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GEEK GUIDE 2018-2019

Unless noted, all lectures are held in Jonas 110 at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and are free and open to the public.

Geeks of the Past

  • University Honors Capstone Defenses: Carissa Hauck- “Why Black Hills State University Domestic Students Choose Not to Study Abroad;" Madison Jilek- “Utilizing Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy to Detect Trace Impurities for Rare Event Search Detectors;" Kayti Parish- “Purposeful Movement, its Relationship to Kinesthetic Learning, Ways in which it has Already Been Incorporated into the Classroom, and the Full Body Science Project;" Alexandra Hancock- “Let Them Play: Increasing Time Children Spend Outdoors in Midwest Towns of Fewer Than 15,000 People;" Courtney Dahlgren- “Photoredox Coupling of an Activated Aldehyde and Various Trifluoromethylation Reagents;" Thomas Trimble- “Platinum Group Elements: A Sustainability Paradox;" Bobby Russell- “Teaching a Work of Literature through Its Historical Development: A Unit Plan for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Julietand Its Sources;" Abigail Burnett- “Business Plan for Galusha Solar;" and Dakota Becher- "The Pen(is) Mightier than Sealed Lips: An Analysis of Rape Culture Within Young Adult Literature"
  • “Berlin Now: A Portrait of a City after the Wall," Dr. Adam Blackler 
  • “America’s Favorite Carnage: Selling Wilderness Ordeals as Spectacle,” Dr. Tim Steckline
  • “Fano-Plane and Di-Graph Poetics: Intersections of Math and Poetry," Dr. Dan May and Dr. Courtney Huse Wika
  • “’A Little More than Kin and Less than Kind:’ The Concept of Relation Across Religious and Cultural Traditions," Dr. Amy Fuqua
  • “’Trash Has Two Parents: The Person Who Threw It and the Person Who Walked by…:’Thriving in the Age of Accelerations," Dr. Jami Stone
  • Gerrymandering:The Geometry of Redistricting," Dr. Dan Swenson
  • “Sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Making the Connection," Petrika Peters
  • "Rebel Girl: Celebrating a Century of Exchange Between American Popular Music and Feminism," Dan May and Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
  • "Science", the Expert Problem, and Mass Hysteria,” Dr. Max Marc
  • “From Bach to Braindrill: Exploring the Similarities between Metal and Classical Music and Fandom,” Dr. Dave Berberick
  • "Simulations of History:  8 Second Looks at 4 Iconic Photos," Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "Weapons of Math Destruction," Dr. Colin Garnett
  • "I Am the Bone Collector, Now What Do I Do?"  Professor Gina Gibson 
  • "The Joy of SET: Inroads into Combinatorics and Finite Geometry," Dr. Dan May
  • "Imagining Mythica: Hit-and-Run Game Design for the Bullheaded OR Building Narrative Engines for an ADD world at the Intersection of Math, Myth, Movies, and Money OR Perseverance and Beginner's Mind: The Eye-opening March from Mythica to Walmart," Instructor Karl Lehman 
  • "The Meaning of Everything: The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary," Dr. Andrey Reznikov 
  • "Tasting Life Twice: On Life-Writing and Wellbeing," Dr. Denice Turner
  • "Use of Images for Visualization and Visual Literacy in Language Class," Dr. Du-Lu Hsiao 
  • "Something Wicked This Way Comes: The History, Myths, and Rituals of Halloween," Dr. Courtney Huse Wika
  • "Veteran Legacies in the Black Hills," Professor Kelly Kirk
  • "Searching for Riemann: A Brief History and Some Recent Insights into One of the Most Intriguing Unsolved Million-dollar Problem in Mathematics," Dr. Parthasarathi Nag
  • The University Honors Capstone Defenses: "Spirituality: The Cornerstone of the Inca Empire, Katherine Nelson, University Scholar; and 
    "Financial Literacy and Delayed Gratification for BeeSweet Farmers in Zambia", Katelyn Woten, International University Scholar; and "Evaluating the Clonal Structure of Invasive Ivy through Microsatellite Markers," Alissa Iverson, University Scholar
  • Metapatterns," Dr. Liz Fayer and Dr. Joanna Jones
  • "From Blake to the Beatles and Beyond: The Legacy of Romanticism," Dr. Martin Fashbaugh
  • "Bad Bureaucrats? The Future of Whistleblowing in a Post-Snowden World," PhD student (and University Honors Program graduate) Cody Drolc
  • "Advocating for the Protection of Native Women Through Theatrical, Spoken Word and Slam Poetry Performances," Dr. Nikki Dragone
  • "Do-si-dos and Dihedrals: Mathematics and, wait, what...Dance?!?," Dr. Dan May
  • "Truly Revolution? The Haitian Revolution and its Legacy," Dr. Jason Daniels
