Blitzcc, An easy way to keep in touch with the latest research
posted by shuri on 2009-03-13 15:33:50
tags: blitzcc,news

I am the coordinator of our group's seminar at UCLA. That means I find people who find people who give talks :).

I decided to try to organize something a bit different. The basic idea was to have 20 people give three minute talks. This way, every person needs to read one paper and you get a good idea of the whole conference in an hour.

So I decided to start with WSDM 2009. I set up a blitzcc wiki with links to all the papers, and some instructions on how to choose a paper. Finally, I sent off a mass email to our group asking people to join our blitzcc. I didn't want to put up flyers yet, I wanted to keep things inside the group and keep it small, at least for the first time. Unfortunately I did not get a single response. Disappointing to say the least.

I didn't want to give up yet, so I went over the students in our group, went over their latest publications and wrote personal emails with the subject line "Papers that might interest you", listing the papers they might find interesting. That got much better responses... two people volunteered.Together with me and Mike Welch the coordinator that made four people :).

I was still a bit disappointed, I was hoping to see... excitement! In the end we had four people presenting and instead of three minutes per speaker, each speaker took 10 minutes. Overall, it went well. The responses were positive and the papers we covered were interesting.

We'll see what happens next quarter.