By: Library Staff
Join us this fall for the Creativity and Technology Symposium, or C.A.T.S. for short. Using our feline friends as a theme, we will explore a variety of topics that relate to the ever-expanding and complex work of libraries and academic institutions including: GIS-data enabled location tracking and the implications for privacy rights; the use of social media in research; how new technologies are expanding the possibilities for data gathering; and digital archiving as it relates to common computer usage and pop culture. Plus, we have a few special guests who will be paying a not-to-be-missed visit to the Libraries. All C.A.T.S. events are free and open to the public.
Cats are mysterious, dangerous and far more unpredictable than one might expect from an animal that is, theoretically, domesticated. Some of the mysteries of cats relate to where they go and what they do; this is especially true of cats that go outdoors. In this program, researchers from NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will share some of the fascinating findings from their Cat Tracker research program that uses GPS technology to collect data on where cats go, what they eat, and what microbes they bring back to our homes. You will also learn how you and your feline pets can participate in the Cat Tracker program, which gives researchers valuable information about outdoor cats’ movement, diet and health.
What can memes and other viral phenomena tell us about current events, cultural trends, and the Internet as a historical storytelling platform? Amanda Brennan of Tumblr’s Content and Community team will discuss how beloved and instantly-recognizable memes like LOLCats relate to our online interactions and what they say about us as a society. Brennan is the former librarian-in-residence for Know Your Meme, organizing and cataloging the memes in their collection.
Lil BUB is one of the most famous cats in the world. A true phenomenon, Lil BUB has a documentary and internet and cable specials about her, a book published by Penguin Publishers, and millions upon millions of YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr views. Lil BUB’s owner Mike Bridavsky is a sound engineer who owns Russian Recording in Bloomington, IN, and formerly worked as a sound archivist for the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music’s Sound Directions project. Mike leveraged his knowledge of digital archives, his skills gained from years of independent marketing of his own bands and his recording studios, his sense of humor, and his love for cats to unintentionally create a business that is based on and requires a very detailed understanding of social media, archiving, and technology. Hear from Mike and see Lil BUB in person in this special program. Ticket reservations to this program are required. Please reserve your seats here.
As part of this program, the NCSU Libraries will be hosting a pet food drive for Safe Haven Cat Shelter & Clinic. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., volunteers from Safe Haven will be available at the Hunt Library to take your donations of pet food or other supplies on their wish list. Earlier this year, Safe Haven was a recipient of a grant from Lil BUB’s BIG Fund for the ASPCA.
I Know Where Your Cat Lives is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pictures of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University, and the project was covered by The New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, and others. Owen Mundy, creator of I Know Where Your Cat Lives, will describe the project and explain some of the implications of decreased online privacy and increased access to your data by startups and international megacorps.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that citizens and scientists often see science-related issues through different sets of eyes. However, by involving our pets as research subjects, and by harnessing the Internet’s amazing power of connectivity, scientists have an unprecedented opportunity to involve everyday people in “citizen science.” Join us for a panel discussion with Dr. Rob Dunn, associate professor of biological sciences at NC State, Amanda Brennan of Tumblr, and Professor Owen Mundy of Florida State about what they are finding in their work.
Evaluating pain in animals is no easy task, as they cannot tell us where or how much they are hurting. In this informative session, Dr. Duncan Lascelles, professor of small animal surgery and pain management at the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State, will discuss his pioneering research using accelerometers (similar to the wearable fitness trackers used by humans) to access information about movement patterns of domestic cats in their home environments. Lascelles will explain how he uses this data to inform his treatment decisions–from diet to medication–to help manage cats’ pain.
This session is geared toward anyone interested in how veterinarians are using leading-edge technologies, as well as pet owners who want to learn more about what researchers are discovering about chronic pain.