Live Closed Captioning

Sun 26 January 2020 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of me writing on the white board with live closed captioning

Many MSU classrooms have two overhead monitors that project on two screens at the front of class. Each room is equipped with a technology cart that has a desktop computer, overhead camera and laptop connections that can be used to project any of the content to either screen. Up until now I haven't really seen many learning benefit of having two screens in smaller classrooms. However, recently I have been using one screen for my standard presentation and the other screen with a live close caption. Here is a video with a few examples:

Special Thanks to my Graduate Teaching Assistant, Janez Krek, for taking these videos To get this to work I am using Google Slide presentations which have an option for live closed captioning. Here are my steps:

  1. Log into the classroom desktop with my MSU login/password
  2. Open up Chrome
  3. Log into drive using my MSU login/password
  4. Open a new Google Slides file and set the background to black
  5. Start the presentation and hit the 'CC' button which appears at the bottom of the screen when I move my mouse
  6. Attach the portable room microphone to my lapel and turn it on
  7. Adjust volume as appropriate for room and test the captioning

Once I have closed captioning work on the right monitor, I plug in my laptop and use the technology cart interface to set the left screen and desktop monitor to the laptop input. Now I can control my lecture content from my laptop and the close captioning will work on a mostly black screen.

Obviously student's with a hearing disability (temporary and long term) may benefit from the technology but overall I have found many students appreciate the extra information. When I am excited I can talk fast and this helps students keep up with what I am saying. I also have had positive feedback from international students for which English is a second language.

Another drawback to this approach is that I can't figure out how to download a transcript from the lecture. I full transcript could be useful resource for me as well as students.

CMSE Impact Video

Sat 14 December 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of me

Xiaoxing (Adele) Han is a videographer who made some amazing videos to help promote research being done in our department. The following is the video she made of my research which I am very excited to share. I think she did a great job!

Thank you Adele!!!

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Running ImageJ on the HPCC

Wed 04 December 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Fiji logo

A group working over in Plant and Soil Sciences are experts on ImageJ but are relatively new to the HPCC. Together we put together a workflow for getting ImageJ up and running on the HPCC.

Step 1: Log onto the HPCC with an X11 connection

Log onto the HPC using …

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CMSE Presentation at SC19

Sun 17 November 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

SC19 Logo

I just got out of giving a presentation about the CMSE department as part of the Sixth SC Workshop on Best Practices for HPC Training and Education (BPHTE19) workshop at SC19. It was fun to show people what we are doing in CMSE and share our progress. Here is a …

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Sherpas of Supercomputing

Sun 15 September 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Cover picture of the September 2019 ASEE PRISM Magazine Featuring the Sherpas of Supercomputing article

I had the honor of recently being featured in an ASEE PRISM Magazine article about research facilitation.

An essential, if not yet well-defined, field is emerging at the intersection of research and the high-performance machines that make sense of big data. By Lucy Birmingham and Mark Matthews

See the full …

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Developing curriculum to train Graduate students how to utilize Raspberry Pis to Automate Research Labs

Wed 24 July 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of Shelby in front of her poster

Summer 2019 CMSE CMSE Undergraduate Intern Poster presentation at MidSure by Shelby Santos

Raspberry Pis (RPis) are affordable microcomputers (approx. $35) that have the capability to revolutionize the accuracy and efficiency of data collection in basic laboratory environments. Recreationally, RPis can be used as a base for smart televisions, home …

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Investigation of the process of converting a C++ code into an implementable FPGA file

Wed 24 July 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of Ana in front of her poster

Summer 2019 ENSURE Student Poster presentation at MidSure by Ana Flavia Borges de Almeida Barreto

A Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) is an integrated circuit that can be “rewired” to become other circuits. This ability makes FPGAs highly configurable and can significantly help speed up large scale computation used in …

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Searching the Algorithm Space to Automate Scientific Image Analysis Workflows

Wed 24 July 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of Noah in front of her poster

Summer 2019 SROP student poster presentation at MidSure by Noah Stolz

Scientific data is often gathered in the form of Images. Scientific Image analysis is the process of pulling specific measurements out of images. Which measures are important complete depend on the scientific question being asked. For this reason, there …

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The Keyboard Trap: Making Jupyter Notebooks Accessible to All Students

Wed 24 July 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of Abudit in front of her poster

Summer 2019 CMSE Undergraduate Intern Poster presentation at MidSure by Abudit Rai:

Jupyter Notebook is a relatively new environment that incorporates formatted text (using markdown), multimedia (video and pictures using html) and executable code where users can write and execute code within “cells” for languages such as Python, Julia, and …

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2019 Ensure Talk - An Engineers Autobiography

Tue 25 June 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry


I gave my annual autobiographical talk today to the EnSURE (Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) students. I give this talk every year and it is noticeably different that most of my presentations because the EnSURE organizers asked me to talk about myself and how I got where I am (instead …

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