Spring 2008 courses, 1st impression

Officially, I am registered for one 8-hour “class” this semester, LIS593 CAS Project.

Individual study of a problem in library or information science; forms the culmination of the Certificate of Advanced Study program. Only 8 hours will apply to the CAS degree [catalog].

As to what I’m doing there pick pretty much any post from last year, but especially starting mid-May. Or, perhaps this is best?

More on this topic <patented hand-waving> in the future </ patented hand-waving>.

Besides working 60% which is beginning to seem like a lot again, I am sitting in on 2 seminars. There are several of us nuts in each of them and some folks actually taking the classes for grades.

Both are on Tuesday, which is my only non-work day, in the afternoon and at night. Both are on campus. I love my distance peeps but I am a bad LEEP student.

590SA Topics in Subject Access : Pauline Cochrane and Kathryn La Barre

An advanced topics seminar in subject access and subject analysis that covers a range of topics including aspects of the traditional bibliographic canon regarding OPACS, the challenge of universal subject access in a digital world, ongoing discussions about Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), new search and discovery tools (including experimentations with hybrid folksonomic and corporate taxonomic approaches (syllabus version). [catalog]

Pauline is emphasizing the duality between subject access and subject analysis, as she says there “is a split in focus in library science [specifically]; these two vantage points are our heritage.”

Early readings/assignments include reading 2 chapters from her festschrift (Wheeler). We’re reading Robert Fugmann, “Obstacles in Progress in Mechanized Subject Access and the Necessity of a Paradigm Change,” and our own Linda Smith’, “Subject Access in Interdisciplinary Research.” I’m not sure if I’ve read the Fugmann but the Smith is excellent. I’ve read it at least 3 times before.

There is another assignment that involves the Clinic book but I am not concerned with doing it.

Readings for next week are the 2 chapters of the festschrift I previously listed, and 2 from Visualizing …: Elizabeth D. Liddy’s “Natural Language Processing for Information Retrieval and Knowledge Discovery” and Joseph A Busch’s “Building and Accessing Vocabulary Resources for Networked Resource Discovery and Navigation.”

Wheeler, William J, ed. 2000. Saving the Time of the Library User Through Subject Access Innovation: Papers in Honor of Pauline Atherton Cochrane. Champaign, IL: Publications Office, Graduate School of Library and Information Science. [WorldCat]

Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 1998. Visualizing Subject Access for 21st Century Information Resources. Eds. Pauline A Cochrane and Eric H Johnson. Champaign, IL: Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. [WorldCat]

We also are reading an unpublished paper (1979) of Pauline’s on universal subject access and advising her on its suitability for publication today as a means to think about these issues and, I would add, historically and contemporarily.

590OD Ontology Development : Allen Renear

An introduction to formal ontology focusing on development and implementation issues and contemporary ontology software tools and languages. In spring of 2008 we will use as example ontologies one for museum and heritage information (CIDOC-CRM) and one for biological information (the Functional Model of Anatomy). Students may also do projects on other ontologies in other areas if they wish. The ontology editor Protege will be used throughout and the representation of ontologies in W3C semantic web languages RDF(S) and OWL will be emphasized. [catalog]

This is an odd class for Allen as it involves a hands-on component using Protégé to view, edit, build ontologies. Protégé is a free, open-source ontology editor.

Some of the topics we will be becoming “familiar” with are RDF and OWL, which I certainly need more knowledge of.

Related miscellanea

On a side note, I’m thinking of taking the TEI workshop again later in Feb. I did it 2 years ago on my birthday weekend. The then draft P5 version was formalized this past year so it can’t hurt to have a look again over a weekend.

While in one sense, these classes are completely extraneous to me, although in a larger sense they are important. Luckily I’ll have the flexibility to commit any level of effort, including none, to them. I foresee far more than none most of the time, though. Time will tell.

Technically, I still have an incomplete for my vocabularies independent study from last spring. Four hours. In truth, those 4 hours along with those from Bibliography will be extra hours when completed. This needs to be cleaned up as it has finally turned to an F. There is also the possibility of having it dropped, or more likely changed to Withdrawal.

I am hoping that one of these 2 classes will inspire me to spit out “a school assignment” somehow on the topic of vocabularies that I can turn in to be graded. I’d still really like to do what I had planned all along, but it will not happen, now.

Somehow it seems likely one or both will generate a topic. But will it be one that I can just generate something from? Something of quality, of course. But. Normal-sized.