The Musings of David Waterman, the Editors Panel, Holiday Spirit, and 3D

T600 with David Waterman

Over last five years Professor David Waterman has been organizing the department’s T600 seminar series, popularly known as the brown bags. The dedication with which he has been cultivating this important forum for sharing ongoing research, especially works in progress, is an inspiration.  For doctoral students, who have to register for T600 four times and present at least twice, the brown bags provide an opportunity to develop their presentation skills.  The department, as a whole, has opportunities to hear about research by doctoral students and also Telecom faculty and visitors. In these idea bouncing sessions, David’s witty and clever intros have become a feature by themselves.  “Sometimes I put some thought into them and sometimes inspiration comes to me, but I always think of something better after the fact.”  Ultimately, David wants the presenters to feel at ease before they share their research.  “It’s easy to make people feel good when they are accomplished.  I just have to acknowledge their abilities to the audience.”

Here are some highlights of David’s introductions for the brown bags over the semester:

Brown Bag: The Editors Panel

In a panel discussion moderated by Professor Rob Potter, the four journal editors in our department – Erik Bucy, David Waterman, Harmeet Sawhney, and Annie Lang – shared reflections on their editing work and gave advise on what it takes to get published.  They covered extremely wide territory, touching on almost all facets of journal publishing.  Video of the entire discussion will be made available later.  This blog post focuses on only some of the advise they gave to graduate students, mainly on one thread in the conversation.

David Waterman, who just completed a 6-year tenure as the coordinating editor of Information Economics and Policy, advised students to take advantage of the mentoring opportunities, both formal and informal, within the academy.  In his words, “it’s useful to ask your advisors and mentors for help. You learn a lot by going through this process.”  In effect, the nuances of journal publishing can be best learned in the apprentice mode.  The grad students need to engage faculty beyond the classroom setting and seek out such opportunities.

Erik Bucy, currently the editor for Politics and the Life Sciences, advises students not to be hesitant to submit. Politics and the Life Sciences, he said, has published exceptional undergraduate work before, and grad students should not doubt the quality of their own research. “Don’t be afraid of submitting,” Erik said.  “Don’t think you’re out of the game.”  At the same time, he pointed out that there is no point in submitting underdeveloped manuscripts, as that only burns up the research communities resources in terms of reviewers’ time.  The winning combination then is to create good works and then not be afraid of facing reviewers’ scrutiny.

Annie Lang, editor of Media Psychology, suggested that selecting the right journal for your work is crucial to getting published. “Be sure you’re submitting something that’s in the scope of the journal,” she said.  Annie urged the grad students to direct their energies to making their papers substantive, as opposed to perfect.  According to her, pre-occupation with the latter leads to immobility and focus on the former to advancement with the review-revise-review-revise of the peer review process ironing out the imperfections.  She went on to provide advise on how to respond to reviewers’ comments.

Harmeet Sawhney, editor of The Information Society, said it is also important to understand the texture of the journal. The Information Society, which covers a wide range of topics from artificial intelligence to the digital divide, is flexible about methodology but insistent about a significant conceptual contribution.  He says, in a journal like this, conceptually strong articles are essential because “the appeal of the published article needs to go beyond the sub-speciality the researcher is working in to the broader audience.”

Sharing Some Holiday Cheer

Take a look at the Christmas Tree next to the entrance of Graduate Program Administrator Tamera Theodore’s cubicle.  The little gifts under the tree are particularly delightful.  Most of them are pieces knitted by Annie, including the one featured in the close-up shot.

3D Storytelling and IU Cinema

The semester is coming to a close, and with it, the end of IU Telecom’s inaugural 3D storytelling and production class. The course, T452, is wrapping up final projects for a class viewing on Monday.  In the spring semester, the public will have an opportunity to view the class projects, along with additional 3D productions at the soon-to-open IU Cinema.

Grad student Chris Eller, who assists Professor Susan Kelly in the course along with Informatics student Sean Connolly, says the final projects are the culmination of the theory and practical work learned and applied over the course of the semester. “This project will showcase their knowledge,” Chris says. The class of 12 has been working in three teams, each completing 3 projects for the class, with the final one being the biggest.

The public viewing of the final projects will take place on January 30th at 3:00 p.m. at the IU Cinema, closing out the week-long grand opening of the venue, which will seat about 240 people. The showcased 3D productions will include projects from T452 as well as 3D modeling and animation work from students in the IUPUI School of Informatics.

Chris was also interviewed by the Herald Times because of his expertise on 3D production. You can access the Herald Times article here. (Subscription required)

Random Comment of the Week

Ted Castronova:  “The grad blog is freaking cool . . . a moment of joy.”

Random Photo of the Week

Julie Fox: “Check out David’s new wheels!”


Katie Birge:  Editors Panel and 3D Storytelling and IU Cinema

Nicky Lewis:  Musings of David Waterman and Holiday Spirit

Special Thanks

Julie Fox:  For spotting David’s new wheels

Bryant Paul:  For taking the picture with infectious enthusiasm

Andrew Weaver:  For suggesting possible shots for photographing David’s new wheels

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