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iMechanica get together at McMat 2007

Time: 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm, Wednesday, 6 June 2007.

Place: TCC 2.120 , UT Austin. (The room is reserved form 5:45 pm to 10:00 pm.)

Session moderators: Rui Huang and K. Ravi-Chander

Audience: Anyone interested in iMechanica. See a thread of discussion initiated by Pradeep Sharma. The event is free for all. So if you are local but are not attending McMat, you are still welcome to drop by.

Format: Workshop and conversation. Bring your laptop to try some new tricks. (Wireless internet connection is available with $5 fee for an account throughout the conference.)

Introduction to iMechanica (15 min):

Discussion (30 min. Moderator: Rui Huang and Ravi-Chander. Sample topics, not in any particular order. Everyone can raise a new topic):

A primer on how to use iMechanica (15 min. Teng Li)

Other topics (If time permits and interest lasts)

Snacks and drinks

Update on 16 June 2007.  Minutes of the get together

Free Tags: 
Rui Huang's picture

This post will be very helpful in planning this session. Thanks. At this moment, I cannot answer all the questions, but the current status is as follows:

Although some of us may have to leave earlier, others can stay longer. A full day reservation of the conference center lasts until 10 pm. I will confirm later if we have the full day reservation.

We have 12 meeting rooms, with the seating capacity ranging from 20 to 230. The largest room is Auditorium 1.110. I will confirm later if we want this room.  

I have talked to Ravi and his assistant about the wireless connection. Will keep working on this.

The list of topics looks fine to me, maybe a little too much for one hour. 


Rui Huang's picture

Would you pay $5 for wireless access at the coming McMat conference?

The wireless service is good for every meeting room for all four days at the conference.


Teng Li's picture

Pretty decent deal, $5 for four days.

Thanks for the update, Rui. 

Teng Li's picture


Thank you for proposing the topics above. I share with Rui's concern on the time constraint. 

I'm thinking to reorganize and fit the topics into the following three themes: 

Introduction to iMechanica:    

A primer on how to use iMechanica:

Advance topics: 

followed by discussions and suggestions, vision for future...

Your comments are welcome. 


Pradeep Sharma's picture

Everyone, this is quite a nice list of topics. One that is missing (or perhaps under-emphasized) is discussion/solicitation of feedback.

After "introduction to iMechanica", I suggest that we have a discussion session where everyone provides candid feedback on how we can improve iMechanica further to achieve its goals. I also see this meeting as a means to get mechanicians (who while aware of iMechanica) are not active participants. What can we do to make iMechanica more relevant for them? Presumably this feedback and discussion session will provide some answers....This can also be a general Q&A session.

 The "primer on how to use iMechanica" and the so-called "advanced topics" are quite relevant and interesting but may not be so for everyone. If we hold the discussion/future vision session AFTER these two, we may either run out of time or loose much of the crowd that this meeting, at partially, is targeted towards. Thus I suggest a change of sequence: (1) Introduction to iMechanica (2) Discussion session (3) Primer on Imechanica and finally, for the aficionados, (4) Advanced topics.

Henry Tan's picture

Hardware of iMechanica, and how to use it, are the topics under discussing.

How about the “soft” part of iMechanica? How to encourage more and more mechanicians to participate, and be active?

There should be someway, embedded into the iMechanica system, to encourage comments and discussions.

Therefore, I view future iMechanica not as a website only, but also as a value system for mechanicains …

Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Henry:

Very interesting thoughts. Could you please make a few explicit suggestions? Perhaps we can use your suggestions as a starting point of a discussion topic at our get together.

Henry Tan's picture

Dear Zhigang.

The founding work of iMechanica has been done,, thanks.

As an iMechanica fan, here is my humble suggestion for further developments.

I think it is important for us to find ways to gain peer-reviewed international reputation for iMechanica.

After iMechanica reputation being built up, mechanicians, including established scholars, curious students and experienced engineers, would like to be active here, and devote time to posting, discussing and commenting.

In this way, our mission, to use the internet to enhance communications among mechanicians, and to pave a way to evolve all knowledge of mechanics online, can be achieved.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Henry:  Thank you for raising this important question.  It might have been too ambitious to ask a 7-month baby to build up an international reputation and ask grownups to take her seriously.  However, the Internet has shortened the time scale.  Now iMechanica has 1800+ registered users. Perhaps we should be talking about what kind of reputation we'd like like to have, and how to get what we want by providing values to our users.  

I have added your suggestion as a topic, "how to build up an international reputation", in the tentative agenda of iMech get together.  In the coming months, when more specific ideas come to you, please add them right below your original suggestion.  We'll find how others feel about these issues.

Julia R. Greer's picture

I think it is a really good idea to have this iMechanica "promoting" session. Besides teaching us how to operate the website, some of the members might actually **meet** each other for the first time!


Julia Rosolovsky Greer

Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear All:

Terrific suggestions! Because the session will be on a Wednesday, which will be near the end of the conference, we should have some idea by then how many people will show up at our session. If we have, say fewer than 30 people, the session can be very informal. We can go by the flow of questions. The list of topics is just a reminder of "hard" things that might be useful.

However, if we have more people, some structure is necessary. I'm now iterating on Teng's version, and inserting other ideas suggested by various people.

Introduction to iMechanica (15 min):

Discussion (25 min. Moderator: Rui Huang and Ravi-Chander. Sample topics, not in particular order. Everyone can raise a new topic):

A primer on how to use iMechanica (20 min)

Other topics (If time permits and interest lasts)

Chips and drinks

Rui Huang's picture

This morning, Ravi and I have confirmed the room for the iMechanica Get-together, for which the reservation lasts until 10 pm on Wednesday, June 6, 2007. Ravi has also assured that catering service with drinks and snacks will be arranged. Of course, we will have beers and wines for the taste of Texas.

I have updated the original post of this thread. Seems like we are all set for a great time in June. 


Teng Li's picture

Dear Rui and Ravi, 

Thank you very much for your diligent efforts to make this get-together happen! Look forward to meet our fellow iMechanicians and iMechanicians-to-be on Jun 6.


Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Rui: Thank you so much for making all the arragements.

Dear All iMechanicians: I've just updated the post to reflect this thread of discussion. Please take a look at the agenda of the get together. Please keep adding your thoughts on the get together as they occur to you. This is our first "formal" get together, when the online community meets offline. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

I've also added a button iMech get together on the right side of iMechanica, under the heading "Quick guide"

I think if we can invite the well-Knowen scholar to introduce the front of mechanics and also give us some guidance on how to learn and research.Maybe through this way , we can attract more and more scholars and students to come here to communicate.

Hi just a quick note to say we are looking for gifted and driven biology, science and technical graduates - We are en engineering Jobs Board with some of the Uk's leading companies advertising for canidates. The website is Email me if you have an questions.

Aaron Goh's picture

Can we make this event live over the internet?  Some sort of webcast?  That I think, would do much to promote imechanica and let those 'non-locals' hear your beautiful voices! Wink

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