Dylan Mulvin (Microsoft Research), “Clipped, Cropped, Scanned: The Lena Image and the Making of a Test Medium”

[Courtesy of the University of Southern California, Signal and Image Processing Institute database.] The Lena test image began as the November 1972 Playboy Magazine centerfold. Through folding, tearing, or cropping (accounts differ), it was transformed into an early digital test image by pioneering image engineers at the University of Southern California. The Lena image went on … More Dylan Mulvin (Microsoft Research), “Clipped, Cropped, Scanned: The Lena Image and the Making of a Test Medium”

Evan Hepler-Smith (Harvard), “Transition States: Compressing Molecules across Time and Media”

Systematic chemical nomenclature is an exercise in compression. Two-dimensional molecular diagrams are the “iconic vernacular” of chemistry (writes chemist-essayist Roald Hoffmann). Rules for systematic naming and notation are a mechanism for compressing *lots and lots* of two-dimensional molecular diagrams into one-dimensional strings. Unlike the diagrams, these strings can be efficiently written, ordered, and located in very, very long lists. … More Evan Hepler-Smith (Harvard), “Transition States: Compressing Molecules across Time and Media”

Jared McCormick (Harvard), “It’s All in the Blues: Watermarks, Recirculation, and Tracking”

This presentation emerges from a larger Digital Humanities interface, A View from the View, which explores views of place, landscape, and tourism through postcards of the Middle East. … More Jared McCormick (Harvard), “It’s All in the Blues: Watermarks, Recirculation, and Tracking”

Peter McMurray (Harvard), “Vox ex nihilo? Epic Traces and Aluminum Orality”

Oral poetry is often described as a form of “intangible cultural heritage,” a tradition that leaves few if any archival traces. In 1933, Milman Parry, a scholar of Homeric poetry interested in epic composition, began a massive project documenting oral epic poetry in the former Yugoslavia as a potential comparative model for the Iliad and the Odyssey. That documentation process demanded a variety of media forms … More Peter McMurray (Harvard), “Vox ex nihilo? Epic Traces and Aluminum Orality”