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Physics Forum At Fermilab Bans Powerpoint 181

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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  • Re:LHC is at CERN (Score:4, Informative)

    by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:28AM (#46427931)

    this will be shocking news for you, but the high energy physics labs of the world collaborate

  • Re:LHC is at CERN (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:43AM (#46428075)

    The LHC is at Cern. Maybe they should ban a bi-weekly forum on CERN's activities and focus on activities at Fermi lab?

    Yes, it's terrible that physicists on one continent are discussing what physicists on another continent are doing.

    What's next, scientists jointly publishing papers? Citing one another, willy-nilly? Reviewing their peers' work? Dogs and cats, living together?

  • by delt0r ( 999393 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @11:45AM (#46428085)
    Well we are given no credit for teaching. None. No matter how well or badly or how much of it we have to do. So you are simply going to get some crap teachers and teachers that just don't care. Your cutting into their research time, which we are evaluated on.

    For the record we try and make it quite interactive.
  • Showing Data (Score:5, Informative)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday March 07, 2014 @04:22PM (#46430435) Journal

    I always get much more out of a lecture if the instructor is actively diagramming on the blackboard.

    That might be a valid argument for an undergraduate course, it might even work for a theory research presentation but it is not possible to accurately show experimental data without being able to show slides. Even in the days before video projectors we used acetate slides created by heat transfer from a photocopy or laser printout. You cannot just sketch a data plot on a blackboard and expect anyone to take it seriously.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.