When intelligent people come together to collaborate, good things happen and they have fun. Unfortunately, [I] do not see enough places for this to happen in the current department, thus we'll create a forum for collaboration. This forum isn't designed to be soley research related, instead, we'll focus on more general topics.
Forums will be structured as small group problem solving sessions. The core will be solving problems: problems posed by professors (or books) used as brain exercises, random science questions we pose to ourselves, and possibly research questions.
Since this will be smaller-group discussions and problem-solving, not lectures about research, we don't expect it to compete with the physical chemistry student seminar series.
What we'll do during meetings
- Get insightful and challenging problems to discuss and solve (some professors could provide these).
- Combine knowledge to answer member's questions about science.
- Solve other puzzles.
- Intro lectures on specific topics (ie, if we want to learn something, we assign someone to read a bit about it, and tell us the next time). Intro lectures could also be done by someone who recently learned something, and wants to present it in order to solidify it in their mind.
- Whatever we want.
Exact plans will be up to those who want to begin this. However, each session should have one person (the moderator for that week) who has a "backup plan" to lead discussion if nothing spontaneously occurs.
(this needs refinement)
- Each week, one person must be designated the "moderator" for the week. This person is responsible for starting discussions.
- The moderator reminds everyone of the meeting time in the days preceding it.
- Moderator finds problems to pose to the group. This can be from other members, professors' suggestions, or books.
- Moderator is responsible for keeping discussion on track. (Of course, this is free-form so "on track" is hard to define)
- When the group gets too big, we'll split into multiple sub-groups to keep the size small, if there is an moderator who volunteers to lead. Naturally, this will cause some small groups to decay, and when this happens they will merge again later.
- At each meeting, decide when the next meeting will be (eventually, we'll get a designated time).
People who want to organize:
- Richard Darst
- Jonathan Bronson
People who want to attend:
- Neal Miller
- Lizz Thrall
- Joseph Moll