Simeone named director of digital humanities and transdisciplinary informatics research lab
Michael Simeone, an expert in digital and computational humanities, has been appointed director of ASU’s Institute of Humanities Research Nexus Laboratory for Digital Humanities and Transdisciplinary Informatics.
The soon-to-be-launched research lab will use digital and computational technologies to significantly expand the scale and depth of research in the humanities, such as curating large social and cultural data collections. The lab also will comprise new teams that address multidisciplinary questions involving the humanities and sciences.
Simeone joins ASU from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as the associate director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (I-CHASS) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
“Michael Simeone brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new post as the director for the IHR Nexus Lab for Digital Humanities and Transdisciplinary Informatics,” said Sally Kitch, the director of the Institute for Humanities Research, and Regents’ Professor of women and gender studies at ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “His experience in combining programming skills with humanities will enable him to build external networks, seek out funding opportunities, develop a strategic vision for building and managing digital programs and projects, and further the mission of humanities research at ASU.”
“I am very excited to be part of the interdisciplinary research community in the humanities here at ASU,” Simeone said. “It is an institution that, in both word and deed, has been very encouraging of experimentation, collaboration and ambitious projects. Through the Nexus Lab, we hope to make connections that nobody thought of before.”
Simeone’s interest in computational and digital humanities was sparked while he was pursuing his doctorate at Illinois, during his time as a graduate assistant at UIUC’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
“The researchers would always say, ‘Forget 10 or 100 books. What would you do with a million?’” he said. “That’s a very generative question.”
Simeone joined I-CHASS as assistant director in 2011 after completing his doctoral degree at Illinois. During his tenure at I-CHASS, Simeone launched and organized workshops for faculty and graduate students, and a number of research programs, such as the Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In addition, he has worked on a variety of notable projects, including historical and literary research, data collection and visualization, and analysis for the study of Great Lakes historical climatology, a project that involves in-depth collaboration with image-processing specialists and humanities scholars to discover patterns in maps that may point to ecological or climatological variations in North America.
Simeone’s research and teaching interests consist of humanities research and supercomputing resources, collaborations across the humanities and sciences, data mining and visualization, American digital culture, postwar American fiction and cinema, cybernetics, informatics, history of consumer technologies, science fiction, cinema studies and philosophy of mind.