About the Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies & Methods

While interpretive scholars have been applying computational methods to their work for as long as there have been digital computers, the arrival of the World Wide Web witnessed a more expansive group of humanists and social scientists, armed with a new array of interpretive possibilities, joining the conversation about how computing can productively enrich their research. In these recent years, such scholars have turned to using the computer not only as a revolutionary programmable calculator but also as a medium of connection, capable of supporting a wide number of approaches to scholarly investigation, interpretation, and expression. In sum, they focus on what it means to be human in a world where the dominant force-for-change seems to be technology.

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies and Methods offers graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh the opportunity to acquire a proactive, mindful engagement with digital methods in the humanities and allied social sciences. Being a mode of inquiry with an expansive set of methods and tools, the use of digital techniques within the humanities and allied social sciences requires a pedagogical approach that relies on not only lecture and seminar time, but also hands-on workshop opportunities where students can apply the techniques they have been learning and discussing. To this end, this certificate includes traditional classroom hours as well as studio-based learning experiences that provide the hands-on, peer- and mentor-supported experience that this digitally-attentive approach to interpretive scholarship requires.

The methods, skills, and techniques that the students enrolled in this certificate might encounter include: network analysis, topic modeling, digital visualization techniques, geographic information systems (GIS), effective data modeling practices, and approaches to text analysis focused on the use of markup languages.

By Laws (As of August 2018)

  • An Executive Committee of three to four Pitt faculty members oversees curriculum, assessment, strategic planning and communication for the DSAM Certificate.  Committee members serve staggered three-year terms.  Terms are renewable.  Executive Committee members are appointed by Dietrich School leadership based on recommendations by current Executive Committee members.  The current members of the Executive Committee are:  Alison Langmead (2018-2019), Ruth Mostern (2018-20xx), Lara Putnam (2018-20xx), and Annette Vee (2018-20xx).
  • DSAM Affiliated Faculty  are members of the Pitt faculty (including librarians, tenure-stream faculty, and non-tenure-stream faculty) who currently teach DSAM classes or may plan to teach DSAM classes in the future, as well as faculty who are willing to advise DSAM student projects in their area of expertise.  Faculty who wish to affiliate with DSAM should contact any member of the Executive Committee.