A colleague is going to visit for a short time and you want to get some research done. When does this work? When does this not work? How to you define `work' anyway? Some advice.
- Have a well defined topic that at least one of you is knowledgeable about.
- Have complimentary strengths. Or, more accurately, make sure that several strengths are covered (e.g., one knows Algebra, one knows Geometry, so you can do research in Algebraic Geometry. Well, maybe not...) (Better example: one is a knowledgeable about widgets, and one is clever with widgets.)
- Don't chit-chat or socialize that much, OR at least have it be during a well defined time. For example AT SCHOOL mostly talk about research. AT HOME (if the visitor is staying at your house) socialize. For this reason, having the visitor at your house is a good idea so long as it makes sense logistically and is okay with the spouse.
- Avoid long big lunches. You feel sluggish afterwards.
- Right after you've proven something new you are excited about it. Write it up SOON, while you are still excited. For work with visiting colleagues, make sure that ONE of you is assigned to get out the first draft. (This is true of research in general.)
- How long to stay? Too long can be bad since then there is the temptation to put things off. About a week is good. If someone is visiting for a semester than this is a whole different story, which someone else may blog on.
- One goal of a collaboration working is that a paper is produced. Other goals could be that you both learn something you didn't know before.