Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Difference in Culture

Apparently in fields outside mathematics, a "poster" is considered a serious form of academic communication and not something that middle-schoolers make with markers, construction paper, and glitter.

(If you look at the full program of the upcoming AMS meeting and search for the word "poster," you will see that of the six poster sessions, five are by the MAA and one is by the AWM. The AMS does not have any poster sessions. The only poster sessions are for women, students, or woman students. That is to say if the math community has been pressured to include you in their meeting but nobody wants to hear you talk about your research, then you can bring a poster.)

So today I was tasked with making a poster. About nothing. In fact, this is the first in a series of three posters about nothing. Absolutely no science has been done so far. Hardware has been delivered but is not actually ready for users to use it. Software has been installed (and needs to be reinstalled because X only works with the Y compiler and Z only works with the W compiler and what if someone wants to use both X and Z).

Where's my glitter-glue?