Progress: Courses offered at Carleton since 1867

Progress, Tools, and Techniques: For our project, Emilee and I decided to dig further into the history of science courses offered at Carleton dating back to the first ever class and up to present day. So far, we have compiled a list of science courses and noted the starting year Carleton had offered it and until it stop being a core class. We take note when we have seen a shift in the course and what it falls under such as botany becomes part of the biology curriculum instead of its own course. We have also noted the different science buildings built throughout the years and what is now located in the spot today. Additionally, we have downloaded seven of Carleton’s course catalogs (in 15-year intervals since 1867), and will use Voyant tools to do a text analysis on the most frequently used scientific-terms in each catalog (We have a list of specific words and want to see how their relevance in the course catalogs changes over time. For example, I would expect the word “cognitive” to appear often in the 2017-2018 catalog, and never in the 1867-1868 catalog).

Problems and Deliverables: The only issue so far has been the volume of course catalogues; it is difficult to look through all of the data manually in order to determine when classes began and stopped being offered at Carleton. We have decided to instead look through Carleton’s academic catalogs in 15 year intervals, rather at all 152 documents. This change hasn’t forced us to change our original project plans, it just means we have to take more of a notice when there a large shift in courses over a 15 year period, in which case we often look back a year or two to make sure we didn’t miss any major milestones. Additionally, we are no longer creating SketchUp models of buildings on campus, but instead focusing on two main goals:

  • Creating an interactive timeline of major milestones and changes within the science departments at Carleton
  • Creating an interactive graph of number of course offerings in each science department (measured every 25 years), and comparing this data to the findings of the text analysis project described above

We have decided to use create an interactive timeline and use Voyant tools for text analysis. Our project is still on its way to being created on time.

Author: Jocelyn

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