Institute for CyberScience launches CyberScience Seminar series

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This fall a new, monthly seminar series from the Penn State Institute for CyberScience (ICS) will explore the frontiers of cyberscience research. The seminars, presented by Penn State faculty who use computational and big data methods in their research, are free and open to the public. ICS aims for the seminars to bring together researchers from diverse fields so they can learn from one another about new and emergent methods in high-performance computing.

“Cyberscience is inherently interdisciplinary,” said ICS Director Jenni Evans. “No matter your field, if you do cyberscience, you can learn something from researchers in very different fields who are using similar methods and grappling with similar issues. The CyberScience Seminars will build the knowledge base of the entire cyberscience community at Penn State.”

The kick-off seminar will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sept. 7 in 223A HUB-Robeson Center. This seminar will feature Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology at Penn State. To RSVP for this seminar, click here.

Gilmore will discuss the “reproducibility crisis” in computational research. Researchers across scientific disciplines are voicing concern that many published findings may be false. But reproducing computationally intensive studies to verify their findings can be difficult. Gilmore will explore practical ways that scientists are addressing this issue.

Future seminars will explore a wide range of cutting-edge topics, including big data and fake news, forecasting student learning outcomes, and protecting data privacy. All seminars include a 30-minute lecture, an extended question-and-answer session, and time to socialize over refreshments.

Below is the full schedule of fall and spring speakers and topics:

  • Sept. 7: "The Reproducibility Crisis in Computationally-Intensive Human Behavior Research," Rick Gilmore, Department of Psychology
  • Oct. 5: "Forecasting Student Outcomes with Machine Learning," Drew Wham, Education Technology Services
  • Nov. 2: "Big Data and Fake News," Shyam Sundar, College of Communications, and Dongwon Lee, College of Information Sciences and Technology
  • Feb. 7: "Learning Analytics and Individual Differences in Brain and Behavior," Ping Li, Department of Psychology
  • March 1: "Privacy-Preserving Analysis and the MID/DLE Project," Tim Brick, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • April 4: "Bayesian Modeling in the Social Sciences," Zita Oravecz, Department of Human Development and Family Studies

All seminars will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in 223A HUB-Robeson Center.

The Institute for CyberScience is one of the five interdisciplinary research institutes under the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is dedicated to supporting cyber-enabled research across the disciplines. ICS builds an active community of researchers using computational methods in a wide range of fields through co-hiring of tenure-track faculty, providing seed funding for ambitious computational research projects, and offering access to high-performance computing resources through its Advanced CyberInfrastructure. With the support of ICS, Penn State researchers harness the power of big data, big simulation, and big computing to solve the world’s problems. For more information, visit or email  

Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology at Penn State, will deliver the inaugural ICS CyberScience Seminar. He will present "The Reproducibility Crisis in Computationally-Intensive Human Behavior Research" from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sept. 7 in 223A HUB-Robeson Center. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated August 16, 2017