Taught via Internet
Again during the summer of 1997, Dakota State University will offer CHUM
650 Computing for the Humanities: a course that students can complete via
Internet: by viewing and receiving materials via the World Wide Web and by
sending email. The three-semester-hour course is offered for graduate
Eric Johnson, Ph.D.
A study of computer applications in the humanities such as analysis of
texts, arranging data from research, and formatting for printing and
The focus of the course will be on analysis of texts using computer
programs created by Prof. Johnson. The programs and instructions for their
use will be provided to all enrolled students.
Students will be assigned projects such as the following:
* Computing the number of words in texts, noting the frequency of
specific words and types of words;
* Computing the number and percent of sentences of various lengths in a
file with a graph of results;
* Generating key-word-in-context concordances for all words or selected
works in a text;
* Computing the percent of words on multiple lists that are found in
multiple texts (such as lists of words denoting colors, food, travel,
and so on in selected 19th-century novels).
* Recording the relative location of words in texts and graphing
* Processing texts with SGML markup:
o Generating indexes by page or line number for texts;
o Counting the number of words of dialog for each speaker in a
o Separating the words of dialog for each speaker in a novel so
that characters can be analyzed based on their speech.
* Normally, students will have earned a baccalaureate degree and will
have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work in the
humanities; advanced undergraduate students with a strong background
in computing and in the humanities will be considered for admission --
they should contact the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Without exception, all students must be able to do the following:
o Be able to execute DOS and Windows computer programs on a 386 (or
better) microcomputer with 4 MB of RAM (or more) with 20 MB (or
more) free disk space;
o Be able to use email to send and receive messages via Internet;
o Be able to view World Wide Web pages and to download files from
Students will be given the "grades" of CREDIT or NO CREDIT (much like PASS
or FAIL) for the course. Students may audit the course and receive a
"grade" of AU regardless of their progress or performance -- the cost of
auditing is the same as taking the class for credit. (Students must make
the determination of whether to be an auditor at the time of initial
registration, and they cannot change once they have started the course.)
Students who are not auditing the class must receive a grade of CREDIT for
each assignment in order to receive a grade of CREDIT for the course.
The cost of tuition is currently $300.00 for a three-semester hour graduate
course, but an increase is expected by the time CHUM 650 starts (last year
the increase was about 3%). There are no additional charges for textbooks
nor for computer programs (they will be provided on the Web).
Students can complete the requirements of the course at their own pace.
They may begin the course on May 15 or any time thereafter; all completed
course requirements must be received by the professor no later than August
Students should register for the course (and make payment) prior to May 15.
They may register by completing a form on the Web at:
Answers to frequently asked questions about CHUM 650 can be found at
Information can be requested from the Director of Distance Education by
sending email to
A Web page with information similar to the above can be found at
http://www.dsu.edu/~johnsone/chum.html and Eric Johnson who can be
contacted by email at email@example.com