MSU to host Spring Student Research Celebration April 9
From MSU News Service
BOZEMAN — Montana State University will host its Spring Student Research Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 9, online. The event, where MSU students present the results of their research to the Bozeman community, will include a unique virtual reality feature to facilitate a more natural interaction between presenters and attendees. It is free and open to the public.
The celebration, presented by the MSU Undergraduate Scholars Program, will feature the work of both graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines across all colleges. Each student will offer explanations of the results of their work and display their findings in virtual poster halls. There will be 112 presenters.
Topics will include cybersecurity, bacteria, avalanche risks, geometric data analysis, water quality in Montana, Shakespeare’s “Henry V” in American leadership and foreign policy, mental health issues among college students, solar flares, and volcanic supereruptions.
According to Colin Shaw, director of the Undergraduate Scholars Program, the event will use the VR service Mozilla Hubs, which will allow participants to hold audio conversations and share images, videos, 3D models and more.
“I think this is a great example of the potential of VR to offer a more natural, non-linear model of interaction and discussion when face-to-face interactions aren’t possible,” Shaw said.
Shaw also thanked Jonathan Hilmer and Coltran Hophan-Nichols from University Information Technology and the Montana Reality Lab for creating an MSU-branded virtual poster exhibition hall in Mozilla Hubs VR.
There will be four one-hour sessions featuring about 25 students each. In the sessions, presenters will display posters highlighting their research that attendees can click on to read. Presenters will have avatars next to their posters so that attendees can talk with them and ask questions.
“Interactions between students, faculty and community members are the best part of the Student Research Celebration,” Shaw said. “It’s really special to hear a student share their passion for their research and answer your questions. The virtual reality format has allowed us to preserve some of dynamism of face-to-face exchanges while keeping our community safe.”
Links to the sessions will go live April 9. To view the sessions, get directions how to navigate the VR portal and for general tips, visit https://www.montana.edu/usp/2021_Spring_Research_Celebration.html. •