Speed Networking

The week about to end is National Library Week, and the American Library Association's "TechSource" weblog has a shout-out to the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences. It seems that SIS is up to some very cool, very hip things when it comes to using technology to reach out to library audiences.

Unfortunately, I learned about all of this just a little too late to make the following paragraph actually useful. Maybe someone else in the region is doing this sort of thing in the commercial space. Let me know.
Graduate students and faculty are invited to attend "Speed Networking: Meet Your Research Partner," scheduled for Thursday, April 6, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm in 527 William Pitt Union. Based on the "speed dating" concept, speed networking will allow researchers to discuss their work in the hopes of finding others in the region with similar interests. This event is intended to facilitate the open discussion of research ideas within and across disciplines. Rotating around the room, each participant will have two minutes to share his/her research interests with each of the other participants one-on-one. No reservations are required. Researchers from Pitt and CMU are invited to join in this event.


5 Responses to "Speed Networking"

Mark Rauterkus said... 4/08/2006 12:26 AM

Speed networking ... give us a break. That is more fitting for a middle-school science fair -- hardly for real academic research and researchers.

If they don't know who's who and what's what -- and have the know how to engage and swap ideas, then these people should go back to the schools and offer to judge a science fair or be a tour guide for a field trip at the Science Center.

Mike Madison said... 4/08/2006 7:58 AM

In any large organization, especially one as compartmentalized as a research university, it isn't surprising at all that most of us have little idea about what the rest of us are doing. Networking events like this sound gimmicking, but they're actually pretty useful.

Mark Rauterkus said... 4/08/2006 10:10 PM

Right.... to NOT know what others are doing is fine and fully expected. No joke there.

But, this isn't what the purpose. This isn't a show-and-tell for global knowledge.

The speed dating was to find YOUR RESEARCH PARTNER.

Pitt would do better to get back to the "Tradition" of "Fiddler on the Roof" era and hire a "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch."

If you have to find a 'research partner' with a speed date -- you had better be at CCAC or some middle school. CCAC is a great place, mind you -- but it isn't a 'reasearch insitution.'

I love gimicks. I want to start a YOUTH TECH SUMMIT. That would be three days of intense speed dates and gimics and hype to the Nth degree. Put everyone under the same roof for a number of days, do poster sessions, have booths, seminars, you name it... And, with build up events too with schools, neighborhoods, academic departments and business -- large and small.

If Pitt put a little effort into the YOUTH TECH Summit concept -- they'd get more bang for the community and their core customers.

Mike Madison said... 4/09/2006 9:09 AM

I think that you misunderstand the purpose of the SIS event (which was to identify faculty with related interests), and you misunderstand why it's otherwise difficult to do that (Pitt alone has somewhere around 3,000 faculty members, in 16 schools and multiple campuses, and CMU faculty were invited, too). Most of us already spend a lot of time trying to identify colleagues with similar interests and working on ways to collaborate, whether that's teaching, or speaking, or researching and writing. "Speed networking" sounds gimmicky, I'll grant you that, but even if it helps only a small community, it's a welcome addition to the toolbox.
By the way, while I'm not a fan of the "core" customers idea, and while I don't think of constituencies of the universities as their "customers," aren't the "core customers" of the Universities the students who pay tuition to attend?

Mark Rauterkus said... 4/11/2006 3:29 PM

Speed dating is a 1-to-1 affair, by design. The 1-to-1 model is effective for swapping spit, but not built for speed.

The 1-to-many model is way, way better in terms of time and speed.

So, a new one-to-many tool for the tool box would be a much better addition to the busy day of a researcher in a large setting.

The PURPOSE was to find a RESEARCH PARTNER -- so I only repeat myself. They might have faked the real intention of the events. ??

Of course speed dating is going to help a small population -- and that too is my point. Big investment for little gains. IMHO, we should avoid 'time sinks.'

Core Customers include students, of course, and even the consumers of the research from the researchers. So, in a way, a core product of the university is the knowledge, learning, scientific outcomes, integrity.

I think a YOUTH TECH SUMMIT, would help students, most of all.

I put "community" in there too -- along with core customer. I'd say the peer-to-peer interactions among deparments and faculty members are a big part of the 'community.'

Search Pittsblog

About Pittsblog

Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

Comments are moderated.
Subscribe to Pittsblog comments


Blog Archive

Header Background

Header background images licensed from (left image) lemonad and (right image) plaskota under Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 2.0 Generic licenses.


Copyright 2003-2010 Michael J. Madison - WP Theme by Brian Gardner - Blogger Blog Templates, ThemeLib.com