Introducing iKLEWS team members

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HRAF is pleased to welcome two new team members, Sridhar Reddy Ravula and Aishwarya Kumar, who have joined us for our NSF-supported iKLEWS project.

Sridhar, our development team leader, recently completed his Ph.D. in Data Science at the Harrisburg University of Science & Technology. Aishwarya is completing her MS in Information Systems at Northeastern University, with a concentration in Data Science. She is in the final semester of her course work. They bring a broad range of expertise and skills to HRAF and the iKLEWS project.

Current IT team members Furkan Teke and Matt Roth will play a major role in the project along with anthropologists Michael Fischer (the principal investigator on the grant), Carol Ember (the co-principal investigator), Ian Skoggard, Francine Barone, and Leon Doyon.

The primary aim of iKLEWS is to greatly enhance eHRAF World Cultures for social science researchers and students. The team will develop semantic and textual analytic infrastructure, with associated tools and services, to advance exploration of a wide range of user-selected topics, such as social emotion and empathy, economics, politics, use of space and time, and morality.

The project will enable researchers to use semantic relations, topic maps, data mining, and other computer-assisted text analysis and data management tools, with guided means to leverage these through services and interactive web applications. Researchers will be able to address topics more effectively, using tools for management, analysis, visualization, and summarization of results, user-initiated data mining and topical classification.

Another goal of the project is to have improved relevance of search results through identifying finer grained topics in each paragraph in addition to those in HRAF’s present Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM). All of these services will improve the ability of researchers to test hypotheses about the societies they investigate. After developing improved subject categorization, we plan to provide services for any researcher to process and analyze their own ethnographic materials.

We look forward to sharing updates on our progress over the next two years.