Asha in front of her poster

This poster presents work by CMSETech Intern, Ahsa Shekar and her work on finding ways to make Jupyter More accessible.


Jupyter is an open-source programming environment that uses "literate programming" by combining documentation, coding and visualization into one file format. The Jupyter notebook format is also particularly well-suited for learning environments, where the instructional content (text, links, videos, etc.) can be combined with executable code and student output (graphs, charts, solutions, feedback) in a single, easy-to-use, file format. Unfortunately, Jupyter software is not fully accessible.  This means individuals with impaired senses and abilities may not be able to interact with Jupyter effectively. MSU is leading an initiative working towards making Jupyter more accessible. In this project, I investigated the different accessibility issues with Jupyter and identified key problems that, if fixed, would provide an improved experience for the greatest number of our students. This project made progress in solving two key issues; 1) automatically identify and measuring color contrast across the entire graphical user interface and 2) identify structural edits to the source code that can be made to improve the overall readability for screen readers.

Link to the poster

The challenges of developing research tools in active and responsive open source communities

Fri 05 April 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Poster with Ty and Hattie

This poster presents work by Professorial Assistance, Ty Buckly and Hattie Pimentel and their work on building an image annotation system inside of Jupyter.


Scientists often gather observations of the world using images and need efficient image annotating tools to extract data from these images. Project Insight seeks to …

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Understanding Research Technology Support and Where it Fails

Tue 26 March 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Image of a Microscope

I was invited to give a talk to a newly formed IT Research Support group here on MSU campus. As the name suggests, the purpose of this group is to find the best ways to help researchers use technology to do their science.

This talk was a patchwork of many …

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Virtual Reality Talk at the MSU Library

Tue 26 February 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

VR Image

A few weeks ago I was asked by Terence O'Neill to give a talk to the VR/AR seminar group being held at the library. He wanted me to talk about our "Mobile beast" and show how we are using VR equipment in CMSE.

The VR equipment had a bug …

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How do we know what we don't know we don't know?

Fri 07 December 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry


Faculty at MSU conducted a workshop to brainstorm and discuss ways we can try and foresee how education will be changed by technology in an effort to get ahead of the changes and make sure our teaching goals and values stay intact.

My presentation was about the difficulty in predicting …

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Emerging Technologies (FPGAs) @ 2018 ACI-REF VR

Fri 10 August 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture from Panel

Today is the last day of the 2018 ACI-REF Virtual residency workshop here in Norman Ok. It was a great week with a lot of great people. I highly recommend the workshop for anyone in the area of Advanced Computing Instruction especially those do some Research and Education Facilitation in …

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Deciding Which Technologies to Adopt, and When @ 2018 ACI-REF VR

Wed 08 August 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Image used in presentation representing the technology adoption wave

I had fun leading a discussion on Deciding Which Technologies to Adopt, and When at the 2018 ACI-REF Virtual residency event in Norman Oklahoma. Since many of the participants were virtual I experimented with doing a Brainstorming exercise over zoom. We had local volunteers on typing in comments from our …

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Teams of CI Professionals: Recruitment & Retention, Management, Team-building, and Motivation Panel @ 2018 ACI-REF VR

Tue 07 August 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Image from Panel

Thank you Aaron Bergstrom (U North Dakota) for facilitating the panel discussion on Teams of CI Professionals: Recruitment & Retention, Management, Team-building, and Motivation at the 2018 ACI-REF Virtual residency. My fellow panel members included:

  • Jerry Perez, U Texas Dallas
  • Derek Leydig, Pennsylvania State U
  • Claire Mizumoto, U California San Diego …
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Leading and Listening in Complex CI Conversations @ 2018 ACI-REF VR

Mon 06 August 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Graphical Depiction of two people having a complex conversation

I just got done trying out our latest CyberAmbassador Curriculum developed specifically for the 2018 ACI-REF Virtual residency.

We had some growing pains related to getting zoom breakout rooms working with a large group of people calling in. Some didn't have working mics, others work in a group room and …

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Progress Update on the Development and Implementation of the Advanced CI-REF VR Program

Wed 25 July 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

ACI-Ref Buiding Picture

Henry Neeman did a great job presenting our paper on Progress Update for the CI-REF VR Program at PEARC18.

Writing of this paper was truly a unique experience for me. The entire paper was written virtually over weekly video conference meetings and included the thirteen sited (maximum) authors and I …

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