Abhishek Amar and Lauren Scutt present at Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference

Abhishek Amar, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, and Lauren Scutt '16, double majoring in Religious Studies & Psychology, presented, "Archiving Hindu Gaya: Temples, Shrines and Images of a scared center in India" on November 15 at the Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference panel "Collaborating Digitally: Engaging Students in Faculty Research"  at Bucknell College in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania November 14-16, 2014.Amar presented an overview of his Digital Humanities Research Project "Sacred Centers in India".  He discussed the overall goals of the project, the digital aspects of it which include mapping of scared sites in Gaya and Bodhgaya and geospatially  accurate 3D virtual experiences of the Vishnupada Temple in Gaya.  He also talked at length about the role(s) undergraduate researchers have played in aspects of his research.  From a Tweet during the conference (#BUDSC14) Amar said, "Undergraduate student perspectives helped frame and change the way he thinks about his project and the connections among data".  During the audience discussion, Amar responded to questions from the audience on how to think about conducting digital humanities based research pre-tenure. Lauren Scutt began working on Amar's Sacred Centers in India project in March 2014.  She received a Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi)  CLASS fellowship to continue study with Amar for a fifteen month period in 2014/2015.  In addition to organizing digital documents based on Amar's research sites in Gaya and Bodhgaya, Lauren participated in the development of a metadata schema for the digital research collection with Amar and Metadata and Cataloging Librarian, Lisa McFall.  Scutt was the primary researcher filling out metadata for twenty-two sacred sites.  This work involved over 800 digital documents. She described how important metadata was and the responsibility she felt trying to make certain everyone in the future might be able to use the scared centers archive.  Scutt also described how "anticipating audience" helped her "understand the data better". She said, ".. the technology made her focus on the experience of the information."