Stanford Astrophysics Tea-time Talk Guidelines



The regular astro-ph coffee times (both on campus and at SLAC) consist of a discussion of recent hot papers and a short talk from a member of the group. The aims of this exercise are to raise awareness of each other's activities, and provide a stage for the presentation of interesting new results, an upcoming conference paper, or a particular problem that would best be tackled with help from other members of the group. By keeping the atmosphere friendly and informal, these talks hopefully help to improve communication across the group. The carrot is finding out what others are up to (and hopefully being entertained in the process). The stick is that everyone is expected to contribute at some point. 

The tea talk rules are as follows:

  • Talks are to last NO MORE THAN 15 - 20 MINUTES, and the question time afterwards will be similarly restricted
  • Talks should be aimed at the level of a first-year graduate student
  • We would like for everybody to take their turn.  Volunteers will get first pick of the dates, but you only get one slot per quarter.
  • There are no rules about presentation style so don't feel obliged to prepare a fancy powerpoint presentation. There are blackboards in both locations if you prefer to 'talk and chalk'
  • Talks will be given from a mixture of locals and visitors

To reiterate, some suggestions for what you might talk about are:

  • An interesting or amusing aspect of your current research or reading that others would benefit from hearing about ("The Titbit")
  • A thorny problem that you'd like to explain and then get help with ("The Poser")
  • A presentation you've put together for a short conference talk ("The Run-through")
  • A recent result that you are particularly excited about ("The Champion")
  • A short summary of your recent work and your future directions ("The New Kid")

As a rough guide to the level of these things, if it will take you more than a morning's work to prepare you should probably talk about something else. ("Run-throughs" take no time at all as you were going to have written them anyway.)

The teatime talks are organized and regulated by a benign dictatorship - this job is fairly taxing so please be responsive. Yo can volunteer for a slot by emailing tealeaks (at) any time, otherwise you'll be hearing from them shortly.

Finally, this webpage contains the current schedule.