All 7 entries tagged Video

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January 23, 2012

Bring the PhD Movie to Warwick! – by Ruth

Warwick Student Cinema (WSC) are currently inviting members to vote for films to be screened in the third (summer) term.

If you haven't come across WSC before, they're well worth looking into. They're a student society who effectively run a (very reasonably priced) independent cinema, with movies screened in a large lecture theatre on the Science Concourse.

Obviously, this would be a fantastic context in which to see the PhD Movie. Just the very mention of this fine new film on this blog sparked delight from almost four respondents, so there's clearly an appetite for it here at Warwick. As such, I've suggested that WSC screen this postgraduate epic in the summer, and any member of the society can now vote for it.

Let's make this happen!

January 18, 2012

Blog anniversary meet–up!

Happy birthday to us!

To celebrate, we'll be holding an informal meet-up for our readers on 7 Feb.

Meet the Bloggers event

What: An informal meet-up for readers and bloggers to greet and chat over drinks.

When: Tuesday 7 February, 5:30pm

Where: The Dirty Duck

Who: All are welcome!

Why: Because we are the best PhD blog ever! Also because we love our readers.

Hope to see you all there!

December 02, 2011

Research Networks: passing around ideas – by Anna

And here, at long last, is the final video made by Will Thomas for the Research Exchange:


This one is about research networks. The Rex offers a toolkit for people who want to start their own research-related network, including providing space for meetings and helping to apply for initial funding. Examples of successful, growing groups include the Warwick Drinking Studies Network, the Sub-Saharan African Research Network and the Warwick Oral History Network.

So that's the idea behind this video....

October 20, 2011

Video – Introduction to the Rex facility

Thought I'd share yet another excellent video made for the Rex by Will Thomas! :)

October 14, 2011

Monk video! – by Anna

I'm going to start posting the Research Exchange videos onto the blog, one at a time.

Here's the first one!

It stars Greg Frame, Rick Wallace, Chris Vernon and David Gudgeon. (All except David are PhD students at Warwick! And David works in the Library.) Didn't they do an awesome job? I think they did.

Will Thomas wrote the script and did all the shooting and editing, which he is clearly completely stellar at.

So, enjoy!

October 09, 2011

Why don't we use video conferencing more? – by Ruth

I had a good old experiment with the the video conferencing software in one of the Wolfson Research Exchange seminar rooms the other day. I'm quite frankly amazed it isn't used more often: the equipment is very powerful and surprisingly user-friendly, although you do need to set aside an hour or two in order to learn how to use it.

What's more exciting than sharing a talk or taking part in a seminar with a person (or even a room of people!) in another part of the world? I admit that's a bit of a geeky question, but then I am a shamelessly geeky researcher. Video conferencing allows you to exchange ideas and engage in discussion with people you might otherwise never be in direct contact with. This is particularly beneficial if your field – like mine – is somewhat obscure. Moreover, it's far less expensive (hire of the seminar rooms is free!) and considerably more comfortable than travelling to a far-flung conference.

The equipment itself is pretty exciting (if you're into that sort of thing). The seminar room has two fully adjustable cameras facing in opposite directions, enabling you to record a speaker at the lectern, show a seated audience, or zoom into any given corner you fancy. There's also a “visualiser” – a lot like an old-school overhead projector – which allows you to easily broadcast the contents of a piece of paper (or an ipad, or a Kindle, or indeed any appropriately-sized random object). The sound quality is great and Warwick's super high-speed internet ensures that anything you record (or pick up from another) plays smoothly without any of the hiccups you might sometimes expect whilst streaming video.

Of course, there's no point in video-conferencing simply for the sake of doing so. There are many benefits to travelling, and to actually being in the physical room as someone else. If you're going to use the equipment, it should probably serve a specific end.

In my case, that end emerged from a meeting of Warwick's embryonic “identity repertoires” group, when we decided that we wanted to hold an afternoon symposium on asexuality research. Our group aims to make research into sexualities (and beyond) more accessible to the actual groups discussed within such work. We're also interested in linking up with community organisations and grassroots campaigns. The video-conferencing software provides a great platform for us create these very links whilst connecting with other researchers around the world.

We made a rough list of everything we ideally wanted to do during the symposium. This list included:

  • a physical, conference-style setting in which research can be presented and discussed

  • remote participation via video-link for those researchers unable to attend the event

  • online streaming, enabling anyone to watch the event

  • a chat client or twitter feed that allows these external participants to comment or ask questions

  • a recording of the event, to be made available for free on the internet

To our delight, we've figured out how to achieve most of items on this list using the software available at in conjunction with the video-conferencing equipment in the Research Exchange seminar room. We're also fairly confident that we can figure out solutions to some of the apparent challenges that remain (for instance, it is possible for researchers to take part in the video conference via a personal webcam, but it seems that we cannot stream the event online if one of these is being used).

I'll be sure to post again to let everyone know how our event goes. In the meanwhile, why not investigate how some of the powerful technology available in the library can work for you?

September 27, 2011

Leaving Aunt Rex Never Easy – by Pete

I'm still reeling from the news that R.E.M. have broken up. It came just as their favourite song of mine was spending a great deal of time in my CD player:

It's easier to leave than to be left behind
Leaving was never my proud
Leaving New York never easy
I saw the light fading out.

There is relevance. After ten years of study and work at Warwick, and seeing whole generations of friends move on, I've finally managed to escape myself, starting a one-year full-time post at Nottingham. This is therefore (sniff) my last post on the PhD blog, unless I sneak a guest one in when I return for my viva. In any case, Aunt Rex did ask me if I'd like to send a final missive back (and when Aunt Rex requests something, you say YES).

One of the things which I've heard people say a lot over the years is that, while the PhD has a very definite start point, it's much more difficult to identify the end. There's submission, but then there's also the viva, corrections, first job. It's hard to get a sense of closure. Moving to a completely different part of the country is, I have to say, quite helpful in this regard. Even though the PhD's not officially over yet, it's good to have a new set of challenges to move on to, new courses to learn and new students to meet.

I suppose the other thing I can usefully testify to is that there are still jobs out there, even in the humanities, for people who've not got their doctorates yet. It's well worth applying for stuff - because even if you feel you're unlikely to get the job, it never hurts to have potential employers reading your applications, giving you feedback and thinking of you if other things come up. I'm as guilty as anyone of being quite negative about the job situation over the last year, but as long as you're prepared to think broadly about what jobs you might be suited to, take a lot of rejections and keep going nonetheless, things do seem to eventually come up.

All the same, moving away does bring home how good a community Warwick has for its researchers, and it's important not to undervalue it! It's great to be taking on some new challenges, but it has involved leaving behind a lot of very good friends and a whole peer network. The things which are happening in and around the RE at the moment - the establishment of the Early Career Network, the new online portals for research students, the introduction of ever more exciting brands of free biscuits - are fantastic, and I'm sorry I won't get to be a part of them.

So, best of luck to everyone for the 2011/12 year, and I'll look forward to keeping up with events via Aunt Rex and the rest of the blogging team!

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