[Dmbu-l] starting a student seminar

Sanaz Bahargam bahargam at bu.edu
Fri Jun 19 12:45:48 EDT 2015

It's a great idea. Indeed our department is really divided.  I'm in and
would like to attend. We can also invite people from outside of our
department (for e.g. our friends).

PS: I'm doing an internship now, but I'm usually here on Weds.

On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 12:29 PM, Natali Ruchansky <natalir at bu.edu> wrote:

> 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 :)

Sanaz Bahargam
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