2022-23: Fall review, winter break, & spring preview

Well, that was certainly a half-a-year.

Thought I’d write up some of the big changes and whatnot from fall semester and what I’m looking forward to in spring. Plus a fiasco over Christmas.

Friday, December 30, 2022


The 2022-23 year started off normally. I was teaching my usual fall semester courses (Statistics in the Information Age, Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction, and Cyber Law, Ethics, and Policy), as well as running the MA{VR}X Lab. I also finished the last class (beyond the capstone experience) in the Cybersecurity MIS I’m doing to enable my research pivot into cyber operations. There are some really awesome things coming in the Cyber, Intelligence, and Information Operations department that I can’t really talk much about at this point but it’s very, very exciting.

As CAST is still a relatively new college, I was thrilled to be the first person to initiate bringing a visiting professor to the college. More on that in the coming weeks. It’s an exciting opportunity to improve both the college’s research reach and my own portfolio and network.

Bonus: the visiting faculty in question is a UArizona alumnus! Wildcats returning home. A beautiful thing.

From a research perspective, I wrapped up a study, Perceptions and preferences in virtual reality parasocial phenomena, which pits traditional media (YouTube) against VR (on the Oculus 2), with the first paper in review currently. I also started and am about to wrap up another study, Attitudes and Opinions of Web3 Educators and Enthusiasts, which focuses on understanding how Web3 technologies (blockchain, cryptocurrency, et cetera) are understood by those in the education sphere.

There are a couple grant proposals on the docket, as well, and hopefully there will be good news to share in spring about those. 🤞

In an attempt to increase my public scholarship, I also wrote a piece for the college’s monthly cyber publication, The Packet, about using Mermaid to create attack trees, which should be coming out in the spring. Sadly, the lab’s newsletter was using Revue, which is being shut down. It may be revived using Beehiiv and drafted by the student researchers in the lab. We’ll see.

I also spent a lot of time exploring Quarto, the platform this site is built on. I converted a wide variety of my slide decks, document formats, and so on, to Quarto from Rmarkdown. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m still learning more about it every day.

Finally, both I and the lab’s Twitter accounts have been shuttered in favor of Mastodon, and I opened a BookWyrm account for myself at https://books.theunseen.city/user/ryanstraight


Figure 2: Our little cabin for the holiday.

We thought it would be fun to rent a little cabin where we could take the dogs. Get away from the city for a bit. We found a little one-room place (Figure 2) in Tombstone just a couple blocks down from spots like Big Nose Kate’s and the Bird Cage Theatre.

Figure 3: Was nice!

What we didn’t count on was the fact that we’d be essentially in an RV park, wherein there were a number of folks spending time outside (see Figure 3; it was really nice) and the number of dogs in the neighborhood, both on and off leashes. You’d think that’s nice and friendly and whatnot but Chewie is almost too social. He spent virtually the entire time crying and whining, desperately trying to get to them.

As such, since we couldn’t leave them alone in the place we rented and, it being Christmas, everything was shut, we decided to cut the trip short and come home. A relief but I woke up at 2am with a fever. Have been fighting a cold since, but I’m starting to feel like the end is in sight. Fever’s gone and I’m mainly just run down at this point. Not a great way to spend the week between Christmas and New Year but, all things considered, it could have been much worse. At least I got to watch season one of The Cleaner.

The Cleaner, episode 1, “The Widow” via Tumblr


There’s a lot on the docket for spring but, as much of it isn’t official or finalized yet, I’ll have to keep this brief.

This spring semester, thanks to finally getting our college included in the UA Researchers opportunities list, I will be taking on individually directed student researchers in the MA{VR}X Lab for the first time. Some will be working on projects with me, some will be leading their own work with me directing them, and some will be volunteering in the administration and running of the lab, itself. I’m beyond excited for this!

A few different talks and whatnot coming in spring and more on that will be posted as the dates near. In the meantime, I hope this incredibly busy semester will go smoothly for all. Good luck, folks!



BibTeX citation:
  author = {Straight, Ryan},
  title = {2022-23: {Fall} Review, Winter Break, \& Spring Preview},
  date = {2022-12-30},
  url = {https://ryanstraight.com/posts/2022-in-review},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Straight, R. (2022, December 30). 2022-23: Fall review, winter break, & spring preview. https://ryanstraight.com/posts/2022-in-review