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iMechanica get together at the next mechanics conference?

Pradeep Sharma's picture

Regarding about having an "iMechanica get-together" during one of the upcoming conferences, either McMat Austin or IMECE Seattle? Many of us will attend these two events.The purpose of this get-together would be:

  1. celebrate launch of iMechanica (accompanied by beer, chips and salsa!)
  2. in-person meeting of the moderators who in turn can discuss various ways to improve iMechanica further
  3. take suggestions from general iMechanica readers who otherwise don't participate online
  4. Publicize iMechanica (may be a moot point at this stage)

Arguably a "meeting" can be be held online, however, an in-person get-together is always nice.  As alluded to above, there is also a side benefit: several mechanicians, while reading iMechanica regularly do not actively participate. Such an event may be useful to solicit comments and to encourage them to participate. 

I would be curious to know what other iMechanicians think of this and, if in agreement, how best to approach it.

Teng Li's picture

Actually several iMechanicians had an in-person conversation over lunch during 2006 MRS Fall meeting at Boston.  It's actually very helpful in collecting feedback and stimulating new ideas.  We also discussed the possible get-together of iMechanicians during conferences.  Just like, such a party should  be kept open to all mechanicians of interest.  iMechanicians can invite their friends to join the party, with hope to get more people on board.  Xiaodong also proposed a contest on iMechanica logo design and suggested to make iMechanica badges and T-shirt based on the winning design...


Xiaodong Li's picture

Thanks, Pradeep and Teng. Yes, I still remember our conversation at 2006 MRS Fall meeting in Boston and the encouragement from Zhigang. Thanks Pradeep for bring this up for discussion. I think we can have a kick-off get-together meeting of iMechanicians at the upcoming conference (I think that most of us and other colleagues will attend either McMat Austin or IMECE Seattle). I would like to call for an iMechanica logo design for our web site and T-shirts. We may have a small size workshop on the “hot” topics that J-Club identifies during its discussion. I believe that such an in-person meeting of iMechanicians is timely and of great interest.

It may be very good for iMechanicians to get together in off-line. I agree with Pradeep for getting together during ASME conference. I might have a plan to submit the abstract to one of ASME conferences at Seattle in November. If some of iMechanicians have a plan to attend the ASME at Seattle, then I might join the off-line meeting during ASME at Seattle. I think that off-line meeting may be relevant to all iMechanicians for knowing each other and further communications.

MichelleLOyen's picture

I'd like to recommend the MRS fall meeting in Boston November 26-30, 2007, as an additional upcoming meeting at which a number of iMech users might gather. I'm co-organizing an MRS symposium this year and will be glad to help arrange an iMech gathering as well.

(It's always seemed to me unfortunate that MRS is so close in date to the IMECE; I did both in the same year once and not since! Coming from Europe it's certainly easier to get to Boston than Seattle.)

Rui Huang's picture

Pradeep sent me a request a while ago. Finally I got a chance to talk with Ravi this afternoon. We think it may be a good idea to plan a special session on iMechanica at the upcoming ASME Applied Mechanics and Materials Conference at Austin, Texas, June 4-7, 2007. A possible format would be a casual get-together with snacks and drinks on Wednesday evening (considering reception on Monday and banquet on Tuesday). Maybe Zhigang can give an overview presentation to promote discussions. If we come up with a definite plan in a week or two, Ravi as the conference chair could include this in the final program.


Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Rui, Pradeep and Ravi:

This is a wonderful idea!  Perhaps we can use this opportunity to let people show one another how to use iMechanica.  For example, many people don't know how to use RSS, how to track comments, how to upload video, how to write equations, etc.  Many people still use browsers in a style of 1990s.  Teng Li has a lot of creative ideas about new web tools.  Pradeep can let us know his experience as the Founding Editor of the Journal Club...

One advantage of iMechanica, as compared to many other online communities, is that iMechanica mirrors an existing, vibrant offline community. 

We should also listen people talk about future possibilities, as well as any bottleneck for more effective communication.

Let's talk more about the plan.


Pradeep Sharma's picture

I am glad we may be able to incorporate the get-together formally in the McMat program. This is great! Hopefully, we can make it a fun event in addition to the helpful presentations from Teng and Zhigang. I think, as Zhigang suggested, we should put emphasis on feedback from mechanicians. Perhaps induce more people to participate and post online.

Teng Li's picture

Dear All,

This is great idea! We've already benefited from some earlier get-together of iMechanicians. This possible session will serve as a new venue for taking advantage of  the collective wisdom of iMechanicians on how to further improve iMechanica, and also for publicizing iMechanica to those iMechanicians-to-be. The format Rui proposed sounds reasonable to me.


Rui Huang's picture

Ravi is too busy to write (or even read) in iMechanica. So I will go ahead to make a proposal for this special session. To make it really special, we want to have it at a time there are no other technical sessions. With this consideration, only Wednesday evening (June 6) is feasible. In fact, there will be another special event starting at approximately 7pm on Wednesday. But it will only involve a small group of attendees (including myself and most of our UT colleagues). For this reason, we can only attend this session if it begins after 5:30pm and ends before 7pm. If one hour is enough, we can have it scheduled from 5:45pm to 6:45pm on Wednesday, June 6.

In terms of format, perhaps Zhigang and Teng can each prepare a short presentation (15-20 mins), one for a general overview and the other for more advanced tools. I will work with Ravi to arrange some Texas-style snacks and drinks. Pradeep will have to figure out how to make it really fun. Anyone else want to contribute?


Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Rui:

Thank you so much for getting us organized.

To enable people to help each other, it will be important that the room has wireless connections, so that people can demonstrate to each other how they actually use iMechanica.

Is it possible to arrange such a room? 

Pradeep Sharma's picture

Rui, Thanks for organizing this. If the drinks include beer, then we may not need to do anything additional to make it fun!


Teng Li's picture

Rui, thanks a lot for making the proposal. I agree with Zhigang on the importance of internet access in the meeting room. This will be especially helpful to make the demonstrations effective and vivid. 

Shall we solicit discussion topics of interest from iMechanicians?


Zhigang Suo's picture

I've just started a post to evolve a detailed schedule of the get together at McMat 2007.  Several of us will evolve this post in the coming months to get it right. 

I'm thinking of an informal workshop.  We will be mostly using iMechanica to demonstrate how things work.  People can also talk about ideas for future.  I'm hoping that the room has wireless connection so that people can try things out on their laptops.  

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