Purpose of Group Meetings
Andrew Chien, 8/18/97
Weekly group meetings serve several purposes, building communication,
improving group cohesion, and professional development. By describing some of
the motivations, you should be able to figure out how to take advantage of and
contribute to group meetings more effectively.
- Gathering for technical interaction which helps all group members keep
- research developments and results (papers, results, etc.)
- commercial developments (products, standards, partnerships, etc.)
- other professional developments (conferences, workshops,
- fellowships, awards, etc.)
- Make a point to note things of general interest and relevance bring them
- Raise topics for future discusssions, informal interactions, etc.
- Note calls for papers, product annoucements, or standards
announcements which are of interest
- Progress Reports to keep all members of the group abreast of
what's going on in the group. Progress reports should be:
- terse and to the point (think about what you're going to say in advance)
- targeted at your peers (e.g. not Andrew), be understandable to them and
engage their interest
- an opportunity for you to learn to speak tersely and precisely about your
research (with papers and longer talks providing more context)
- Presentations which provide an in-depth coverage of a paper and put it
into perspective in an area of research. Investment here in putting together
a good talk pays off for the group.
- pick papers on relevant topics that are likely to be of general
interest to the group (discuss topics and papers w/ Andrew several weeks in
advance). It is worth the effort to dig in and make sure the paper is of
- use your expertise to put the work in context, explaining it
clearly, its significance, and how it relates to other work in the area,
specific references are good
- use the opportunity to hone your presentation skills (put the
necessary effort in to do a good job), as the communication of research
results is an important part of the research process.
Finally, remember that there are a range of different mechanisms for
communication in the group (individual meetings, project meetings, etc.) and
concentrate on the types of communication and interaction which is most
appropriate for group-level interaction at the group meetings.