  • "Who is The Reluctant Celebrity? - Crazy Horse, Korczak Ziolkowski, Chief Henry Standing Bear, or a University and Medical Training Center," Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung
  • "Mathematical Music: Bob Dylan's Extra-Lyrical Artistry" Dr. Justin Tremel
  • "Prejudice, Privilege, & Perseverance Through the Lens of Disney's Zootopia," Erica Whitiker
  • "Stunde Null: The Holocaust and Memory after 1945," Dr. Adam Blackler
  • "Panic! At the Meat Department. Food Scares as Moral Panics," Dr. Trenton Ellis
  • "Iconography of Desire (And Confusion)," Dr. Avi Jain
  • "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Oscar Wilde: The Dialectical Cowboy," Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "BHSU Edge: Creating the Professional Student Development Program," Karin Humar, International University Scholar
  • "Supersymmetry, Superstrings and the quest for the Theory Of Everything," Dr. Nag
  • "Are We All Related? Race and the Embrace of The Other," Professor Jace DeCory and Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "Lawyers, Home Runs, and Money: The Long and Ongoing Corruption of Professional Baseball, America’s Past-its-Time," Dr. David Cremean
  • "999 Mona Lisas in the Age of Digital Reproduction: A Tribute to the Life and Work of Walter Benjamin," Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "I'm Like, Who Needs This Grammar Stuff?" Dr. Andrey Reznikov
  • "LGBTQ+: Fleshing Out the Acronym," Dr. William Cockrell, Dr. Lesleigh Owen, Terri Bruce, and Dr. Emilia Flint
  • "Recycling Perceptions," Hailima Yates
  • "Dangerous Minds: Banned Books and their Authors," a panel discussion with Scott Ahola,Emily Eggebraaten, Amber Wilde, and Shana Monnens
  • "Uranium Mining in the Black Hills: An Explosion of Interest," Dr. Lilias Jones Jarding
  • "All We Are Saying: Social Activism in Music," Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. Dan May
  • "In vitro Nanoparticle Cytotoxicity on Buffalo Rat Liver Cells," Alicia Benz, International University Scholar
  • "The Islamic Moorish Influence on the Architecture in the South of Spain," Ashley Ruegg, International University Scholar
  • "The Social Life of Meat," Dr. Trenton Ellis
  • "A Tour of Voting Systems: How do we choose a winner?" Dr. Dan Swenson
  • "God Show Me the Way: Religion and Hip Hop," Dr. Day May
  • "Not Just a Cheesy Monster Movie: the Multiple Meanings of Godzilla," Dr. Tom Arnold
  • "Draw Something! A Drawing Workshop," Professor Desy Schoenewies
  • "Biblically Speaking: Sin and the Role of Women in the Christian New Testament," Dr. Amy Fuqua
  • "Preaching to the Nerves Instead of the Judgment:' The Victorian Sensation Novel," Dr. Martin Fashbaugh
  • "The Narcissistic Doctor? Leadership, Ethics, and Dr. Who," Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung
  • "I Was Real Once,” sighed Mr. Holmes: #BelieveinSherlock #FightJohnWatsonsWar," Dr. Nikki Dragone
  • "Public Speaking: Raising Hell," Dr. Adam Gaffey
  • "#BlurredLines: American Raunch Culture," an open discussion with Drs. Courtney Huse Wika, Trenton Ellis, Rickie Legleitner, and Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
  • "Stuffies, Sex and the Contemporary Counter-Reformation," Professor Ann Porter
  • "So Much More Than 'Just a Game:' A Complete Summer Program Curriculum for School-Aged Children Aligned to Education Standards," University Scholar Megan Hohn.
  • "Perspectives on Hunger," Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. John Alsup.
  • "Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World’s Rights," Dr. Nikki Dragone.
  • "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach," Dr. Laura Colmenero Chilberg.
  • "The Origins of Language," Dr. Andrey Reznikov.
  • "Outgrowing Optimism," Dr. Tim Steckline.
  • "Robin Hood Redux: How through Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), CEOs Rob From the Poor and Pay the Rich," Dr. Byron Hollowed.
  • "Now That It's Too Late?: Climate Change and the Anthropocene," hosted by Instructor Matthew Bauman.
  • "Ethnobotany and Indigenous Lakota Plants," hosted by Professors Jace DeCory, Justin Ramsey, Tara Ramsey, and John Dixon.
  • "I'll Take You to the Dark Side: Our Fascination with Death and Disasters," hosted by Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto.
  • "The Man on the Motorcycle: The Revolutionary Thought of Che Guevara," hosted by Dr. Tim Martinez.
  • "Always Contested:The Confederate Flag in the Public Imagination," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
  • "All that is Good is Nastier than Ever: Punk vs. Disco: The Defunkification of the Nation," hosted by professors Kelly Kirk and Chris Hahn.
