Mathematics research online: Hosting virtual events

May 20, 2020 at 2pm EDT

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Many of us are now facing the daunting prospect of migrating mathematical events from a physical venue to a virtual environment. This presents many challenges, but also offers some new opportunities. Join us for a panel discussion with conference organizers who have already confronted this task.


Hosts: Andrew Sutherland (MIT) and Bianca Viray (University of Washington).

Video recording: A video recording of the panel dicussion with (human edited) closed-captions is now available.

Poll results: Complete results of the live polls taken during the panel discussion are now available (these are referred to but not visible in the video recording).

List of questions: A list of the questions we asked the panelists as well as a summary of questions raised in the chat is now available.

We received many excellent suggestions for questions in the pre-event survey, many of which are included in the summary of questions mentioned above. Some of the logistics and technology questions were rather technical, and can be better addressed by online resources than in a panel discussion. One of the resources panelist Kevin McCurley pointed us to is the recent report Virtual Conferences: A Guide to Best Practices prepared by the ACM Presidential Task Force on "What conferences can do to replace face-to-face meetings". In the technology section of the report you can find links to detailed feature comparisons of various technology solutions, such as videoconferencing platforms, livecasting and webinar platforms, group text chat solutions, and shared whiteboards. The blog post WAGON: Lessons Learned by panelist Daniel Litt also provides some useful tips and perspectives.

We will continue to post links to relevant online resources as we learn about them. Please let us know if you find any!