History professor hosts roundtable discussion on digital humanities in early China at the Beijing Global Gateway

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Mg 9759Cai hosted a roundtable discussion on June 24 at Notre Dame’s Beijing Global Gateway

Liang Cai, assistant professor of history, and Meng Jiang, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, collaborated on an international research project titled “Digital Empires: Structured Biographical and Social Network Analysis of Early Chinese Empires.” As part of the project, Cai hosted a roundtable discussion on June 24 at Notre Dame’s Beijing Global Gateway. 

Historians from top Chinese universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University gathered at the Gateway to brainstorm and discuss new ways to study history in the age of artificial intelligence. Ph.D. students and scholars from Universities in Beijing also participated in this event. Participants also discussed the increasing trend of interdisciplinary research collaboration between history and computer science.  

“The historians pose the research questions and visualize the project,” says Cai. “The computer scientists can help provide new tools to process primary sources and expand the research horizon.”

Cai hopes to organize another conference in June 2020 and plans to invite historians and computer scientists to exchange ideas and explore the possibilities of future collaboration. Cai’s current research focuses on using mining tools enabled by digital humanities to collect data from ancient Chinese texts and to build a platform that provides encoded biographical information and social networks of historical figures. 

Funding for the project was provided by Notre Dame Research and Notre Dame International through the Global Gateway Faculty Research Award (GGFRA) Program for 2019.

Learn more about the GGFRA Program.

Mg 9833Historians from several Chinese universities participated

Originally published at beijing.nd.edu.