Foundations for Research: Comp Sci Minors for History Field Majors

As part of the Digital Media class assignment this week, we set up TweetDeck to follow users who did what we wanted and are successful in the given field or professions. A cross sampling of Dan Cohen, The Ancestry Insider, RootsTech 2012, and GISCloud revealed that I feel as far behind the times as is possible in some areas of my life-research, such as in GIS, but my technology skills are not so behind that it is useless to attempt catching up.

What I want to do is unusual at best, and darned useful otherwise. I see where GIS is right now and unless I am mistaken, no one’s taken the time or data crunching software to perform this build yet. I grew up in a technology-loving household. My Dad was an early adopter of business hardware and software for computer programming purposes and I used my first computer shortly after their distribution to personal homes. I learned how to read, played with computers, and saw my first pedigree charts all during my kindergarten year. My addictions to these fields remain. Add to that an historical architecture bent at seven that I have not yet explored to a full extent but intend to, and basic love of my religious convictions, and that is a barely capping summary of my existence.

The way that I see this field heading, there is a tremendous need for inter-disciplinary training. Why does not my department allow minors in Comp Sci? A professor of mine from last semester delved into the “We are NOT antiquarians!” camp enough times to engrain the thinking structure into my mind. We are not programmers in the traditional sense, using years and programs to keep current, but computers are not new anymore. They have history, trends, and similar features based upon market trends and technological history is how history works. Although not everyone has the same resources, for marketplace competition, there needs to be deeper understanding across the board. Comp Sci majors do not have to understand us perfectly, and we may not understand them in like manner, but Comp Sci should be part of basic GE instruction since more than twenty years passed after the introduction of personal computers into homes.

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