IPCC 2013–Day 3

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Just as quickly as it started, it was over--we wrapped IPCC for 2013, and what a way to end it.  Dr. Carol Barnum gave the final plenary talk about heuristic evaluation, as she reflected on her own travels in the wild world of usability. Since I did duties as both presenter and blogger on the final day, I can only show a couple of pictures from … [Read more...]

IPCC 2013–Day 2: Get Your Vancouver On!

Saul Carliner, editor of PCS Transactions at the final plenary

Yesterday I posted on the keynote address by Dr. Bernard Amadei, a rousing start to the first day of IPCC 2013.  I am happy to report that the remainder of Day 1 was similarly energizing.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to every session (at times like these, a couple of clones with cameras would be handy), but I was able to get … [Read more...]

Will Communicate For Food

In a recent article in the New York Times, Alina Tugend posed the eternal question that often crops up at this time of year--what are the skills college graduates should possess to make them employable?  You may be surprised that the answer is not more technical skills.  Quoting from a special report by the Chronicle of Higher Education and … [Read more...]

The Power of Presentations

Giving a good presentation is key to success as a technical professional.

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the IEEE Professional Communication Society are partnering this year to bring communication content to members of both societies.  In case you missed it, the webinar entitled "The Power of Presentations" was presented on Wednesday, April 3.  It attracted a broad and diverse audience, with members of … [Read more...]

Konnichiwa from Tokyo!

The Meiji Shrine will be a stop on my itinerary during my visit to Japan

In my role as president of PCS, I am traveling this week to visit Shibauru Institute of Technology in Tokyo, Japan.  The purpose of the trip is to give two talks at the university.  My host is Atsuko Yamazaki, a member of our PCS AdCom and a faculty member at Shibaura. There has been a concerted effort by the Japanese government to … [Read more...]

Oh Wow!

Here's an image I can get behind:  a dog with graph and chart!

Check out the latest Prism magazine, published by the American Society for Engineering Education, to read more about how engineering educators are helping students improve their written and oral communication skills. Thomas K. Grose, in an article entitled "Wow The Audience," reviews efforts at North Carolina State University, Texas Tech, … [Read more...]

If Communication is a “Soft Skill,” Then Why Is It So Hard?

Calling communication a "soft skill" implies that it's easier, less technical, and of reduced value.

Recently the phrase "soft skills" created a heated debate among the members of the PCS AdCom.  The question was, should communication be referred to as one of the "soft skills," or should some other phrase be used instead?  And if so, what should that phrase be? Let me start by saying that in my academic context, I am always fighting against … [Read more...]

Telling the Story of Technical Information

The Brothers Karamazov (not a drug-eluting stent)

What do storytelling and technical presentations have in common?  At first, you may think, "absolutely nothing!"  And yes, there is a deep chasm between The Brothers Karamazov and the update you give your boss about progress with the design of a drug-eluting stent (just to give an … [Read more...]

Podcast: Creating Effective Presentation Slides

Jean-luc Doumont, a world-acclaimed expert in oral presentations and a senior member of IEEE, addresses in his informative podcast the key methods you can employ to create effective presentation slides. … [Read more...]