Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Lecture Capture

I attended a meeting today which was a demonstration of the abilities of the lecture capture software we have at the University.  It's called Panopto, and it means that I now have the ability to record lectures, work-throughs of tutorial problems, or anything else I think of that can be re-played as a video and audio stream that would come in useful for teaching.

It seems like only a good idea to me, that I can let students review a lecture again, even make group annotations, comments and discussions of it.  I'd be interested to hear if any readers have done something similar and have useful feedback or suggestions.  Also I'd be interested to hear contrary views about it being a good idea. 

The picture shows a representative example of me standing in front of a whiteboard (about 15 years ago according to the datestamp of the file). 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Nuclear Physics at 78ºN

I've been out of action lately;  off work on sick leave for the last few months of 2017.   Upon my return I notice that the next in the series of Nordic Meetings on Nuclear Physics is taking place in Longyearbyen, Norway.  This has to rank as one of the most exotic places for a nuclear physics conference to take place in.  It's about as far north in the world that one is able to get to using scheduled transport.  It's further north than anywhere in mainland Canada or Russia, and the northernmost place with civilian inhabitants.  While it is sorely tempting to go there given the opportunity, I have no good justification for using up travel budget on a relatively expensive location for a conference which, while interesting and relevant to me, is not vital to my research.

Although it was quite a while ago, I have actually been to Longyearbyen once before.  I was on a cruise as a companion of someone employed to play harp recitals on the ship.  My only task was to do a bit of harp-lugging, for which I got a free cruise from Newcastle, up the coast of Norway, stopping off at various points, and then up to Spitsbergen, where Longyearbyen is.

I don't have my photos of the trip to hand, so here's one that I found from google maps of the town of Longyearbyen.  My trip was in October, so there was snow on the ground as in the picture.


Friday, 12 January 2018

The loneliness of the long-suffering ECR

Post-docking can be a lonely life, being part of a university research group, without necessarily having much connection with the rest of university life.  That, and the series of short-term contracts are not conducive to easily building up interactions with other people.  

A postdoc who used to be a PhD student here at the University of Surrey has had the excellent idea of setting up a mailing list to give social support to lonely early career researchers who would like it.  In the hope of spreading the news about it a bit wider, I point to the website she has created about it here.