Friday, December 08, 2006

Save the Mathlete, Save the World

An Off-Broadway tale of beauty and the geeks.
Vickie Martin is über-popular. She's also wicked smart. Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen demonstrates that chaos theory rules when the third most popular sophomore is roped into joining the all-male, all-nerd Longwood High School math team, upsetting the axis of symmetry of boys becoming men. Will Vickie Martin invert the curve or become the coefficient for her team winning the state math championship? Can this goddess of π possibly become the common denominator that makes the mathletes victorious? Totally.


  1. Research Presentation

    I'd be going to give my first research presentation in a conference soon. Your blog attracts good number of visitors everyday. I'd be grateful if you run a post on how to give a research presentation ? How to answer the questions of which you do not know the answers ? How to react if you are not able to understand the questions of someone even when he has repeated it twice.

    Well there could be some more stupid questions like this which I can not imagine as of now. These scenarios can arise with anyone and could be a nightmare. The conference where I'll be going to give my presentation is not a very good conference but a decent one.

  2. The catch-all solution that applies to any situation such as these is to politely say "let's take this discussion off-line."

    But for your first question in particular: there is no shame in admitting you do not know the answer to some question. Or, it may sound slightly better to say something like "that's a really good question; I'd be happy to discuss it with you later."

  3. While the un-updated version is out of date, the basic lessons of Ian Parberry's speaker's guide are a good place to start. If you can access to the ACM digital library or SIGACT online, check out the SIGACT News version from the March 2000 issue.

  4. In response to ah's specific questions, I think Geoff Pullum's five golden rules for giving academic presentations are helpful: especially, "remember that you're an advocate, not the defendant".

  5. I'm not sure I agree with #2 of Pullum's rules. When appropriate, I prefer to give talks that I think everyone in the audience will understand. If I pitch my talk to beginning graduate students, I find that even the senior people in the audience can understand the talk(!) (Of course, there will be experts who find this boring. But they are probably in the hall socializing, or have already read the paper anyway.)