Next week, we will be hosting an experimental and completely informal LIGHTNING TALKS
I agree; it will be rather silly. But we can still try!
=== WHAT IS IT? ===
The idea is simple:
#1 -- Pick a topic;
#2 -- Prepare a VERY SHORT presentation, and
#3 -- Deliver it.
In Step #1, the only constraint we suggest (but will not enforce)
is that the topic is something pertaining to computers in general:
from a short introduction to your favourite esoteric pet programming
language, to a hilarious tale about why you think UNIX userland tools
are rubbish, or even a post-structuralist, Derrida-esque analysis of
"2001: A Space Odyssey" and the topic of intelligence and machines,
Re Step #2, I suggest the absolute, hard time limit is 5 MINUTES; this
will be strict, and we will make sure you will be heckled if you go on
a second longer. An extra 2 minutes will be allocated to questions. Oh,
and a timer will be provided!
And, finally, for Step #3: if you wish to use slides, we will provide
a computer, running some fancy operating system made by Microsoft, a PDF
viewer, and most probably Microsoft PowerPoint as well. We can probably
plug your own laptop in on the data projector (yes, there will be one of
them!), but I wouldn't bet on it.
=== ORIGINS ===
The idea of lightning talks was first implemented in a Python conference,
although it seems Perlistas (yes, Perl programmers, and my pun is terrible)
have trademarked the idea. Here's some (wise, unlike their horrendous
programming language) advice, apparently stemming from experience:
=== WHY ARE WE DOING THIS ===
There are many reasons.
Quite a few of us seem to have some sort of 'techical experience' in
various technologies; it seems like a good idea to start communicating
to each other what we're doing outside Oxford but within computers: you
never know whom you might excite!
Furthermore, it would be a good idea to practice our talking: no matter
the sort of profession, job or vocation most of us will follow after
leaving Oxford, it will most probably involve some requirement for
'talking skills.' This is a good opportunity to practice an extreme
side of your ability to speak to an audience.
Finally, if we keep the atmosphere informal enough, it will be a good
laugh. You'll get probably get to hear some interesting things, or heckle.
And if you speak, you'll get to say something interesting, or be heckled.
Both are excellent opportunities to practice our repressed hooliganism and
stretch the limits of our self-confidence!
=== WHO & WHERE ===
As usual, the Oxford CompSoc.
The Place: St Catz' JCR Lecture Theatre
As always, instructions will be provided in good time, for those who haven't
yet showed up to any of our events
The Time: WEDNESDAY of WEEK 4 (02 Nov), 8:15pm - 10:00pm
This implies we could accommodate up to approximately 10 speakers.
(Note that the termcard has put this event down on Thursday. Maybe
it is time to publish the full errata for it...)
=== I WANT TO SPEAK ===
Excellent; then show up!
If you can, do e-mail us in advance about your wish to speak. It will still be
fine if you show up without notice, though.
So; have a very good weekend!