  • "Just Do It: Sports Participation & Onset of Sexual Behaviors in Adolescents," hosted by Kristin N. Prescott (Defense).
  • "Cracking the 'Hermeneutically' Sealed Box of Structuralism: A Poststructuralist Reading of Nicos Poulantzas," hosted by Cody A. Drolc (Defense).
  • "Mathematical Instruction: Sometimes Change is Good," hosted by Myranda K. Mattke (Defense).
  • "In the Name of the People: Castro's Revolution in Theory, Practice, and Results," hosted by Kim R. Kaufmann (Defense).
  • "Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb: A Complex History and Analysis," hosted by Lucas C. Fralick (Defense).
  • "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game," John Ginther.
  • "The Truth is in Here: Why 12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run the Country (and Other “Crazy Conspiracies)," Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis.
  • "Love Me I'm Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Alternative Rock," Dr. Dan May.
  • "Breaking Bad and Inexhaustible Extreme Met(h)aphor," Dr. David Crimean.
  • "You Want to Send a Message, Use a Telegram. Theatre, Politics, and the Art of Confrontation," Dr. Pam Wegner.
  • "The Videogame Monologues: An Examination of Gender in a Male Dominated World," Instructor Will Cockerel.
  • "All That Is Good Is STILL Nasty: The Continuing Funkification of the Nation Part I: Funk and Urban Culture in the 1970s," Dr. Chris Hahn and Professor Kirk.
  • "Butchers, Buffoons, and 'Basterds': Nazis in Popular Culture," Dr. Tom Arnold.
  • "The Sound (and a Bit of Sense) of Poetry from Ancient Times to the Present," Dr. Nicholas Wallerstein.
  • "Hands Up Don't Shoot: Boiling Points of Tension in Ferguson, Missouri," hosted by Professor Desy Schoenewies.
  • "The Rhetoric of Equality: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Arguments on Civil Rights," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
  • "Disruptive Depictions of Disability in South Park," hosted by Dr. Rickie Ann Legleitner.
  • "Welcome to the Zombie-Ridden Landscape of the Real: The Walking Dead and the 21st Century Passion for the Real," hosted by PhD Candidate Tyrone White.
  • "The Fall Defense: Revealing Tournament Theory's Motivational Techniques within Hollywood Movies; On Finding Hope" hosted by Julie Gueswel and Jordan Louks.
  • "The Geek Chic" hosted by Dr. Robb Campbell.
  • "Lincoln and Gettysburg From Rhetorical Artistry to National Totem," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
  • "For pairs of lips to kiss maybe / Involves no trigonometry : Mathematics and Poetry," hosted by Dr. Dan May.
  • "Practical Magic: The Myths and Rituals of Halloween," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.
  • "The Dark Mouse: The Evils of Disney," hosted by Dr. Tim Steckline.
  • "Why Democracy Needs Good Novels: The Future of Fiction," hosted by Dr. Amy Fuqua.
  • "WE ARE #RAVENSNATION: Violence in the NFL," an open panel discussion. Hosted by Drs. Marker, Anagnopoulos, Gaffey, and Wallerstein.
  • "All That is Good is Nasty: The Funkification of the Nation," Hosted by Dr. Chris Hahn.
  • "Happy? The Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment:" Hosted by Dr. Jami Stone.
  • "The Super History of America's Superheroes," hosted by Professor Kelly Kirk.
  • "The Defense: "The Surveillance Industrial Complex: America's Privacy Crisis;" "Distinguishing the Meditative Benefits of Drawing Within and Without Borders on Acute Stress," hosted by Nicole Faas and Kaitlin Schneider, respectively.
  • "This is Gonna Suck: The Vampire in History and Literature," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.
  • "A Look at Beauty: Bias, Brokenness, and the Pursuit of Truth," hosted by Professor Gina Gibson.
  • "Children Beware! Stephen King and Evil in Its Many Forms," hosted by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg.
  • "My Bloody Valentine: The Psychology of Serial Killers," hosted by Dr. Emilia Flint.
  • "Just a Shadow You're Seeing That He's Chasing: Bob Dylan, Mystic," hosted by Dr. David Cremean.
  • "What Does the Fox Say: The Animal in Art and Society," hosted by Dr. Ann Porter.
  • "We Wish you a Merry and Terrifying Christmas: Myths, Histories, and Legends of the Holiday"
  • "56 Houses Left: Urban Decay and Abandonment," hosted by Professor Desy Schoenewies.
  • "Killing the President: JFK and the Conspiracies," hosted by Dr. Sasha Pursley.
  • "The Good Death: Death and Dying in the Civil War," hosted by Professor Kelly Kirk.
  • "Your Guide to the Apocalypse: The History of Zombies," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.

