Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Livetweeting a conference for the first time (Murray Neuzerling)

Twitter is the opposite of how mathematics is typically communicated.

When you're aiming 140 characters at the general public you don't have room for fancy mathematical words like "automorphism" or "ultraproduct".

You have to sacrifice accuracy and pedantry for the sake of understanding.

A mathematician on Twitter has to learn an entirely new way of communicating.

And we absolutely should!

In 2014, I took over the dormant Twitter account of the Australian Mathematical Society.

I've been building it up since then, learning how to coordinate social media for an organisation along the way. The biggest challenge was livetweeting the 2015 meeting of the AustMS.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

More than words on a page - the inaugural RED Writing Retreat (Jason Murphy)

I was one of the fortunate few who attended the inaugural La Trobe University RED Writing Retreat.

The retreat was a three-day intensive writing event that took place from 25–27 November 2015, at the home of the Graduate Research School (GRS) at Melbourne Campus.

The retreat was in some ways the capstone of La Trobe’s Academic Writing Month (#LTUacwrimo).

As a PhD candidate, I was one of about 45 participants from diverse backgrounds. We all came from a wide range of disciplines, career stages and campus locations. There were graduate research candidates, and Early and Mid Career academics all present at the event.

As a staff member of the Graduate Research School (my day job), I knew that momentum for a writing retreat had been building for a while. There was huge demand and much curiosity about how this event would work, and the signs from boot-camps hosted by ANU and Melbourne University already indicated they'd be highly productive and constructive ventures.