Events Fall 2017

Fireside Chats

Nov 1, 2017 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm 

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Calvin Lab auditorium

Who doesn’t like a great scientific talk? They are intelligent, clear, informative, innovative, and educational. However, many presentations do not live up to these standards. While these presentations might enlighten two or three peers of the speaker who have intimate knowledge of the subject matter, they often leave a great part of the audience puzzled – this even happens when the listeners are scientists in the same discipline. Science has become more and more fragmented, and it’s not easy to take a step back from your own work and see it through the eyes of someone who isn’t as deeply involved in it as you are – which is almost everybody.

The first rule of a talk – scientific or not – should be: know who your audience is and adjust the level of your presentation accordingly. We will practice this in a fun event on November 1 at the Simons Institute, organized by the current journalist in residence, Christoph Drösser. Five of the current program participants will give presentations that an average educated person – like your grandparent – can understand:

Sarah Morell: "Diversification - How To Measure Diversity?"
Afonso S. Bandeira:  "Is A Dancing Object Harder To Draw?"
Rebecca Hoberg: "The Steinitz Problem"
Samir Khuller: "Scheduling To Minimize Time Spent Working"
Swati Gupta: "Alexa, What Should I Read Next?"

We’ll have a jury that will comment on the talks and pick a winner:

Annie Averitt
Kristin Kane
Robin Hoey
Christoph Drösser