Th. August 30:  Jeff Wehrung:  “Why We NEED Science Fiction!”

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… someone, not me, had an unreal experience”

On September 21st, 2017 a controversial episode of Seth McFarlane's television show "The Orville" portrayed a male homosexual couple arguing whether to have doctors perform a gender transitioning operation on their newborn baby girl. After heavy handed government intervention, it was determined that the baby’s life would be much easier if she was allowed to live as a boy. In addition to discussing gender issues, the episode highlighted controversies surrounding parental rights, medical ethics, and imposing one's cultural norms upon others. Would the government really choose sides and force gender transitioning against one parent’s will?

While the above situation may seem extreme or even absurd, in February 2018, less than 6 months after the episode aired, an Ohio couple lost custody of their daughter over issues related to gender transitioning. In this case both parents refused to supply their daughter with the desired hormone therapy and the court gave custody to the more supportive grandparents.

History courses help students understand issues of the past, yet current discourse often relates to technologies or cultural phenomenon unfathomed by prior generations. This distinction is especially pertinent when it comes to ethical dilemmas. For example, we cannot rely on history to guide our views on artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, cloning, or countless other new technologies. Similarly, social issues such as abortion, climate change, immigration, gender disparity, and terrorism are all being conceived very differently than in times past.

Science fiction provides a unique opportunity for us to debate difficult to discuss subjects within a more psychologically safe context. Psychological distancing relates to how we think about a topic in terms of social (self vs other), temporal (now vs past/future), spatial (close vs far away), and experiential (real vs imaginary) characteristics. The greater the psychological distance, the more logically we are capable of reflecting on and discussing an issue. Science fiction provides an opportunity to maximize psychological distancing; showing people very different from ourselves, living in a different time and place, as they experience imaginary and often fanciful dilemmas. Yet while the exact situations are imaginary, and thus easier to discuss, the root lessons may be just as valuable and important.

6: Dan May: “Bridging the Gap: Diversity in the STEM Pipeline

On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 3% of low-income eighth graders score at the Advanced level in mathematics, while 14% of 8th graders overall score at this level.  By 12th grade, the percentage of low-income students scoring at the Advanced level is not even given—it “rounds to zero”. The Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) program aims to address these issues by offering advanced enrichment learning in mathematics to middle school students from low-income neighborhoods across New York City and Los Angeles. The program offers summer day-camp mathematics enrichment activities to rising 7th graders, a summer residential math camp to rising 8th graders, and assists these students throughout their high school years and with their application to college and other issues related to the transition to higher education. The ultimate goal of BEAM is to increase the number of students from underserved communities who are prepared to earn STEM degrees and succeed in STEM careers. In this talk, we will discuss the work of BEAM and frame the need for such a program. We’ll also have some fun – come ready to be challenged by playing with some of the mathematics activities the summer camp 8th graders work on!

 “East Meets West (River): Creative Readings from BHSU and USD Creative Writing Faculty” (Held in Black Box Theatre)

Join us in the Black Box Theatre for creative readings from Courtney Huse Wika, Matthew Bauman, Leah McCormack, and duncan b. barlow.


