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Physics Forum At Fermilab Bans Powerpoint 181

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the powerpoint-considered-harmful dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Amanda Solliday reports at Symmetry that six months ago, organizers of a biweekly forum on Large Hadron Collider physics at Fermilab banned PowerPoint presentations in favor of old-fashioned, chalkboard-style talks. 'Without slides, the participants go further off-script, with more interaction and curiosity,' says Andrew Askew. 'We wanted to draw out the importance of the audience.' In one recent meeting, physics professor John Paul Chou of Rutgers University presented to a full room holding a single page of handwritten notes and a marker. The talk became more dialogue than monologue as members of the audience, freed from their usual need to follow a series of information-stuffed slides flying by at top speed, managed to interrupt with questions and comments. Elliot Hughes, a Rutgers University doctoral student and a participant in the forum, says the ban on slides has encouraged the physicists to connect with their audience. 'Frequently, in physics, presenters design slides for people who didn't even listen to the talk in the first place,' says Hughes. 'In my experience, the best talks could not possibly be fully understood without the speaker.'"
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Physics Forum At Fermilab Bans Powerpoint

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  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:20AM (#46427855) Homepage

    My wife and I have communicated exclusively with PowerPoint slides for the past 21 years. A chalk board would just make a mess.

  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:28AM (#46427927) Homepage

    But... but... explain to me how you can get a chalk board or white board to go "whooooooosh" when you go on to the next set of bullet points! I don't know about you but if it doesn't go "whooooooosh" I've lost everything salient and important about what you've presented. Oh ya one other thing... how do you get neat visual effects like folds and crinkly dissolves to happen with a chalk board or white board?

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:36AM (#46428023) Homepage

    Slide in, slide out, wipe down, fade to black.

  • by Cryacin (657549) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:38AM (#46428031)
    I dunno. I'm always screwed when I fire up powerpoint.
  • by Cryacin (657549) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:42AM (#46428065)
    Yeah, physicists who have an interesting set of knowledge that they understand don't need powerpoint. It's designed for consultants, who justify their existence to the board.

    "You want me to show you what I do in a day? Here is a powerpoint."
    First Slide

    "Here you can see a pretty graph"
    Next slide

    "Here you can see me making a joke"..... ha ha ha ha
    Next slide

    "Here's me collaborating with the team"
    Next slide

    "Here I'm drinking coffee."
    Next Slide

    "I came here to kick ass and drink coffee. And now I've finished my coffee"
    Next Slide

    "Here you can see me showing a powerpoint presentation of what I do in a day."
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:43AM (#46428077)

    If you want folds and crinkly dissolves, you use a flip chart.

  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:47AM (#46428103) Homepage

    I keep the house a bit on the cool side to enhance her bullet points when she begins her presentation.

  • by the phantom (107624) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:52AM (#46428155) Homepage
    I generally just yell "Whoooooooooosh!" really loudly as I erase. As for different visual effects, I sometimes use the small eraser, while other times I use the big eraser. I've even used a cloth rag every once in a while. If I'm feeling really snazzy, I'll use two erasers at once (one in each hand!)!
  • Joke (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @12:03PM (#46428245)

    A business flight over the Pacific developed problems and crashed into the ocean. Three survivors washed up on the beach of an island inhabited by cannibals - an American businessman, a French businessman and a Japanese businessman.

    The cannibals had a long-standing tradition that gave each eaten one a last request before eating them.

    They went to the French business man first. His last request was for a cigarette. The island was rather close to shipping lanes and many things washed up on the beach and were saved by the cannibals. In short order they had a carton of French cigarettes to grant his last request.

    Then they went to the Japanese businessman. His request was a little tougher. When the plane went down he was on a trip to Japan to pitch a new product to investors. He had spent 6 months on a PowerPoint presentation and his last wish was to give that PowerPoint presentation. The island was rather close to shipping lanes and many things washed up on the beach and were saved by the cannibals. They managed to scrounge a generator and a projector and the Japanese businessman had managed to hang onto his laptop with the presentation after the crash. His last wish could be granted.

    Then they went to the American businessman for his last request.

    "Kill me first!" he said. "There ain't no way I wanna sit through another PowerPoint presentation!"

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