Keynote Speakers

Dr. Trevor Owens

Dr. Trevor Owens

Dr. Trevor Owens is a librarian, researcher, policy maker, and educator working on digital infrastructure for libraries. Owens serves as the first Head of Digital Content Management for Library Services at the Library of Congress. As part of this role, he directs studies and testing of digital library best practices and standards for management of digital content. In addition, he teaches graduate seminars in digital history for American University’s History Department and graduate seminars and digital preservation for the University of Maryland’s College of Information, where he is also a Research Affiliate with the Digital Curation Innovation Center. He previously worked as a senior program administrator at the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). At the IMLS, he led the establishment of the National Digital Platform initiative, which under his leadership, invested more than $30 million in 110 projects to advance digital infrastructure for libraries across the nation. Prior to that, he worked on digital preservation strategy and as a history of science curator at the Library of Congress. Before joining the Library of Congress, he led outreach and communications efforts for the Zotero project at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Owens is the author of three books, the most recent of which, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, is in press with Johns Hopkins University Press. His research and writing has been featured in: Curator: The Museum Journal, Digital Humanities Quarterly, The Journal of Digital Humanities, D-Lib, Simulation & Gaming, Science Communication, New Directions in Folklore, and American Libraries. In 2014 the Society for American Archivists granted him the Archival Innovator Award, presented annually to recognize the archivist, repository, or organization that best exemplifies the “ability to think outside the professional norm.


Title: We Have Interesting Problems: Some Applied Grand Challenges from Digital Libraries, Archives and Museums

Abstract: Libraries, Archives and Museums now have massive digital holdings. There is tremendous potential for library and information science, computer science and computer engineering researchers to partner with cultural heritage institutions and make our digital cultural record more useful and usable. In particular, there is a significant need to bridge basic research in areas such as computer vision, crowdsourcing, natural language processing, multilingual OCR, and machine learning to make this work directly usable in the practices of cultural heritage institutions. In this talk, I discuss a series of exemplar projects, largely funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Digital Platform initiative, that illustrate some key principles for building applied research partnerships with cultural heritage institutions. Building on Ben Schniderman’s The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations, I focus specifically on why the public purpose and missions of cultural heritage institutions are particularly valuable in establishing new kinds of collaborations that can simultaneously advance basic research and the ability for people of the world to engage with their cultural record. 


Contact: The best way to contact is email (trevor dot john owens at gmail dot com) or twitter (@tjowens). 


Dr. Niall Gaffney

Niall GaffneyNiall Gaffney's background largely revolves around the management and utilization of large inhomogeneous scientific datasets. Niall, who earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin, joined TACC in May 2013. Prior to that he worked for 13 years in the role of designer and developer for the archives housed at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which hold the data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler, and James Webb Space Telescope missions. He was also a leader in the development of the Hubble Legacy Archive, projects that harvested the 20+ years of Hubble Space Telescope data to create some of the most sensitive astronomical data products available for open research. Prior to his work at STScI, Niall was worked as "the friend of the telescope" for the Hobby Eberly Telescope (HET) project at the McDonald Observatory in west Texas where he started working to create systems to acquire and handle the storage and distribution of the data the HET produced.


Topic: Data Discovery, Computing, and Publication Lifecycle of Digital Research


Dr. Carly Strasser

Carly Strasser

I am the Director of Strategic Development for the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko). Coko builds open source software solutions for scholarly communication that foster openness, collaboration, and speed.

Previously, I was a Program Officer for the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative, an effort within the Moore Foundation’s Science Program focused on promoting academic data science. I also worked as a Research Data Specialist at the California Digital Library where I was involved in development and implementation of many of the University of California Curation Center’s services, and worked to promote data sharing and good data management practices among researchers.

I received a B.A. in Marine Science and a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program.