Friday, May 22, 2009

Journal Club

As part of our ongoing efforts to train our undergraduate senior thesis students (read: make the graduate student mentor's life a little bit easier), the lab is reviving journal club. Theoretically, for the past few years all grad students have had the opportunity to read papers somewhat related to our work and share them with the lab, but I think it's happened perhaps twice in four years.

Now, grads are expected to "model" the journal club presentations, so the undergrads can take over later in the summer, as part of their much-needed practice in reading and critiquing published research. Time to emerge from the mind-numbed cave that is extensive dissertation/manuscript preparation, and attempt to convey enthusiasm for other people's research while clearly and concisely summarizes an entire paper - in 5 minutes. And I've been volunteered to go first.

It doesn't help that the topics aren't optional; we're helping my advisor prepare for her sabbatical by reading papers authored by the professor with whom she'll be working next year. Perhaps if my advisor promised she'd fly us each out to California for an in-person meeting at some point during the next year, I could work up more enthusiasm...

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