provided for our presentations.  The templates simply do not fit what we have been working on, and it stinks that they want us to fit that into incorrectly labeled bins.  Its like incorrectly sorting metadata.  It just doesn't work.

    The link for the CRAAP Test: http://libguides.library.ncat.edu/content.php?pid=53820&sid=394505

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    Lab Rats in Lab coats

    We tested user data today on the front end of the itinera database website. We got to understand and test out itinera's usability and try to figure out what features help users go through a website smoothly. We also got to go behind the scenes, and put in the data. So we get a look at two different levels of website usage. It was taking what we learned last week to a whole other level. It brings together all that we've learned so far and brings us a step closer to the understanding of what Itinera is, and how Itinera works, so that we can perform the tasks necessary to ammeliorating the Itinera database.

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    The Lessons of Nicholas Revett

    When I set off researching Nicholas Revett, I started with the biological information, which turned out to be fairly easy.  Despite the fact that the site I was using did not have a death location, everything else was easily attainable and accessible.  However, once I started working on the tour stops, it began to be much clearer to me how complex this data is.  In regards to Revett, there is a lot of uncertainty, which I didn't think twice about at first.  In fact, I kind of expected it.  Older records aren't that great so it did not come to a surprise for me that Revett's birth date was not certain.  However, I was surprised that he had two different birth years 1720 or 1721, and between the two sources I was looking at, it appeared to me that each source thought their respective date was the only date.  This obstacle, though it seemed big at the time, was very small in the big picture of mapping Revett's travels.

    Revett's travels left a lot of uncertainty.  We know when he left England, but we have no idea when he arrived in Livorno.  We know he was in Rome by 1745, but we do not know when he actually arrived.  We know he travelled to Pola for three months somewhere in between June of 1750 and January of 1751, but we do not know which three months.  This took a lot of time to write down and to analzye.

    As a science major, a lot of my friends are involved in scientific research.  When they are doing research or for example, when I am in lab, if a run of an experiment results in uncertain results, another run is performed to determine what happened.  However, the Grand Tour is history, and we cannot just run another trial.  There is no way to redo or rerecord history some 300 years later. We cannot change what was recorded, and we can only work with what the sources have to offer.  This uncertainty that humanities researchers have no way around makes humanities research insanely interesting and complex. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW

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