Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Conference Talks, Great Success!

'Tis the Season for stitching up the last year of your life, making a few key graphics, and tossing them into a (presumably) 30-minute talk to inform and entertain your colleagues. That's right, Summer Seminar Vacation!

But wait - will your message come through? Will I, as an informed audience member, walk out of the auditorium singing your praises, or desperately fighting off Morpheus?

I'd rather watch this grow all day than listen to certain speakers again...

Without further ado, I'd like to capture some honest feedback, both given and received, that I'll call the "Summer Talk Axioms." Certainly, nothing is new under the sun: I tread in tracks left by Derek, Chemjobber, Fabian, ChemBark, and many other sage counselors. I question only that, given these many posts (and more sure to come), how has the message has not percolated into the community faster? 

Anyway, to the meat of it:
  • Help me learn: What are the big takeaways? Why did you do them, and how? If you were forced to deliver this same talk in 2 minutes, could you do it, while maintaining understanding in your listener? That's a tough benchmark!
  • Timing: For the love of all that is holy, please do not attempt to deliver a 50-minute "pre-fab" slide deck inside of 30 minutes. Ditto a 30-minute deck inside a 15-minute lightning talk. If you are switching slides every 20 seconds, it's nigh impossible for your poor audience to keep up...
  • Engagement: Stop every few minutes to look someone in the eye. Tell a joke. Modulate your voice. Take a drink of water to let a point sink in. Presentation skills belong to that witches' brew of soft skills and social norms blended with (some) content. Often, we listeners engage more with the person and their body language in place of the content.
  • Tell a story. One. Not multiple vignettes of seemingly unrelated threads. Present a logical whole.
  • Don't repeat "this is exciting!" If you have to reinforce this, your content almost surely isn't.
  • Know your time, and practice delivery. As a hint, you're probably over time when the audience begins to check their phones. Or mutters. Leaves for cigarette and bathroom breaks. A good talk has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and has distinct landmarks for major points and applause / recognition. Know yours.
  • Proofread. Ask someone who loves you to proofread. Ask someone who hates you to proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Especially embarrassing - misspelled titles!
  • The four "Thank-Yous" - Thank your host for introducing you. Thank the organizers / school / company for the opportunity to visit. Thank your group, coworkers, or boss for their collegiality. And thank the audience for listening. This goes a very, very long way.
  • Answer questions succinctly. Two or three sentences, and a promise to follow up after the talk, should be sufficient. Anything more holds the other 99% of your audience captive, while you dig through back-up slides and comment about long-departed group members. 

Your talk was nice. Very nice. Great success!

Readers, I'm sure I've missed some, and welcome any input in the comments. 
Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Help Wanted: C&EN Audience Engagement Editor

Hello, intrepid readers. Hope those of you living above the Tropic of Cancer are enjoying the start of Summer.

Though this usually falls into the Chemjobber camp, an inside source asks whether I can recommend an engaged, excited, passionate web-denizen for a newly-created role at the newsmagazine. From the horse's mouth (emphasis mine):
"We're hiring for someone to act as the 'voice of the magazine' on our social accounts, writing our newsletters, and helping us shape overall social and engagement strategies. Important would be to have someone who is comfortable with social and loves chemistry."
Wow, that sounds like the exact job I would have wanted coming out of grad school! However, I can't keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of social media* and iPhone apps. It's best left to someone, methinks, with an "always-on" mentality and a quicker set of thumbs than yours truly.

If you or someone you know are interested, please apply here.
Look forward to crossing paths with you in the Great Social Experiment.



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*Get off my lawn, you kids with yer Tencent and Snapchat and Baidu and Twitterz and Hipstergram and Skype and Facebook and Yelp and hi5 and Qzone and Friendster!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Chemistry Bumper Cars, 2017-2018

In the age of globalization, Reddit, DM, and coffee shops, it's surprising when you don't hear about a faculty move at least two months ahead of it becoming reality.

(Alert! Repurposed text to follow!)

Last year's list has grown ungainly, and so it's time for a new batch. Same rules apply: If you hear of a move, please tell me in the comments, and I'll post in the "Pending Confirmation" section. Escape from pending purgatory involves sending me a link or other documentation from the new institution. Happy speculating!

Update, May 2017: Are you a newly-minted prof? The stalwart reporting cadre of C&EN want to make you aware of a (private, exclusive) Facebook group to share stories and support your new role. Want in? Go here.

Moves

Huiwang Ai (UC Riverside to UVA)
Adam Braunschweig (Miami to CUNY)
Brian Blagg (Kansas to Notre Dame)  five sources
Gong Chen (PSU to Nankai, 2016)
Qiang Cui (Wisconsin to Boston U)  thanks, SJE!
Mark Davis (Caltech to USC)  thanks, Maxxie!
Michael Fischbach (UCSF to Stanford ChEM-H)  thanks, Carolyn!
Nathan Gianneschi (UCSD to Northwestern)
Karen Goldberg (Washington to Penn)
Jim Heath (Caltech to ISB, admin)
Ryan Hili (UGA to York)
Yannis Kevrekidis (Princeton to Johns Hopkins)
Laura Kiessling (Wisconsin to MIT)
Ken Knappenberger (Florida State to PSU)
Kirill Kovnir (Iowa State)
Chenglong Li (OSU to Florida)
John MacMillan (UTSW to UCSC)
Christopher McCurdy (Mississippi to Florida)  thanks, Cunningham!
Pere Miro (UNF to South Dakota) thanks, Chemjobber!
Randall Peterson (Harvard MGH to Utah, admin)
Ronald Raines (Wisconsin to MIT)
Chris Scarborough (Emory to Syngenta)
Kirk Schanze (Florida to UT-San Antonio)
Daniel Seidel (Rutgers to Florida)
James Skinner (Wisconsin to Chicago)
Carlos Silva (Montreal to Georgia Tech)
Stavroula Sofou (Rutgers to Johns Hopkins)
Christine Thomas (Brandeis to Ohio State)
Greg Verdine (WaVe, WuXi Venture, Eleven, Fog)
Casey Wade (Brandeis to Ohio State)
Daniel Weix (Rochester to Wisconsin)
Michael Wolfe (Harvard Med to Kansas)
Roy Wollman (UCSD to UCLA)
Bill Wuest (Temple to Emory)
Chengguo Xing (Minnesota to Florida)  one source


