Keynote Speakers

Dr. Trevor Owens-June 4th, 2018

Dr. Trevor Owens

Dr. Trevor Owens is a librarian, researcher, policy maker, and educator working on digital infrastructure for libraries. Owens serves as the first Head of Digital Content Management for Library Services at the Library of Congress. As part of this role, he directs studies and testing of digital library best practices and standards for management of digital content. In addition, he teaches graduate seminars in digital history for American University’s History Department and graduate seminars and digital preservation for the University of Maryland’s College of Information, where he is also a Research Affiliate with the Digital Curation Innovation Center. He previously worked as a senior program administrator at the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). At the IMLS, he led the establishment of the National Digital Platform initiative, which under his leadership, invested more than $30 million in 110 projects to advance digital infrastructure for libraries across the nation. Prior to that, he worked on digital preservation strategy and as a history of science curator at the Library of Congress. Before joining the Library of Congress, he led outreach and communications efforts for the Zotero project at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Owens is the author of three books, the most recent of which, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, is in press with Johns Hopkins University Press. His research and writing has been featured in: Curator: The Museum Journal, Digital Humanities Quarterly, The Journal of Digital Humanities, D-Lib, Simulation & Gaming, Science Communication, New Directions in Folklore, and American Libraries. In 2014 the Society for American Archivists granted him the Archival Innovator Award, presented annually to recognize the archivist, repository, or organization that best exemplifies the “ability to think outside the professional norm.


Title: We Have Interesting Problems: Some Applied Grand Challenges from Digital Libraries, Archives and Museums

Abstract: Libraries, Archives and Museums now have massive digital holdings. There is tremendous potential for library and information science, computer science and computer engineering researchers to partner with cultural heritage institutions and make our digital cultural record more useful and usable. In particular, there is a significant need to bridge basic research in areas such as computer vision, crowdsourcing, natural language processing, multilingual OCR, and machine learning to make this work directly usable in the practices of cultural heritage institutions. In this talk, I discuss a series of exemplar projects, largely funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Digital Platform initiative, that illustrate some key principles for building applied research partnerships with cultural heritage institutions. Building on Ben Schniderman’s The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations, I focus specifically on why the public purpose and missions of cultural heritage institutions are particularly valuable in establishing new kinds of collaborations that can simultaneously advance basic research and the ability for people of the world to engage with their cultural record. 


Contact: The best way to contact is email (trevor dot john owens at gmail dot com) or twitter (@tjowens). 


Dr. Niall Gaffney-June 5th, 2018

Niall GaffneyDr. Niall Gaffney is the Director of Data Intensive Computing at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 25 years' experience with creating and supporting tools for advanced data systems in science and engineering. His 13 years of work on the Hubble Space Telescope archives introduced new capabilities in data processing and automated analysis tools to the astronomical community. At TACC, Data Intensive Computing is advancing many other research communities' capabilities in integrating powerful data processing and developing analysis tools to advance research in other fields.


Title: Improving Research Outcomes Leveraging Digital Libraries, Advanced Computing, and Data


Abstract: With the advancements in data driven research ushered in with the “Big Data” era, many research fields from astrophysics to genomics have discovered previously impossible outcomes including exoplanet detection and precision medicine. As with many other rapid changes, challenges are emerging now in extending the reach of these technologies to less computationally savvy fields that often have even more challenging computational problems to address. In this talk, I will explore some of the ways the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and others are creating environments to simplify onboarding new communities both through simple yet powerful user interfaces that feature the ability to preserve and publish data, computational workflows, and outcomes as linked yet separate entities. By linking, preserving, and making discoverable these entitles, researchers new to these computational capabilities can more easily understand them often in a research context with which they are already familiar. By then seeing the details of how a result came from the data, they can more easily build upon the work of others or even begin new workflows tuned to their own research needs. I will talk out our collaboration with publishers and libraries to not only preserve and expose the links between these digital entities but allow for their recall into computational environments to either reproduce previous results or extend the research through additional data and/or new computational methods.


Dr. Carly Strasser-June 6th, 2018

Carly Strasser

I am the Director of Strategic Development for the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko). Coko builds open source software solutions for scholarly communication that foster openness, collaboration, and speed.

Previously, I was a Program Officer for the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative, an effort within the Moore Foundation’s Science Program focused on promoting academic data science. I also worked as a Research Data Specialist at the California Digital Library where I was involved in development and implementation of many of the University of California Curation Center’s services, and worked to promote data sharing and good data management practices among researchers.

I received a B.A. in Marine Science and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program.


Title: Open Source Tech for Scholarly Communication: Why It Matters


Abstract: We can all agree that current publishing and dissemination modes for scholarly communication are not optimized for speed or utility and are often impediments to advancing ideas and knowledge. I will discuss the current landscape of publishing tech, and what the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko) and its partners are doing to shake things up.