Possible to network in one's field while learning new science?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Or at least honing ones scientific skill/knowledge?

How would one go about this?

NOTE: I am talking about a non-pandemic or otherwise non-emergency condition.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
.Scott
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Networking is nothing more than meeting people (virtually or actually) within your field (or any field) and perhaps eventually asking them to assist you with whatever your goal may be.

Learning "new science" is presumably what all scientists and student of science do.

They can certainly be done concurrently. In many cases they could compliment each other.

Why would you think otherwise?
Or are you specifically looking for situation where they would compliment each other?
 
  • #3
Or are you specifically looking for situation where they would compliment each other?
Yes.
 
  • #4
.Scott
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When I was at college, I worked with one of the professors (Prof. Rojak) in his laser lab. My purpose was simply to discover holography and other laser-related matters. But I was also well known to him as a very able programmer. A year or so later, someone visited Prof Rojak asking him for referrals to a student or two who might be interest in a start-up venture that would require substantial programming. I was one of those two names.
 
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  • #5
When I was at college, I worked with one of the professors (Prof. Rojak) in his laser lab. My purpose was simply to discover holography and other laser-related matters. But I was also well known to him as a very able programmer. A year or so later, someone visited Prof Rojak asking him for referrals to a student or two who might be interest in a start-up venture that would require substantial programming. I was one of those two names.
Was he your advisor or did you take a course from him at any point?
 
  • #6
.Scott
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Was he your advisor or did you take a course from him at any point?
I actually went to college twice. The first time was simply for the education, the second time was for the certificate.
This was the first time. And, although Professor Rojak offered several courses that might have interested me (information theory, the laser lab, and several EE courses), none of those courses ever ended up in my schedule.

As far as advisor is concerned, I'll spill the whole story...
I began professionally programming within a week of my HS graduation. One of my first assignments was to use the school's Honeywell computer to schedule classes for the following year - which, because of over-crowding, was going to be split sessions - Freshmen and Sophomores coming in early and leaving early, Juniors and Seniors coming in three periods later and leaving later. It was about 4700 students. The original schedule handed to me was so bad - even with Phys Ed, Music, Public Speaking, and Chorus dropped, almost no one got all the classes they wanted. Decades later I realized that the fundamental mistake that was made was that the administrators were scheduling the teachers - not the students. But it was so bad that I took full license - after all, nothing I could do would be worse than what had been done. The ultimate result was every one of the 4700 students getting every course they had signed up for.

Then began my first year at Lowell Technological Institute (now UMass Lowell). And the method for signing up for classes was well beyond my worse nightmares. I was a Math major and I recall the advisor I met in the Math "barn". But he did not sign you up for courses. He simply told you what your objectives would be in competing for slots on the morning when course selection was open - which line to get into first.

So I viewed my tuition as simply permission to wander the corridors and converse as a student with whomever I wished. I had a schedule - but it was not important. I took all the Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and such - and, of course, any and all computer courses. I dropped (and thus failed) Mechanical Drawing because it was too pathetically simple. Of course, I volunteered in the computer lab, did some small code-writing jobs for a couple of the professors, and generally tutored code-writing for anyone who wanted it.

I was always playing around in one lab or another and seldom got to bed before midnight. I did that for just over two years before moving on. About 15 years later - as degrees became important in my field, I went back to a smaller college and in 14 months, got my Engineering degree in Computer Science. But that second time, I was 100% degree-oriented - incidental education was welcomed, but not expected.

But even there, I networked. I mean, there are people all around - why would you not talk to them?
 
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