Pending Confirmation

Aaron Esser-Kahn (UCI to Chicago) two sources
Jen Heemstra (Utah to Emory?) three sources
Rong Huang (VCU to Purdue?)  one source
Andreas Lendlein (HZG to Texas A+M?)  two sources
Rob Paton (Oxford to Colorado State?)  one source
Scott Phillips (PSU to Boise State?) one source
Jennifer Prescher (UCI to Minnesota)  one source
J. Fraser Stoddart (NW to Texas A&M?) conflicting sources...
David Walt (Tufts to HMS?)  one source
Junrong Zheng (Rice to Peking?)  one source



Very unlikely method - too much H2O gets into the deuterium oxide...


New Hires

Samuel Awuah (Kentucky)   thanks, Lippard lab!
Jean-Luc Ayitou (Illinois Institute of Tech)
Jeff Bandar (Colorado State)
Chris Barile (UN-Reno)
Eszter Boros (Stony Brook)
Carson Bruns (CU Boulder) thanks, Carson ?!?!
Andrew Buller (Wisconsin)  thanks, Chemjobber!
Justin Caram (UCLA)
Carlos Carrero (Auburn)  three sources
Matthew Chambers (LSU)
Craig Chapman (UNH)
Xi Chen (CUNY ASRC)
Saurabh Chitnis (Dalhousie, 2018)
Christopher Dares (FIU two sources
Laura Dassama (Stanford Chem-H)
Eric Detsi (UPenn)
Todd Doran (UMN)
Letian Dou (Purdue)
Elizabeth Elacqua (PSU)
Noemie Elgrishi (LSU)
Shirin Faraji (Gronigen)
Jeremy Feldblyum (SUNY Albany)
Thomas Gianetti (Arizona)
Todd Gingrich (Northwestern)
Samer Gozem (Georgia State)
Marie Heffern (UC Davis)
Christopher Hendon (Oregon)
Kristin Hutchins (Texas Tech)  thanks, Moore group!
Enver Izgu (Rutgers)
Meredith Jackrel (WU St. Louis)
Carlos Jimenez-Hoyos (Wesleyan)
Tim Johnstone (UCSC)
Matt Jones (Rice)
Evan Joslin (U of the South)  one source
Masha Kamenetska (Boston U)
Jessica Kramer (Utah Bioengineering)
Jiwoong Lee (Copenhagen)
Semin Lee (LSU)
Mark Lipke (Rutgers)
Ashley Longstreet (Tampa)   two sources
Justin Lopchuk (Moffitt)
Long Luo (Wayne State)
Tomoyasu Mani (UConn)
Megan Matthews (Penn)
Jamie Neely (Saint Louis U)  thanks, Paul!
Andrew Nieuwkoop (Rutgers)
Michael Norris (Richmond)  one source
Davit Potoyan (Iowa State)
Eric Price (Saskatchewan)
Rebecca Quardokus (UConn)
Madalyn Radlauer (San Jose State)  personal communication
Maxwell Robb (Caltech)
Andrew Roberts (Utah)
Jennifer Rupp (MIT)
Aaron Rury (Wayne State) from school Facebook page (?!?)
Brett Savoie (Purdue ChemE)
Kimberly See (Caltech)
Christo Sevov (Ohio State) thanks, Sanford Lab!
Benjamin Sherman (TCU)  two sources
James Shepherd (Iowa)
Alexey Silakov (Penn State)
Zachary Smith (MIT)
Alexander Sokolov (Ohio State)
Jamie Spangler (Johns Hopkins)
Mark Tibbitt (ETH)  one source
Pratyush Tiwary (Maryland)
Emily Tsui (Notre Dame)
Gael Ung (UConn)
Alexandra Velian (Washington)
Konstantinos Vogiatzis (Tennesseeone source
Yiming Wang (Pitt)  in department phone list
Zachary Wickens (Wisconsin)
Jingjie Wu (Cincinnatti)
Han Xiao (Rice)
Xingchen Ye (IUB)
Joseph Zadrozny (Colorado State)
Julia Zaikina (Iowa State)
Melissa Zastrow (Houston)
Jianyuan (Jason) Zhang (Rutgers)

Pending Confirmation

Jennifer Bridwell-Rabb (Michigan)
Scott Hansen (Oregon)
Dugan Hayes (URI)
Scott Horowitz (UC-Denver)
Rashad Karimov (Auburn)
Stephen Lopez (Northeastern)
Lara Malins (ANU)
Jarad Mason (Harvard)
Jeff Mighion (Kent State)
Jia Niu (Boston College)
Sudeshna Roy (Ole Miss)
Bess Vlaisavljevich (South Dakota)
Ran Zhao (Alberta)

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For 2016 moves, click here
For 2015-2016 moves, click here

For 2014-2015 moves, click here.
For 2012-2013 moves, click here