27: No Geek Speak: Swarm Days Festivities  

4Tim Steckline: “Zoot Suits and the Sailor Riots of 1943: Race Terror in Aztlan”

Seventy-five years have passed since nearly a week of open terror in the streets of Los Angeles was blamed on the style of clothing worn by the victims. In 1941 the high style of working-class minorities had expressed itself in the zoot suit, broad-shouldered and narrow-waisted, featuring wide lapels and a generous drape, with a pair of reet pleats, all topped by a sweep-brimmed hat. The zoot was sported by the young Malcolm X and the wild Cab Calloway. As a flagrant rejection of a subservient posture, the zoot suit won over Mexican-Americans from Texas to California, and especially in Los Angeles. By WW II pachuco culture had adopted the zoot suit as its swaggering trademark. . . . Then, in June of 1943, zoot suits made their wearers into targets of mass assault and battery. For five days sailors on shore leave rioted and brutalized dozens of young Mexican-Americans, many wearing zoots. And from this outbreak of terror, a movement was forged. Viva La Raza.

11: Kelly Kirk and Carrie Gray-Wood: “A Taste of Place: The History and Geography of Food in Italy”

The history and geography of Italy is heavily flavored by her foods.  The Speak aims to show you how food makes a great lens for showcasing human history and geography.  Join us for a discussion of the Renaissance, migrational diffusion, gender, politics, religion, industrialization, and transportation networks; all through the lens of food.  We will leave you hungering for more!

18: BHSUArt Faculty: “Beyond the Classroom”

The fine arts faculty (photo, studio, and graphic design) will present an evening of their current work in rapid-fire succession as part of the amazing Geek Speak Series! Each faculty member in the fine arts will showcase their work in 5-10 minute increments using images and fast talking. The impetus for this idea stems from BHSU students wanting to know more about the faculty’s own personal work outside of the classroom. This geek speak will give the BHSU campus and community a small taste of the work that is created beyond the classroom.

25: Kelly Kirk: “Honoring Veterans' Legacies”

BHSU has partnered the National Cemetery Administration to (re)discover the stories of service and sacrifice of veterans from their own community through the Veterans Legacy Program. The public history materials created through this partnership encourage a visitor to see not just a cemetery, but a repository of history. Through the VLP, the contributions of veterans, from all periods, are explored, building a story that while incredibly individual, reflects deeper national experiences. Join BHSU students as they share veterans' stories and their experiences as part of the Veterans Legacy Program.

1: Andrey Reznikov “The Role of Bible Translations in Establishing the English Language”

The presentation will first discuss the history of the English translations of the Bible and the problems which translators undertaking this enormous task have to solve; then it will analyze numerous examples of idiomatic expressions that are used today in many genres of spoken and written English and that originated in one of the English translations of the Bible, including the King James Bible (1611). No other single source has provided the language with so many expressions, which makes the Bible the most influential book in shaping modern English.

8: Aaron Bauerly “You are the Hero: Interaction with Mythic Archetypes Through Games” 

Myth has always played an important role in the initiation of individuals into their culture. This occurs around the globe and across cultures. Historically, the archetypal patterns of myth were typically integrated into religious stories. In today’s culture—a culture made up of diverse groups—we have entered an age of creative mythology, in which mythic archetypes are reused in imaginative works but still fulfill the same function. In this Geek Speak, we will look at the structure of the Hero’s Journey, as defined by Joseph Campbell, and then see how this pattern has been applied as a gameplay mechanism in video games.

15: Du-Lu Hsiao “How to be Spanish”

Not since Jamie Oliver shared his “paella with chorizo” recipe has an article in the British media sparked such anger among Spanish readers. This time, Chris Haslam, the chief travel writer at British daily The Times, who, with an article entitled “How to be Spanish,” has scored a (probably unwanted) viral hit on social networks and prompted thousands of irate comments. This article, full of Spanish clichés, such as the need to “swear like a trooper (coño, me cago en…, mierda, etc…), “drink your red wine cold,”( Kalimotxo), “always be late - unless a bull’s charging at you,” and many more, has raised the ire of many Spanish reader after a failed attempt to combine between the humor and the irony. Thus, in this Geek Speak we are going to give some answers of those cliché’s mentioned in the article and some suggestions on “How to be Spanish”.

