Armed with my Broadminded recording equipment, a large glass of Pinot Noir and Allie by my side, I was ready to begin my quest to find "The One". It was just like a conveyor belt, which was fitting, since Allie and I felt like Lucy and Ethel, but instead of delicious gourmet chocolates speeding past us, we had Milk Duds. I've had my radio show for over six years and can talk to anybody -- or so I thought. In some cases 90 seconds felt like three, but in most cases, 90 seconds felt like an eternity. 189" from Chicago who couldn't wait to tell me he was a lawyer. Through complicated maths you can put together a graph of the favourability of different pairings and solve it to give the best combination of dates. Many new conversations were started at the conference and it really helped open everyone up and get them involved in the presentations and discussions even for sessions that they wouldn’t normally be interested in. This is what happens when science gets applied to conference organising; A bunch of crazy diagrams and enforced socialising, something that should definitely be tried more often.As I’ve shown though, it gets really complicated really fast if you start inviting a lot of people, so keep it to the smaller events.Once you have all your data and a pretty way to look at it you need a set of rules for pairing people up for their dates (This is basically the same thing that happens on most dating websites when they suggest matches for you).At the conference there were two sets of rules used to create ten dates for each person.Again, you also need to avoid pairing up people that have already worked together in the past.
The idea behind this meeting was to strengthen the research field of cell polarity by allowing some of the main players to get together in a more ‘intimate’ environment to share knowledge and ideas. Now, bearing in mind that this conference is being organised by a collection of scientists with an interest in using computers to solve large scale biological problems, that your group of scientists don’t easily divide into two equal groups and that your organisers are all pretty much a massive collection of bio-computing nerds.
I do think we need to come up with a better name, because 'scientific speed dating' conjures up very awkward mental images.
It's just easier to talk about 'speed dating' than 'Minimizing the L2 loss in mutual knowledge space'.
Every scientist loves talking about their work, so once you get them to sit down and to start talking to each other, they always have a great time.
This was a way of breaking the universal cliquishness that sometimes plagues scientific meetings, where people sometimes just talk to friends/collaborators.