Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Feb. 10, 2022, 6:03 a.m. Humanist 35.520 - numerical simulation to digital twinning

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 520.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-02-09 09:08:51+00:00
        From: Alan Liu <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 35.518: numerical simulation in (digital) humanities?

Dear Øyvind,

Just to note in response: that the new "digital twin" (or "digital
twinning") field in research and industry, which I recently learned about,
is intriguing in this regard. See, e.g., "Digital Twins and AI:
Transforming Industrial Operations"
and this IBM page

I am particularly interested in digital twinning because of its defined
goal of bridging between complex analog artifacts (and systems) and their
digital representations. This is in connection to the finding of our WE1S
(WhatEvery1Says) project about how object-starved the humanities appear to
be in the public media compared to the sciences (see The
sciences have space telescopes and pulsars, or deep sea submarines
and strange deep sea creatures, etc. Both their instruments and their
discoveries are objects of wonder. The humanities (in the public view) just
have books. We in the humanities do not communicate well about the rich
object-world that underlies our research and teaching ultimately as
represented in books: the visit to the archaeological site, the visit to
the archives, the tour of historical locations, the stolen bones of the
hand of John Hancock in Boston's Granary burial ground, etc.

I wonder: how might "digital twinning" at today's level of complex,
dynamic, systemic mirrorings of the analog -- far more rigorously detailed
than the logical and visual abstractions of agent-based modeling (e.g.,
NetLogo: or, in a popular vein,
Minecraft -- enrichen digital modeling or simulation for the humanities so
that they approximate the richness of historically old, but constantly
evolving, humanities practices of "representation," mimetic or otherwise.

On Tue, Feb 8, 2022 at 9:46 PM Humanist <> wrote:

>               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 518.
>         Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                       Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                 Submit to:
>         Date: 2022-02-08 08:13:52+00:00
>         From: Öyvind Eide <>
>         Subject: Numerical simulation in (digital) humanites
> Dear list members,
> With a colleague in numerical mathematics I have discussed matters of
> common
> interest, such as modelling and simulation in connection with data
> science, for
> some years. Recently we got to the question of applications of numerical
> simulation in (digital) humanities.
> I had some ideas, from practical use of simulations such as agent based
> modelling in archaeology to theoretical connections in the 20th century,
> such as
> cybernetics and system theory. Maybe even discussions about numerical
> simulation
> in the context of digital analysis of sounds, images, and other media can
> somehow be relevant too?
> Any views on this? Any suggestions? If you prefer to write offline I would
> be
> happy to collect suggestions and summarise the results.
> All the best,
> Øyvind
> --
> Prof. Dr. Øyvind Eide
> Institut für Digital Humanities — Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche
> Informationsverarbeitung
> Universität zu Köln
> Albertus-Magnus-Platz
> D-50931 Köln
> Büro: Universitätsstraße 22, Raum 1.02 (1 OG)
> URL:
> fon: +49.221.470.1752 (Vorzimmer .4430)

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