FCA Podcast: Computing Across Disciplines

In Computing Across Disciplines, we talk to researchers and thinkers who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to do computing research. They share their experiences, the lessons they’ve learned, and their own vision for the future of computing.

About the podcast

Computing Across Disciplines is an initiative of the ACM FCA Interdisciplinary working group. As computing technologies impact all areas of life, computing research is becoming more interdisciplinary. With this podcast series, we hope to highlight the researchers and thinkers who are already doing this work, inspire future computing scholars to pursue audacious integrative research programs, and pose questions for the computing field as it advances.

FCA Member Andrew Miller hosts the podcast, with a different guest each episode.

New episodes are posted monthly.


Gordon Blair | Computing & Environmental Science

Gordon Blair is a Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University. We talk about his research at the intersection of distributed systems and ecology, Lancaster’s unique interdisciplinary Highwire Centre for doctoral training, and his innovative approach to structuring his work time, both how he structures his week and how he manages multi-year projects. I hope you enjoy. 

Wendy Nilsen | Smart & Connected Health

Wendy Nilsen is a Program Director for the Smart and Connected Health program, a partnership between the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She shares what interdisciplinary research looks like from the funding agency perspective, and explains her role as a program officer. We also discuss the Mobile Health Training Institute, which she helped found to build interdisciplinary skills across computing and health, and the essential skill of building relationships and asking questions.

Cherri Pancake | Anthropology & High Performance Computing

After a decade as an anthropologist studying the Maya peoples of Central America, Cherri Pancake shifted to CS and conducted pioneering work in usability engineering for high performance computing. Today she's the VP of the ACM and Director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering at Oregon State University. We talk about her journey from the social sciences to computer science, her experiences leading professional organizations, and how she thinks about her interdisciplinary work today and into the future.

Goren Gordon | Curiosity Across Disciplines

Goren Gordon directs the Curiosity Lab at Tel Aviv University. His background and approach is truly multi-disciplinary: Goren holds six academic degrees, including two PhDs, but none of them are strictly in computer science. We talk about his journey from quantum physics to social robotics, how he chooses which ideas to pursue, and how he advises his current students as they navigate interdisciplinary research.

Beth Mynatt | Bringing Researchers Together

This episode's guest is Beth Mynatt, Professor of Computing at Georgia Tech. In our conversation, we talk about her own research in human-centered health technology, her role facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations at Georgia Tech, and her efforts at the national level as chair of the Computing Community Consortium.

Steve Furber | Computing & Neuroscience

In this inaugural episode of Computing Across Disciplines, we talk with Steve Furber, Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester. In our conversation, we talked about his role on the EU Human Brain Project, his latest architecture SpiNNaker, and his experiences working at the intersection of computer science and neuroscience.