Nov. 29  from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Joy Center

The University Honors Capstone Defenses

Please join us for the traditional capstone defenses for our graduating University Honors Program students! Refreshments will be served. 

William Gottlob will present “The Paced Classroom: The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Paced Classroom in a Mathematics Setting"

Mikenzie Mikkelson will discuss “Vitamin D: Effects of repletion on physical performance”

10: Desy Schoenewies.: Drawings from China: Experiences from the BHSU/Baoding University Partnership BHSU Artists at Baoding University

Professor Desy Schoenewies will speak about the experiences of taking 8 students to Baoding University, our partner university in China for over three weeks of collaborative art-making. At Baoding, BHSU students exhibited paintings from their traditional Chinese painting classes as well as immersed themselves into many Chinese cultural experiences such as martial arts, traditional paper cutting, porcelain design, language courses, and more. A comic book created by BHSU student artists based on their experiences abroad was created during this experience. This geek speak will debut the comic book as well as retell the stories from the students who participated, offering their perspectives on what it was like to live and learn at a Chinese university.

17: Tami Haaland:  An Afternoon of Poetry with Montana's Former Poet Laureate

Tami Haaland is the author of three poetry collections, What Does Not Return, When We Wake in the Night, and Breath in Every Room, winner of the Nicholas Roerich First Book Award. Haaland’s poems have appeared in High Desert Journal, Consequence, Ascent, The Ecopoetry Anthology and many other periodicals and anthologies.  Her work has also been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. She received an Artist Innovation Award from Montana Arts Council and a Governor’s Humanities Award. Haaland has served as Montana's Poet Laureate and teaches at Montana State University Billings.

24: Tracy Hunt and Chelsey Groseclose: “The Matrix Within: from Insomnia to Lucidity, the Powers of Sleep and Dreaming”

If you could do or have anything at all, what would it be? The ability to walk through walls or bound over tall buildings? Taste fire? Have one night with your favorite celebrity? Or something deeper and more meaningful: A chance to make friends with your inner demons, curtail their efforts to sabotage your happiness? Perhaps a way to engage your deepest self in deep psychological healing or self- discovery? There is some pretty strong evidence that this can all be achieved through lucid dreaming. Additionally, the skillset to do so is something most people can learn and facilitate. In this talk we will dive deep into these mysteries and discuss some practical tools for accessing the power of your dreams. We will also talk about the inherent beauty and necessity of good sleep hygiene, what happens when this is disrupted and what you can do to promote a healthy relationship with your nightlife.

31: Altman Studeny, Carrie Gray-Wood, Tim Steckline: ““Twisted Fibers: Felt as Art, Technique, and Social Critique” 

This is a farrago of a Geek Speak, spun out from the conceit that a lowly, ancient clump of wet matted fibers could ascend to the status of a blanket term for human struggle, survival, and even transcendence. 

How is felt made? How is felt different from textiles? What are its special properties? Where did it originate? Why did the German artist Joseph Beuys find felt so suggestive that he adopted it as a favorite material in his work? How does felt’s power to insulate inculcate lessons in social, spiritual, and aesthetic insights? Why did the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze find in felt a model for a future human social fabric? What is the role of randomness in felt? These questions and others will entwine the efforts of an artist, a geographer, and a rhetorician to untangle, or to re-entangle, the twisted fibers of felt, the “nonwoven fabric.” Come warm to the subject with us. 

7David Cremean:  “Bruce Springsteen as Storyteller”

If you listen to the talk guys on E-Street Radio, you hear a great deal about it. If you read The Boss’s autobiography, he talks plenty about it. If you heard about his But if you listen at all closely to his songs, you already know it, at least unconsciously: Bruce Springsteen is a Master Storyteller. 

This talk focuses primarily on Springsteen’s lyrics and his use of literary storytelling devices in representative folk and rock songs. As well it will discuss some spoken introductions and comments that he makes at times while offering contexts to his songs. The music itself will brought in through brief analysis of how the words and music fit together. All told storytelling has greatly contributed to his legendary status in rock and roll.

