The "D" in the acronym is left over from an earlier name which used digital rather than informatic in the title. As this center is still in proposal stage, we are still searching for the best name and the best acronym. Here is the rationale for the earlier name:
What underlies the digital? Anthropology traditionally is analogue: texts, explanations, models, diagrams, photographs, drawings. The digital involves other "modes of information," to quote Mark Poster: all of the above, translated into digital form, which travels more easily. Then there is the added value of digital portability: the possibility of nonlinear (hyper-)texts, spreadsheets of data, zoomable and super-imposible maps, rotatable 3D images, movie and sound images, network embeddings, models that can be reanalyzed from the data under different assumptions or using different methods. No more of a "virtual reality" than analogue ("traditional") anthropology, it is no substitute for culture as lived experience with people firsthand. But it may promote understanding, both humanistic and scientific. Further, digital anthropology travels the internet: like culture itself, it is highly shareable. Finally, the implication of the term "digital anthropology" also connotes the possibility of inverting the focus from analogue or digital models of sociocultural modalities to an anthropology of the digital and the information age itself, including the problem of unequal access to technological media and resources. We hope to overcome a small part of that bias of the information by making our tools and data resources available more openly on the net, for anthropologists and others to share.