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News about the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab

The DHIL's New Digital Fellow: Kenny Chakola

Published by Rebecca Dowson

With the DHIL team working remotely these days, I had an opportunity to conduct a couple of online interviews with our new members. First up is our newest digital fellow: Kenny Chakola. After working as a systems analyst at Wells Fargo, Kenny is pursuing a Master’s degree in computer science and is passionate about playing with data in a way that makes a positive impact. His areas of interest include data engineering, data analytics, data science and data visualisation.


AX: Hi Kenny! So, first of all, what is a digital fellow? And what does a digital fellow do?

KC: A digital fellow (DF) supports the research and development mandates of the DHIL. Currently, there are two DF portfolios: the communications and technical fellow. Where the communications fellow assists with lab communications (social media, liaising with project leads, scheduling, etc.), the technical fellow assists with more technical tasks (coding, programming, etc.). I fall under the second portfolio, so where I help develop DH tools, software, websites, and documentation, as well as do testing, use GitHub and ensure XML data is well formed and valid.


AX: What first made you interested in the Digital Humanities? How did you first hear about it, or start working in it?

KC: Digital Humanities is an area of scholarship at the intersection of computing or digital technologies and the humanities. It brings digital tools and methods to the study of the humanities and vice versa. Personally, I’ve been learning computers since childhood, and data science has always fascinated me the most. I came to DH through my interest in data visualisation. I had first heard about it when one of my professors had mentioned that DH was one of the many fields where data visualisation could have a great impact.


AX: What aspect of Digital Humanities are you the most interested in? Why?

KC: A distinctive feature of Digital Humanities is to cultivate a two-way relationship between the humanities and the digital. I’m most interested in the visualization and technical aspect of DH!


AX: What are some of the things that you are currently working on for the Lab right now?

KC: I currently work on technical documentation for the DHIL. I’m mostly working to incorporate the Symfony update to some of our projects, but I also do some communications work with the other fellows, as well as attend our weekly office hours!

-- Post by Alexandra Xanthoudaxis

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