It was great seeing you all at the European Conference on Information Retrieval! The photos of our Women Networking Event (with ice cream) can be found here and here.

Posted in Amsterdam, Reports

Ice cream!

Date: Monday, April 14, 2014
Time: 17.15-18:00
Location: Hotel Casa 400 (Eerste Ringdijkstraat 4 Amsterdam, the Erasmus room)
Subscribe: This event is part of the 36th European Conference on Information Retrieval. You can register for that here.

On Monday, April 14 there is a women networking event at Erasmus, sponsored by the Amsterdam Girl Geek Dinner, who will provide ice cream. This meeting intends to connect women in Information Retrieval from all stages of their career, to foster a strong network of women in Information Retrieval.

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements

The next Amsterdam Girl Geek Dinner will be on May 29th

Hey everyone, mark your calendars! We will have our next Girl Geek Dinner on May 29th (Hemelvaart/Ascension Day) alongside ‪#‎HITB‬ ‪#‎Haxpo‬ ‪#‎HITB2014AMS‬. More info will follow later on…

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements

The riddle of literary quality

On November 26th, we had our 16th Amsterdam Girl Geek Dinner.
Karina van Dalen-Oskam showed us the link between literary science and computation. This territory is for a large part unmined. Quality reading is still the leading method for analysing texts but things are changing. Interestingly, a lot of tools are available for analysing newspaper texts, but they are not always working for literary works. A lot of manual labor is still needed to analyse literary works with these tools.

Karina talked about her project of analysing the use of names in novels. Children’s books use more personal names than any other genre.

The styles of different authors are distinguishable. Karina told us about the medieval book “Roman van Walewein” that had two authors and two scribers. At one point, one writer took over from the other. You can see this happen in a graph of word usage per line. Interestingly, the moment where the second scriber took over from the first can also be seen clearly.

Literary quality may be indicated by the number of different words used, and by the number of syllables. There is debate of how literary quality must be defined; is it in the eye of the beholder or is it a characteristic of the work itself?

Just 2 months ago, “Het Nationale Lezersonderzoek” was held, a big survey in which people could rank books and judge whether they were literary works or not. Unsurprisingly, 50 Shades Of Grey was at the bottom of the list ;)

Karina’s slides are here. On the last slide, Karina added some interesting links.

Post written by Marjon Wiendels.
Photos were taken by Coline Pannier.

Posted in Amsterdam, Reports

Pictures of DroidconNL 2013

Our photos of the DroidconNL 2013 are here.
More photos can be found on Google+.

Posted in Amsterdam, Reports

AMS GGD #16 • Karina van Dalen-Oskam • A Quest for Quality

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Time: 18:30-22:30
Location: Lab111 (Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam)
Tickets: 15 euros (three course dinner, excluding drinks).


For most literary scholars, computers and literature do not fit together very well yet. Searching databases or the internet is okay, perhaps even reading an e-book, but analyzing literary texts using special software is considered to be a token of arrogance or plain stupidity. Still, the possibilities are endless: we can find out who is the most probable author of an anonymous text, we can compare styles of authors, we can deduce the genre or the time of writing of a text. We can even find out whether the author was male or female. It is difficult to convince literary scholars to try and learn to apply some of the new tools, but at the moment, things are slowly changing. More and more scholars are interested in new kinds of analyses and in smart tools. Why did this take so long? And how will literary studies change? In my talk, I will describe how I ended up in what I call “Computational literary studies”. I will pay special attention to the currently running project The Riddle of Literay Quality. The aim of this project is to computationally analyze novels to find out which features in the texts possibly contribute to them being valued as good or bad, very literary or not very literary by their readers. This quest for quality has led to varying reactions in the field of scholarly research and beyond.

Speaker Bio

Karina van Dalen-Oskam is research leader of the department of Textual Scholarship & Literary Studies at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and professor of Computational Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the analysis of literary style making use of digital corpora and computational methods.

More on Karina van Dalen-Oskam.



Click on poster for printeable version (designed by Coline Pannier).

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements

Free tickets for the DroidconNL BBQ 2013, make sure you don’t miss out!

We may give 50 tickets away for free, girls only! First come, first serve.

Date: Monday, 25 November, 2013
Location: Sport Centre Universum, Science Park 306, Amsterdam.
Time: 18.00
Registration form to apply for free tickets: here.
Tickets for the hackathon on November 24th: For this, you need to purchase a separate ticket (25 euro) via the DroidconNL website.

More info:
DroidconNL on Google+
DroidconNL website
The full program, including the BBQ, will be shown on the DroidconNL website later on.

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements