CS Tea: Acacia Ackles
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This is a talk about itself
Every scientific talk tells a story, but are they always true? Scientific research frequently takes a meandering path towards scientific discovery, but our presentation to our audience is that of a clear and concise linear journey. The aim of This is a talk about itself is to invite novice students into the realities of “doing science”, as well as to challenge established scientists to reconsider how we pitch our newfound knowledge. Contained in this talk is a fifteen-minute story about my experience developing and deploying a new VR-based method for visualizing evolutionary landscapes, packaged for a typical scientific audience. The remainder of the talk is a deconstruction of that story: what is developing new methods really like? What does it feel like to do computer science research? And why do we feel the need to build such clean-cut narratives around that work?
Biography: Acacia Ackles (she/they) is a PhD candidate at Michigan State University in Integrative Biology. Her research interests are in developing methods and metrics for evolutionary success and in untangling the complexity of the genotype-phenotype map. Her professional interests are in pedagogy for higher education and the development of justice-oriented interdisciplinary undergraduate courses. Her personal interests are primarily cats and single-player RPGs. In Fall 2022, she will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Lawrence University.