BLISS Fellowships for 2012

Behavioral Laboratory in the Social Sciences: Geospatial Analysis of Roman and Medieval civilization

Professor McCormick’s well-established team (several undergraduate and graduate students, a post-doc GIS from CGA, McCormick and the other editors) are building the internationally acclaimed web-based research and teaching tool Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations Each BLISS fellow will work under the team's guidance to create and experiment with exploiting one or more new geodatabases and make it available on the web; the fellows are named as the cartographers responsible for their geodatabase and can be first to analyze the data they create.  Geodatabases under consideration for development: the archaeological record of late Roman Gaul; all surviving Latin books written before 800 AD and their movements; coin hoards from Charlemagne's empire; etc. McCormick’s team begins and concludes each summer with a conference and festive lunch in which they present their projects and ideas.

This project gives undergraduate fellows a substantive opportunity to learn what it is like to be an historian working at the cutting edge of the interface of the sciences and the humanities. Past team members have uniformly loved the experience of working as a team in advanced scholarly research, the publishing credit they garner, and the amazing new insights into ancient civilizations they create and share with the global community of scholars. They usually come away also with considerable GIS skill, useful in business, gov't, etc. And they have a blast, as they testified in a most recent Harvard Magazine.

Required background of the candidate: Some knowledge of Roman and/or medieval history/archaeology; enjoyment of computers, internet, XL and e-resource searching; the more familiarity with Google Earth and/or GIS the better (CGA runs short training courses frequently); reading knowledge of French, German or Latin would be a great advantage, but not indispensable. Enjoyment of supportive team atmosphere.


DEADLINE February 27: FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT “Research Opportunities/BLISS” at