One of the things that has been keeping me busy recently is being on the organising committee of a conference: InterFace 2009. My friend Leif (who I met on a training course way back at the start of my PhD) is doing a PhD in ECS department, but with a co-supervisor in Archaeology, due to the nature of his topic. With his colleague in History, and a Professor in Modern Languages, they conceived an event that would foster research collaboration between the fields of Humanities and Technology.
The committee consists of equal numbers of people from Humanities and FESM (Faculty of Engineering Science and Maths) so that we have a balanced approach, as well as a couple of members of staff who are kindly giving up some of their time to help organise InterFace.
The approach we have taken with InterFace is quite an interesting one. Although I’ve called it a conference, it doesn’t have the same configuration as most of the conferences I’ve seen so far. Most conferences in Computer Science will have attendees submit long, short or poster papers, in order to be accepted to present long or short presentations, or posters. However, as our key aim is to foster new ideas for collaboration between Humanities and Technology, we are asking participants to submit a short paper presenting an idea for how their research could be used by the other discipline. At the conference, these ideas will either be pitched on a poster or as a two minute ‘lightning talk’.
To further promote collaboration, we will have a session inspired by speed dating, where each Humanities attendee will get to chat about their ideas with a Technology attendee for a couple of minutes, before moving on to the next person.
In addition to collaborating to generate new ideas, participants will be treated to a great deal of keynotes, workshops, insider’s guides and talks about successful projects which will help improve their knowledge of the skills required to get interdisciplinary projects off the ground.
If you are interested in this conference, please visit the website: http://www.interface09.org.uk/. The Call for Papers is linked from the front page. The paper is quite short (only a couple of pages) and this should be a really useful and interesting event. Get going!