University Relations and Communications


April 11, 2017

 Joseph Shaw with his telescope


MSU’s Dr. Joe Shaw will deliver the keynote address at MSUB’s Research & Creativity Conference 

Student research and art on display at MSUB Research and Creativity Conference on April 20 and 21

Fifth annual event is free and open to the public.


Download the flyer here



University Honors Program, 657-2046

University Relations, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — From virtual reality to building support for clean energy and poetry readings to breaking down gendered representations on popular television shows, there will be something for everyone at the Fifth Annual Montana State University Billings’ Research and Creativity Conference.


The conference, free and open to the public, opens with the reception and awards gala for the Juried Student Exhibition at 5 p.m., April 20, on the first floor of the Liberal Arts Building. The Conference continues at the Student Union Building on April 21.


The annual event will showcase the best work of some 100 undergraduates and graduates students.


“The event offers students the opportunity to showcase their research, scholarship or creative work in a professional and supportive setting.” Honors Program Director David Craig said. “With students from City College as well as MSUB, the conference enables the campus and Billings community to learn more about the variety of research and creative work and to share in the excitement and energy associated with such endeavors.”


Dr. Joe Shaw, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Montana State University, Bozeman will be providing the keynote address at 12:30 p.m., in SUB Atrium. The Bozeman native will deliver, “Learning to see; seeing to learn.”


With the world around us rich with lessons for those who learn to observe carefully and critically Shaw explains that he will show photographs of rainbows and other beautiful optical phenomena and help the audience learn to see more of the detail that is always there, but often unnoticed.


“My hope is that people will learn to be more aware of beautiful optical phenomena that are ‘hiding in plain sight,’ meaning they are easy to see by those who know where, when, and how to look. I believe this is the essence of education- becoming aware of things and then wondering how you never noticed them before!” Shaw said.


This keynote speech ties into Shaw’s ongoing research, which is developing optical instruments for studying the natural world through remote sensing, or measuring without touching.


“In my research group, we develop unique optical imaging and laser instruments to answer questions about the natural world and for solving practical problems,” he said. “An example of a curiosity-driven question about nature is our use of laser to determine if colored rings around the moon or sun are caused by ice crystals or water droplets in clouds. An example of solving a practical problem through research is our use of spectral imaging systems to help Montana farmers identify herbicide-resistant weeds.”


With so many students and faculty working to make the Conference a success, the event has become something the University and community can enjoy and learn from.


“We are pleased how faculty and students have worked in tandem to grow the quality of this event,” Craig said. “With each year, we’ve been delighted to see how our students take the knowledge gained in our classrooms, labs, and studios and apply it to generate insights about the world around them. This application of classroom learning to innovative research and creative expression is at the heart of what our university represents.”


The Research and Creativity Conference is sponsored by the Montana IDeA Neworks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBREA), the University Honors Program, and the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs.


Refreshments will be on the second floor during the event.


A complete schedule of the conference can be found here