A Black Woman’s Sojourn in High Performance Computing: Recovering Lost History
Authors: Ruby Mendenhall (University of Illinois)
Abstract: In 1797, Isabella Bomfree was born a slave. She escaped to freedom in 1827 and changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843 to indicate that she would travel far and wide to tell people what was right. She gave her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in 1851 to highlight the strengths and vulnerabilities of being Black and a woman. Throughout history, Black women’s lived experiences have often been invisible and erased. Therefore, it is important to combat the erasure of Black women and move toward a correction and claiming of their space within the digitized record. This presentation will discuss a study that employs latent dirichlet allocation (LDA) algorithms and comparative text mining to search 800,000 periodicals in JSTOR (Journal Storage) and HathiTrust from 1746 to 2014 to identify the types of conversations that emerge about Black women's shared experience over time and the resulting knowledge that developed. This presentation will also discuss what attracted Mendenhall to HPC, what she sees as the strengths of HPC and her plans for future research which involves developing a data base with a cohort of 100,000 Black women citizen scientists who will help to conduct and analyze longitudinal research based on their lived experiences.
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