Update: The Global Game Jam 2016 was January 29-31.
The NIU Digital Convergence Lab hosted the 2016 Global Game Jam for the northern Illinois region. We had 15 jammers that resulted in 4 amazing games. Check them out! http://globalgamejam.org/2016/jam-sites/northern-illinois-university/games
Summer 2016 Video Games Design and Development camps registration is open! Come spend a week or two or three with us and develop a video game. Meet real video game developers. Each camp teaches a different video game design tool so you can attend multiple camps. No experience necessary.
In this course student team members will use text mining technology to explore the University Libraries’ large digital collection of Dime Novels.
Text mining, a variety of data mining, provides researchers with an opportunity to analyze very large bodies of text, much more than an individual could ever read with understanding. Text mining software reveals patterns within a collection of works. One basic technology, topic modeling, reveals the frequency with which specific words occur in a set of texts, and which most frequently appear in close proximity to each other. It is especially useful in determining the subject matter of unlabeled text(s). Another, sentiment analysis, helps researchers to evaluate a writer’s attitude or emotional state pertaining to a topic, or her/his intended emotional communication (i.e., the emotions that the author hopes to evoke in the reader).
Dime Novels emerged as an inexpensive format for popular literature in the mid-nineteenth century and remained popular in the first decades of the twentieth century. Early dime novels frequently told stories of the American West, and in the succeeding decades authors expanded their focus to include detective fiction, romances, as other genres. Until recently most scholars of American literature rejected Dime Novels as a mass-produced product with little literary value. In recent years a new generation of researchers, including those more broadly interested in American popular culture, have delved into them.
This is a short description for the experiential learning class scheduled to take place next fall. It will work on a GIS resource presenting data from the Mississippi Valley of the mid-nineteenth century – the place that Mark Twain wrote about in his most famous works.
Mark Twain made the Mississippi Valley in the nineteenth century an integral part of American historical memory and mythology in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). This experiential learning class will provide students with an opportunity to gather and present different types of data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, in order to compare Twain’s fictional descriptions with that provided by the historical record. Students will work with an existing web site, Mark Twain’s Mississippi (http://twain.lib.niu.edu), which provides a fully searchable and indexed digital library of primary source materials. In addition to Twain's celebrated Mississippi works themselves, collected text materials include his known correspondence from the period that he trained and served as a river pilot as well as steamboat passengers' travel narratives and accounts and descriptions of individual cities, plantations, and other notable sites along the Mississippi. These materials feature contemporary discussions of major issues that Twain raised in his Mississippi River works, including race and slavery; western settlement and conflicts with Native Americans; the emergence of a new American economic order replacing Twain's world of villages and steamboats with railroads and factories; the development of genteel culture and westerners' reactions to and interpretations of it; and America's sectional crisis, Civil War, and Reconstruction.
Thanks to a grant from the Friends of the NIU Libraries’ Awards Program, Founders Memorial Library, in partnership with the Digital Convergence Lab (FO 340) is piloting Interactive Window Displays, the first on NIU’s campus.
To install the Interactive Window Display, the Digital Convergence Lab applied a rear projection film product by Proscreens to the back of the window glass. The film is designed specifically to display projected images and video. Projectors were mounted inside the windows and connected to a computer where the multimedia and interactive applications are controlled.