Archive for the Synthesis Category

Pushing the envelope on remote interaction: my talk, live, interactive

Posted in collaboration, Open Source, Phyloinformatics, Synthesis, Talks with tags , , on May 22, 2008 by drycafe

You may have seen the weird sounding item in the NESCent news feed (which I am syndicating in the left bar). This is the talk that I am giving tomorrow at noon (12pm EDT) at NESCent’s weekly Brown Bag Lunch seminar series, titled “Incubating Cyberinfrastructure: Community Building and Open Collaborative Software Development at the Transition Between Mostly-Off and Always-On.”

I will be speaking about my interests in open collaborative software development as a vehicle (in fact, in my opinion requirement) for promoting effective cyberinfrastrucure development, using various examples from our Hackathon and Summer of Code activities. In addition, I’ll connect these objectives to social networking, blogs, and related tools, and hope to instigate some brainstorming on how much we should be at the forefront of technologies that allow us to broaden participation much beyond the physical walls of NESCent.

Regarding the latter, part of the presentation is the setup itself. You can watch the talk — myself and the slides — live as a videostream, complete with audio, using most modern web browsers, without installing separate stand-alone software. Unlike the expensive and bulky Polycom that we have been using for video-conferencing, which only allows up to 3 concurrent client connections (and which has shown to be highly vulnerable to occasional network bottlenecks), this time we will be using much lighter equipment on the production end (in essence a video camera and a wireless microphone), and a much more powerful solution on the broadcasting end (Adobe Connect), allowing up to 100 (!) people to connect via their browsers. (Note that this will be a live stream only — it’s not a downloadable videocast, and there is no recording!)

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Incubating synthesis: NESCent goes IRC, and you can join

Posted in collaboration, Phyloinformatics, Synthesis with tags , , on May 1, 2008 by drycafe

As I noted earlier, one of the things we did differently this year for our Summer of Code participation is to maintain a presence on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) almost from the get-go. This not only proved useful for some of the students, but also inspired Brian O’Meara, one of our mentors who also happens to be a postdoc at NESCent, to propose a NESCent IRC channel as a means for our resident scientists (primarily postdocs) to stay in communication even when it’s not lunch break or teatime.

So here we are in #nescent on Freenode, and this week is declared as trial week to help everyone overcome the activation barrier and evaluate the utility for themselves. I’ve been very impressed by the willingness of almost everyone to follow along and give it a try. The first three days have seen some lively conversations, and even though some were on the light-hearted side (I guess I’m at fault here), some weren’t.

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