News & Events

Unconventional uses for practical tools inspire Geek Speak at BHSU

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, February 5, 2019/Categories: Events, College of Business and Natural Sciences, Community, Events, Faculty

Although Microsoft Office applications like Excel provide a conventional way to crunch numbers, math instructor Jeffrey Winter aims to spark conversation on an unpredicted side of these applications – including art, videos, and games – through his Geek Speak lecture on the Black Hills State University campus.

Winter’s upcoming lecture Thursday, Feb. 14 stemmed from the realization that many people are unaware of how everyday tools, like the programs he uses daily in his mathematics courses at BHSU, can be used in unimaginable ways to create something completely unexpected.

“Almost everyone has either heard of or used Microsoft Office in some way or another. However, I think most people don’t realize that you can do a lot more than what you might think is possible with this software. I hope to help people realize that you can create really cool things with ordinary items,” Winter says.

One of the extraordinary examples Winter will discuss during his lecture is the work of Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi, who has created several authentic and very detailed Japanese art pieces by using only the drawing tools available in Excel. Students and community members in attendance can also look forward to seeing how Winter himself has used Microsoft Office in unconventional ways.

This lecture is part of the weekly Geek Speak lecture series on the BHSU campus. Winter’s presentation will begin at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14 in Jonas Hall Room 110.

About BHSU Geek Speak:
The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students and the community to diversity within the disciplines. All lectures are free and open to the public.
Upcoming lectures include:

  • Feb. 21: Dr. Holly Downing, professor of biology: “Why Our Mascot is Not a Bee—The Frustrations of a BHSU Entomologist”

  • Feb. 28: Dr. Max Marc, professor of management information systems: “Artificial Intelligence vs. Humans: Thought Experiments on the End-Game”

  • March 14: Dr. Jarrett Moore, assistant professor of research and assessment: “Manufacturing (Real)ity”

  • March 21: Dr. Chris Hahn, assistant professor of music: “We’re All Musicians: Exploring the Brain-Music Relationship”

  • March 28: BHSU Research Symposium Keynote Speaker, Meier Hall

  • April 4: Petrika Peters, sustainability advocate: “Global Dumping: What Happens to Your Electronic Waste?”

  • April 11: Christopher Landauer and Chris Fuchs: "Wizard, Fighter, Rouge RPG Design: Community Building Through Gaming"

  • April 25: Courtney Huse Wika, associate professor of English: “A Spontaneous Overflow of Powerful Feelings: A (Very Brief) Poetry Writing Workshop”

 To read short descriptions of each lecture topic, visit
For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, associate professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email


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