Yesterday was Opportunities Day in the
department School of Computer Science and Informatics (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but the head of the department school has admitted that he gave it that name just so that we could abbreviate it to "CSI" – awesome). The point of opportunities day is to let final year students know what options are open to them after graduation. They present their projects to researchers and technology companies, like orphans trotted out in front of potential adoptive parents, trying not to look like they have any major defects.
They also get to look at what some of the postgraduate students are doing, meaning many of us postgrads had to stand around for an hour or so in front of a poster and try to make our research look interesting. Apparently our work looked interesting to plenty of people, although I don’t think any of the final year students could care less. They just wanted to skip the whole day and get to the free drinks part at the end (an attitude that I will admit to sharing for the most part). I spent some time talking to a member of the new CSI Forensic Computing group, and to a guy from Microsoft, among others.
I was much more relaxed than I was giving the same demo in Sydney. I think I did a better job of letting people understand what we’re really trying to do, and how much of that we’ve actually managed to do. Ironically I did this by showing a lot less of the demo than I did in Oz. I think people can get a lot more out of the presentation if they can interact with a responsive and knowledgeable person than if they just get to see a scripted, one-sided pitch.