Posts tagged laptop
As a non-physicist, you may think that physicists spend their time writing equations on chalkboards, tweaking complicated machines, or scribbling equations on chalkboards. If you read Dan Brown, you probably think they run around in white lab coats. However, hands-on work involving machines and equipment is often given to undergraduate interns and graduate students, while PhD physicists conduct their work a little differently…
- CERN physicists spend most of their work day in meetings, not in labs or their offices.
- There are so many meetings that committees have been formed to hold meetings to figure out how to reduce the number of meetings (I am not making this up).
- Physics analysis is done on laptops during meetings, because it has to get done sometime, and physicists are always in meetings.
- Nobody pays attention to the speaker because they’re submitting physics analysis jobs and creating ugly ROOT graphs on their laptops; they know they can always get the slides later from Indico, the conference management tool everybody uses to post their slides.
- The presenters know nobody is listening so instead of creating readable PowerPoint slides or learning the most basic presentation skills, they write entire blocks of fully formed text in their PowerPoint slides using miniscule font sizes and read verbatim from the slides in an often inaudible monotone. They know that if anyone wants to see their results, they’ll just read the slides on Indico later. Generally the presenter faces the screen, with his/her back to the audience.
This behavior habitual and completely ingrained. I was once in a tutorial for physicists held in a computer lab, where every seat had a desk with a dedicated computer terminal. The participants all filed into the room, sat down at their computer terminals, got out their laptops, put them in front of the computer terminals, and plugged their laptops in at the same time, blowing the room’s electrical circuits.