14: Jeffrey Winter: “Secrets and Unconventional uses of Microsoft Office”

Everyone who uses a computer has most likely used some kind of Microsoft Office product (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc…) but not very many are aware of what is actually possible with Microsoft Office.  This talk will look into some ideas and projects that were made with Microsoft Office.  The list of projects includes, but is not limited to art, movies, games, and viruses.  Although most of these projects in this talk can be made with more conventional software, they are still impressive and worth studying.  We will briefly look at how you too can make by using various tools in ways you might not have believed to be possible as well as some tools you were unaware of.  Although some of these projects do involve some coding and use of macros, no programming knowledge is required for understanding this talk.

Note: Jeffrey Winter does not have any Microsoft certifications and is not paid in anyway to promote Microsoft Office.

21: Holly Downing: “Why Our Mascot is Not a Bee—The Frustrations of a BHSU Entomologist”

To the untrained eye, bees and wasps (and some flies) can look very similar.  There are, however, major differences between these two groups that include body structures, social behavior, and ecology.  This talk will describe some of those differences, while also describing fascinating aspects of behavior and the ecological and economic importance of these groups.  An extra perk to attending this talk: you will learn the difference between males and females.  Armed with this geekish knowledge you’ll be able to wow friends and family by holding and petting these insects without fear of being stung.   

28: Max Marc:It's 2019... how 'Blade Runner' predicted Elon Musk, the Simulation, and the coming war with A.I."

"Blade Runner" is set in 2019. It features an Elon Musk-like figure who successfully colonizes other planets. It hints at the notion that we might be living in a simulation. And it predicts a future where humans go to war with A.I. (artificial intelligence). All of this is becoming increasingly likely. Coincidence? I think not.

14: Jarrett Moore: “Manufacturing (Real)ity” 

This lecture will explore the Foucauldian concept of power and how our discourse(s) serve to create the reality in which we live.  Using critical discourse analysis, Foucault’s ideas will be outlined and applied to several modern examples of how media and political narratives serve certain groups of people and lead to hegemony of ideas by setting the context of the discourse. 

21: Chris Hahn: “We’re All Musicians: Exploring the Brain-Music Relationship”

Why are we all affected by music? Developments in cognitive neuroscience and psychology are helping us to explain what happens in our brain when we listen to music. This Geek Speak will be exploring the connections made between hearing and listening. Earworms, Gestalt theory, and the emotional responses we have to music are all part of the equation. We may even answer the old question “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?”

28: @ 4:00PM in Meier Hall.BHSU Research Symposium Keynote Speaker

4: Petrika Peters: “Global Dumping: What Happens to Your Electronic Waste?”

Global dumping refers to a process of moving hazardous waste across national borders. This talk will give a brief history of global dumping and will focus on the movement of hazardous waste from the Global North to the Global South. Specific attention will be paid to issues of state-sovereignty and transnational justice.


Christopher Landauer and Chris Fuchs: "Wizard, Fighter, Rogue RPG Design: Community Building Through Gaming"

Christopher Landauer is an Industrial Engineer by vocation (Stanford) and a Roleplaying Game Engineer by avocation. Engineers are typically tasked with building things, and together with Chris Fuchs, Christopher L. has spent the better part of the last decade building communities, building audiences, and building worlds in the Gaming space.

Chris “Savage Mommy” Fuchs is a proud Geek. He has been gaming since the late 90’s, Starting with 2nd Edition D&D and playing with the same gaming group for that entire time.

Between them they organize the Rocky Mountain Savages, the largest RPG group in the Mountain West and coordinate RPGs for the largest tabletop conventions in the same region. They host the Savage Cast, a popular podcast and appear on several other media properties which promote gaming and the game community.

They just released Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water, their first RPG gaming book and have multiple other projects in the pipeline for publication.

Chris L has also done creative work for Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game companies, was the first person to solve all the puzzles in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, and ran a treasure hunting forum with tens of thousands of active participants.

If the first step of being a Geek means being honest and open about the things that excite you and the things that you love, the second step is finding ways to integrate those passions in to your life and career.

25: Alex Lang: “Noise-Makers: Fascists and Music”

The German philosopher Walter Benjamin remarked that fascism turned politics into art. And music was no exception. While the association of Nazism and Hitler with Wagner is famous, the history of fascists and music goes far beyond German opera. Even today, fascism is explicitly present in various sub-genres of European metal and punk music. This talk will examine how various musicians representing high, experimental, and pop art all found ways to either embrace or accommodate themselves to fascist regimes and ideologies. We will listen to excerpts from a variety of compositions and songs and explore how music could communicate fascism.