Coins and Computation— Zachary Taylor and Peter van Alfen

Dr. Peter van Alfen and Zachary Taylor discuss new developments in the use of technology to aid in die studies. Die studies help numismatists learn about the ancient money supply, mint layout and manufacturing processes, and much more, but can be tedious and strenuous to conduct. The Computer-Aided Die Study (CADS) aims to solve this problem by automating a vast majority of the ‘busy work’ in a die study, cutting the time needed for sorting and clustering by orders of magnitude. Zachary Taylor, who will be graduating this May with a degree in Computer Science from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX), undertook the development of CADS for his honors thesis and will present the preliminary and promising results in this Money Talks.

He and Chief Curator Peter van Alfen will introduce and demonstrate the CADS tool, summarize the computer vision and clustering methods it uses, and finally suggest how CADS might be used to aid numismatists going forward.