Saturday, September 20, 2008


I had a great time at MLSS, but some people dropped the ball when it came to IT and logistics. So there are some things people need to get right at the next MLSS.

We need to make sure we have:
- IT:
- internet in the rooms where people are staying
- a lot bandwidth available (at least 50 Mbps total)
- enough wireless routers to handle the load of ~200 connections for some buffer
- a power strip at every table for people to plug their laptops into
- some US power plug tables and some Euro ones given there will be a lot of euro people
- Some tables with Cat 5 for people who have wifi troubles
- A Google Map with placemarks of all the locations we need to know
- message boards
- A transport board setup a few months in advance so participants can arrange transportation pland with each other.
- Video recordings of the lectures for

- Talks:
- Have the slides, references, labs, and code online in advance on the website (not some funky ftp server on someones laptop)
- All the lectures and activities scheduled in Google calenders
- Facebook and LinkedIn groups setup before hand
- A whiteboard for the lecturers to right on (with markers that work. Seems whiteboards always have dead markers.)
- Enough lab space for everyone to fit
- A notebook and a pen in the backpack schwag that is given out. People don't usually remember this when packing.
- More practical sessions and have lectures oriented towards practical sessions. I like the philosophy of Nando De Freitas, if you can't code it you don't understand it.
- The should also be feedback forms for the participants to fill out on the lecturers

- Maybe a mini-library with a few books around like Bishop ect.
- A vending machine around where people are staying in case they get the munchies
- A whereivebeen map showing where everone is from
- A MLSS reader in one pdf with all the relevent readers that would be useful in preperation for the lectures and practical sessions
- Energy drinks in addition to coffee at the breaks (In Cambridge we'll probably have tea being the UK)

Another possibility is for MLSS to experiment with the I-Clicker. My brother had to get one for his freshman physics class. The lecturer can ask multiple choice questions and get feedback from the whole class with the remote. It gives the lecturers feedback on if they are not explaining something in enough detail. It also would make the lectures more interactive so people would be less inclined to fall asleep.

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