Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences

Dean Rehberger, Director

Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University seeks to advance critical understanding and promote access to knowledge through world-class research in digital humanities and cultural informatics. Digital humanities and cultural informatics bring together the humanist’s quest for deeper understanding of human nature, thought, expression, and behavior with the tools, methods and applications of computer science, user experience design, and information and library sciences. Matrix researchers use information and communication technologies to advance, mediate, and inform the humanist disciplines, as well as disciplines within the arts, social sciences, and education. At MSU, Matrix partners in music, history, anthropology and archaeology, education, international studies, museum studies, archives and libraries to build new, global, networked resources, services, and platforms that give life to the metaphor of “Matrix” as the multiple intersections and applications of interdisciplinary research.  Matrix therefore applies humanities technology to all the elements of MSU’s mission: research, education, outreach, and service to multiple public and professional communities. Guided by basic scholarly and humanist values of excellence, education, access, and inclusiveness, and conducted according to proven, collaborative, scholarly methods and principles, Matrix has become one of the most prestigious humanities technology centers in the world.

To this end, the mission of Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Services serves as a catalyst for and incubator of the emerging fields of the digital humanities and cultural heritage informatics.  In pursuing the Center’s vision, Matrix is guided by five broad strategic goals that describe the national research agenda in digital humanities and cultural heritage informatics:

  1. Broaden and advance the creation, preservation, access to and interpretation of the human record (both past and present), through collaborative research and development of major digital cultural heritage tools and resources.
  2. Forge and strengthen interdisciplinary partnerships, pioneer research and development of pedagogical applications of new digital technologies for the arts, humanities, and social sciences in order to transform teaching and learning.
  3. Research, develop, and implement tools and platforms to advance scholarly networking within and across disciplines, develop new forms of online publication within the academy and the broader public.
  4. Research, develop and apply information and communication technologies to build domestic and international linkages, promote public involvement, ensure digital equity, and support civil society.
  5. Foster a new generation of scholars to research, develop, and implement new technologies, platforms, and approaches for research and teaching, and to pioneer a new type of interdisciplinary humanities scholarship.

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