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For all of their big ideas, sometimes faculty are a bit like wallflowers at a high school dance; they need a little push to make the first move.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that the University of Southern California is using “speed dating” techniques to encourage professors to work together across disciplines.
Those votes will be used to narrow down the groups with the most promising proposals, who will vie for a portion of ,000 in seed money.
The money will go to one or more of the proposals based on the review of a faculty panel.
I recently read one 55-year-old man’s profile from a website that covers Jewish singles.
He stated that he didn’t want any meshugeners (muh-SHOOG-in-ers), which in Yiddish means crazies.
After these brief sessions, organizers hope a special chemistry will develop between some of the participants, prompting the beginnings of a new research relationship.
“[But] if people get to meet people they’ve never met before, then I think we’ll be successful.” The event admittedly has a “game show feel,” but it might begin to address some important questions, Goodman says. Shrikanth Narayanan, chair of the university’s research committee, says he believes developing social opportunities for faculty is an important step in encouraging them to work together.
Feeling rebellious, I wrote him, “How do you define meshugener ?
” He replied, “You’re Jewish, you should know, and you are too old.” I’m 57.
Afterward, if interested in any of the men you spoke to, you discreetly circle their names on your interest sheet.
If they select you, too, the company sends you an email with links to contact your mutual selections.