I had signed up for both weeks at DHSI with the hope of gaining enough DH knowledge to last me the year. Quickly I realized that I might have over-committed myself. I should have known better and asked a DHSI veteran if it was a good idea to take Cloud Computing and Topic Modeling in the same year, which I can tell you was not a great idea. What you realize is that there is so much more to DHSI than just taking a class.
When we adjourned for lunch, there were opportunities to attend quick one-hour unconference sessions, many of which looked appealing, such as a visualization workshop and intro to python. However, I ended up utilizing my lunch time to digest all the knowledge I had learned in the morning. In the first week, I spent most of my lunches deploying different types of servers and in the second week I spent those hours attempting to decipher some complex regular expressions for my topic modeling script. After dinner, I spent time on the previous week’s material in an attempt to keep it in my mind as I learned all the intricacies of topic modeling. I wish that I had taken more familiar topics so that I could attend those unconference sessions and maybe spend more time socializing. The people I met and my classmates became good points of contact and I still message many of them on twitter even after DHSI has ended.
After classes there was an opportunity to attend the DHSI colloquium, which, I was fortunate enough to both present and participate throughout the two weeks. It provided a great forum to hear from other scholars and to get feedback on my own work. This is where I made many new friends both in person and on twitter. It was extremely beneficial and I would recommend it as a worthwhile add-on to your DHSI experience. The INKE and ELO conferences provided a great “vacation” from the classwork between the two weeks, and even though I did not present, I learned tremendously from the conferences.
I hope that I have shown that when you sign up for DHSI, you are signing up for so much more than just learning a new DH skill or perspective. You have the opportunity to attend colloquium and conferences, learn skills in short workshops, make lifelong (hopefully) friends, and most importantly find some really interesting people to follow on twitter.