Questions concerning giving and attending small but organized presentations of scientific material, often given to an audience within a single academic department.

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26
votes
6answers
4k views

What to do if an audience member refuses to let you answer their question?

I was reading this question about famous people asking rude questions in talks, and it reminded me of a situation which happened at the end of my academic career. I would really like some advice on ...
111
votes
9answers
13k views

What to do about questions that are designed to embarrass the speaker?

I've attended a lot of seminars and lectures by now, and it's typical for the chair of the seminar to offer audience members a chance to ask questions of the speaker about their work after the ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Appropriate topics over lunch with an invited speaker

There's a speaker coming to my university to give a lecture that all students and faculty are invited to. My department is especially interested in the speaker because he will be talking about a field ...
4
votes
3answers
403 views

What's the role of colloquiums in academia?

During my bachelors and masters degree I have attended some brief talks called colloquiums in which a researcher was invited by a professor at the university and s/he gave a one-hour talk about a ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

What is the proper etiquette for requesting speakers from industry for an academic seminar?

I am in a program that has a seminar class where the students are strongly encouraged to get people to come and present. I was wondering if anyone else ever had to find speakers and if so had a sample ...
7
votes
5answers
902 views

What is the equivalent of European “seminar” in US universities?

At my Czech university where I study computer science (but I believe math and physics are organized the same way here), most courses have both lectures (professor presenting the topic to a large ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Talking about other projects in a job talk

I have seen plenty of job talks, but whenever the speaker talks about a list of topics that they are "not going to talk about today", I often get distracted and even a little bit annoyed. It dilutes ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

“Thank you” notes after giving a seminar talk

I am just finishing my PhD and I have now been on the job market and started to speak at many universities. I have realized it is a time commitment for a person to host a seminar speaker and am really ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

First time opportunity to give a seminar

Recently I had a talk about the topic of my master thesis with the professor I currently work for (he wasn't involved in the thesis). I mentioned that there are interesting results and that I would ...
9
votes
3answers
323 views

How to address the lack of seminars in my department

My CS department greatly lacks invited talks hosted by faculty members and/or seminars organised within/by the department. Except for the seminars done by graduate students as a requirement for their ...
90
votes
18answers
16k views

Useful strategies for answering “dumb” questions in a talk?

It has often been said that there is no such thing as a dumb question. And yet - perhaps due only to inattention, lack of sleep, or hunger - otherwise brilliant people sometimes manage to ask some ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Saying “good question” during a seminar talk

During seminars and talks, some presenters hear a question and compliment it by saying "Good question." Could this possibly offend the asker? Could this be viewed as a tactic to pretend being unfazed ...
1
vote
3answers
203 views

Conducting a training seminar without projector

What is the best way to conduct a training seminar inside a computer laboratory without a projector? Is there an existing software program that could achieve the same results as conducting a training ...
9
votes
4answers
218 views

How much value do papers without new scientific information have, i.e. seminar papers such as overviews of or examples for current methods in CS?

So I wrote a seminar paper in grad school (MSc) with examples on how companies use method x to improve their security. It includes zero original research, no new methods and it would never ever be ...
8
votes
4answers
489 views

Scientific presentations - black or white?

At most scientific conferences and talks I have attended, the speakers generally present black text on white backgrounds, which I personally find rather dull. Is there any reason / explicit convention ...
16
votes
4answers
441 views

What is the etiquette about the length of a visit when giving departmental seminars?

If you are invited to give a departmental seminar and the department offers to put you up for up to two nights, how long should your visit be? I find it a little rude when our speakers arrive an hour ...
8
votes
5answers
122 views

Website management for group seminar

I am planning to start running a group seminar, with talks scheduled regularly, at my institute. The seminars might be of interest for people in neighbouring areas, too, so I would like to have an ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

How to encourage seminar attendance?

My research lab organizes monthly “internal” seminars, where we give the opportunity to talk to PhD students around the middle of their PhD, as well as newly arrived post-docs (who can talk about what ...
21
votes
7answers
987 views

Is it desirable to compliment a seminar speaker before asking a question?

Some people, when asking a question at the end of a seminar, make comments on the talk first along the lines of "great talk," "really enjoyed this talk," or similar phrases. Is this a desirable thing ...
11
votes
2answers
628 views

How can one carry out a “Russian style” seminar?

A "Russian style" seminar, as in the Israel Gelfand form, breaks from the traditional format of talk followed by Q&A and just opens the floor to questions at any time. I've seen a few professors ...
17
votes
2answers
828 views

How can one successfully run a reading group?

This is related to "Skimming through a math paper with a group" and "What do professors gain out of teaching reading courses with individual Ph.D students", but from the other side :) I've ...
30
votes
6answers
843 views

Will people judge me negatively for skipping department seminars?

I'm a graduate student in the Earth Sciences. The breadth of my departments runs the gamut from geobiology to geophysics and everything in between. As a result, a large number of the department ...