Colloquium & Events

The Computer Science Colloquium is a series of weekly public guest lectures on cutting-edge topics related to computer science. Talks by distinguished members of the computer science community are on Thursdays at noon in Stevenson Hall, Room 1002.

SSU campus maps are available. A parking permit is required to park on campus, and is available for $5 at machines in the parking lots. Talks are otherwise free.

Many students attend the series to gain an understanding of what it means to be a computer scientist, and many establish valuable connections through the informal meetings with the speakers. The colloquium may be taken for credit (CS 390, 1 unit) and can be applied to the computer science major and minor.

Below are the current and archived programs of the series. Many of the talks have been videotaped and are available through YouTube.

View Previous Colloquium Programs

Colloquium Spring 2018, Thursdays 12:05 - 12:55pm, Stevenson 1002
Date Speaker Topic
Feb. 8 Wendell Wallach, Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics AI Steps Out of the Laboratory and into the World: Ethics and Governance Challenges

While we are reaping the benefits of artificial intelligence, how might we minimize the dangers, risks, and undesirable societal impacts through ethics, engineering, and oversight?

Feb. 15 Barry Rountree, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Nonmaterial performance: practical humanistic code exegesis for the impatient OS hacker

For decades, humanists in what is now called Digital Humanities or Software Studies or Critical Code Studies have been asking the question: "What happens if we treat code as literature?". From the computer science perspective, the answer has been "Not much." While there have been multiple productive lines of research created by applying computer science to the study of literature, the literary study of code has not progressed nearly as far. In this talk, I will be presenting the results of an ongoing collaboration with Dr. William Condee (Ohio University) that moves the problem out of textual exegesis and into theatrical performance studies and philosophy of science. By extending ideas from puppetry and material performance to code execution, we have created a set of analyses that we have (playfully) labeled "nonmaterial performance."

For humanistic approaches to code to be considered successful, we feel that there needs to be some tangible benefit to working computer scientists. With this threshold in mind, I will be presenting a case study on the consideration and ultimate rejection of LLNL's msr-safe kernel module for inclusion in the mainline linux kernel. I will argue that a nonmaterial performance analysis gives a better understanding of that technical and political process than can be had with a pure CS approach.

While this talk is hosted by the computer science department, humanities students and faculty are particularly encouraged to attend.

Mar. 1 Sara Kassis, Sonoma State University Bringing Immersive Learning with Virtual and Augmented Reality to SSU

Virtual reality has been around for many years but interest and excitement has recently been rekindled in the past few years with new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices brought out to the market from well-known companies. Especially of interest is the educational possibilities the use of VR and AR can bring, where students can learn and explore areas they would possibly never have the chance if not for these breakthrough technologies. Students are able to go inside of the human heart and learn the various parts or explore the world and virtually go to Spain or China. Students can even explore the terrain of Mars, with real footage taken from NASA!

The nature of this talk will be about the Immersive Learning@SSU program, the new VITaL (Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning) Lab, and establishing a development team to create much needed VR and AR applications for academia.

Mar. 8 Suzanne Rivoire, Sonoma State University The Only One in the Room: A Field Guide to Underrepresentation in STEM

As a bright-eyed freshman electrical engineering major in 1998, I thought I was ready for a challenge and prepared to thrive in a male-dominated setting. Instead, I was confronted with what is still the hardest, most confidence-shattering academic experience of my life. As I dove into the research on women in STEM, trying to figure out exactly what had happened to me, I learned that the seemingly lonely road I was traveling was well trodden by women who came before me. In this talk, I’ll share my own journey, as well as the broader lessons I’ve learned about barriers to underrepresented groups in STEM, what can be done to help us, and what we can do to help ourselves in the meantime.

Previous Colloquium Programs