DISC Speaker Series PosterDISC is pleased to announce the launch of its speaker series to help amplify the impact of MSU research. Each session will feature an MSU scholar who will use the CyberDiscovery immersive visualization environment to share their research with non-expert, multidisciplinary audiences. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided!


The Spring 2018 Speaker Series roster includes individuals from Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Film and Photography, Food and Health Lab, History and Philosophy, MSU Library, and Native American Studies.


The Full schedule is listed below. Please watch this space for additional details.


Interested in speaking? Contact Justin Shanks to learn more.






DISC Speaker Series Schedule, Spring 2018:
27 FEBRUARY 2018; 1pm @ the CyberDiscovery wall in the Library
  • TITLE: How 'bout Them Apples: Food Environments and Their Effect on What You Eat 
  • ABSTRACT: Worldwide, adults consume fewer fruits and vegetables (FVs) than recommended. The food environment is one potential influence on dietary quality, where food venues, food types, and processes impact the availability and affordability of high quality and desirable FVs. This research examined disparities in availability, affordability, quality, and desirability of FVs in rural versus urban food environments in Montana as measured by observational surveys, consumer sensory testing, and total phenolic concentration. Metrics to evaluate FV availability, affordability, quality, and desirability will be presented. Our findings indicate that fruits and vegetables were significantly lower in quality and desirability in all three measures on the basis of rurality. Intervention strategies should aim to increase FV quality and desirability in rural food environments to promote consumption. These findings should be examined for their applicability in various settings worldwide towards reducing disparities among food environments.
  • CBS BIO: Dr. Carmen Byker Shanks' research program aims to increase dietary quality and decrease nutrition-related health disparities, while contributing to healthier food environments and systems. She partners with communities, researchers, students, and stakeholders to measure and implement contextually specific strategies in food systems that facilitate dietary change and positive health outcomes. She holds a BS in Dietetics and a PhD in Behavioral and Community Science from Virginia Tech, USA, and is a Registered Dietitian. She joined the faculty of Montana State University in Fall 2011, is Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems, and initiated the Food and Health Lab at Montana State University in the Fall of 2013 in collaboration with Selena Ahmed to carry out basic, behavioral, and applied research that explores linkages among food environments, nutrition, and health. Learn more: http://www.montana.edu/food-health-lab/team/index.html#bykershanks
28 FEBRUARY 20181pm@ the CyberDiscovery wall in the Library
  • TITLE: “Talking Books, Chatty Robots, and Speaking Collections”: Exploring and Applying the Dialogic Moment in Computing to Libraries and Archives
  • ABSTRACT: Conversations and real-time dialogue via speech synthesis and recognition represent one of the most open interaction models available to computing today. The practice of building software and collections for speech or chat input creates accessible collections, forces one to focus on reusable metadata, and reframes our digital library development practices around an open and natural mode for all types of learning communities (dyslexic, blind, ADHD, dysgraphia, etc.). In this session, Jason Clark will introduce the concepts and thinking around conversational and chat interfaces for computing environments. During this introduction, he will also look at common tools and software for building these interfaces as well as the UX and design patterns emerging as best practices. The primary content will cover the research, development, and metadata behind a digital collections prototype enhanced with speech recognition as well as a chatbot interface for archiving resources.
27 March 20181pm @ the CyberDiscovery wall in the Library
  • TITLE: Jenny Lake, Beaver Dick, and Mixed Race Families in the Nineteenth-Century Inter-mountain West
  • ABSTRACT: This talk will focus on the experiences of mixed race people in Idaho and Utah in the nineteenth century. It begins with Beaver Dick, an Englishman who married two Native women (though not at the same time), before examining the lives of other mixed race families in the area. It argues that memories of Beaver Dick and his indigenous wives influenced how white settlers imagined Native people.
  • BIO: Amanda Hendrix-Komoto is an assistant professor in the History & Philosophy Department at Montana State University. A native Idahoan, her research focuses on interracial marriage, relationships between white and Native communities, and nineteenth-century Christian missionary work.
05 APRIL 20181pm @ the CyberDiscovery wall in the Library
  • SPEAKER: John Paxton, Professor and Director, Gianforte School of Computing
  • TITLE: Organizational Transformation
  • ABSTRACT: Due to the pervasive nature of computing, our organization has developed strategies to better serve the computing needs of students, the university and the computing profession.  This talk will provide an overview of these strategies, including our journey from being a Computer Science Department to being a School of Computing.  Our aspiration is to eventually become a College of Computing.
  • BIO: John joined Montana State University in 1990 after earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science from The University of Michigan.  In recent years, he has served as Computer Science Department Head (2007 - 2016) and Gianforte School of Computing Director (2016 - present).  
25 APRIL 20181pm @ the CyberDiscovery wall in the Library
26 APRIL 20181pm @ the CyberDiscovery wall in the Library