[Dmbu-l] starting a student seminar

Natali Ruchansky natalir at bu.edu
Fri Jun 19 12:29:16 EDT 2015

You make good points, but I think as a start it should be very simple and
open.  My idea is to kill two birds with one stone by :
1) Forcing people to interact and share something.
 I am very happy to have this be research oriented, or someone can tell us
about an interesting movie they saw or the day they spent at the DMV.

2) Practicing presentation style.
Whatever the topic, practicing clear and concise communication to a broad
audience is challenging and fun.

But really I want this to be totally relaxed and simple to start. Just
come, listen to 15 minutes max, then stay and chat or leave if you're busy.
Chris approved this (and lunch) so if I get some more positive response I
will send out a larger announcement.

On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 10:54 AM, Bashir Rastegarpanah <
bashir.rastegar at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Thank you Natali for your suggestion. I am thinking about a very
> similar issue for a while now. So I will take this chance  to share
> with you my ideas. I think there are two potential goals that we can
> pursue and I think both are missing in our department:
> 1. I think not only different research groups are very divided at our
> department but also students in each research group are surprisingly
> divided. I don't know if it has happened by intention and people
> prefer it like this, but definitely it is not the most efficient way
> of doing a PhD nor the most productive scientific environment. I think
> we should share our experience, knowledge, and challenges. A very
> simple and doable idea is to have a regular(weekly of biweekly)
> meetings, and people explain what is the project they are working on,
> what interesting things they have learned, what are the challenges,
> what could be the next step and so on. Then others can give
> suggestions and share their similar experiences.
> 2. There are many interesting topics that I think many of us would
> like to learn at some point during his/her PhD. BU may not offer any
> course related to those topics, but for some of them there are
> excellent and very well structured tutorials/lecture notes available
> online. A group of students that are interested in the same topic, can
> choose one of them and start studying the notes and explain them to
> each other on a regular basis. A group of us had a similar experiment
> last year with the Spielman's lecture notes about spectral graph
> theory and I think it was very successful.
> Although Natali's suggestion was more about improving presentation
> skills, and mine is more about what to present. I think we can combine
> them and I believe it is going to be fun and useful.
> Best,
> Bashir
> PS: Maybe it is also useful to share this with faculty members, the
> chair of our department, and the director of graduate study. They
> might give us helpful comments, specially about my second idea.
> On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 9:22 AM, Natali Ruchansky <natalir at bu.edu> wrote:
> > Guys,
> >
> > After seeing so many horrendous presentations at SIGMOD, I was thinking
> of
> > starting a seminar where students come and give a 5-15 min presentation
> > (white-board or slides).  It can be about their research, a practice
> talk,
> > but hopefully just something new and interesting they've learned --
> maybe a
> > funny paper or a cool dataset/study.
> >
> > I want it to be across the whole department so students can practice give
> > clear, concise presentation even to people unfamiliar with the topic.
> > Also I feel we are really divided as a department.
> >
> > I want it to be so short because it'll increase the chance of
> participation
> > and mainly because its a challenge to present background, problem, and
> proof
> > all in such a short time.
> >
> > My issue is that it will only work if people participate, and I'm not at
> all
> > confident this will happen.
> > So please tell me honestly, in private or public, if you would attend
> such a
> > thing.
> >
> > Thanks!!
> > Natali :)
> >
> > PS. They do this type of thing at InfoLab in Stanford
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Dmbu-l mailing list
> > Dmbu-l at cs.bu.edu
> > http://cs-mailman.bu.edu/mailman/listinfo/dmbu-l
> >

Natali :)
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