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Our new Auditorium - open for business!

Submitter: Michael Garrett
Description: Not so long ago, we were lucky enough to have Shri Kulkarni visiting ASTRON and he had time to also present a thought-provoking colloquium talk. Serendipitously, this happened to be the first time our new Auditorium had been used as the venue for our standard colloquium programme.

As you will see from the images above, the new room coped admirably with a large and enthusiastic crowd. ASTRON and JIVE staff can look forward to many hours of pleasure in this room, and with its comfortable seating, and a particular soothing yet vibrant colour scheme, visiting speakers can be sure of our full attention.

Equipped with every conceivable mod-con, we are quietly confident that our attendance figures at colloquia are set to soar to new and giddy heights. While I'm personally not yet quite bold enough to bring my own personal laptop to a colloquium presentation, I suspect my stealthy mobile device may make occasional use of the excellent wifi services also available.

It was interesting to note, that ASTRON and JIVE staff typically favoured the back of the auditorium, rather than the front - this despite the brave efforts of our retired staff to set a most notable good example. Studies have shown e.g. http://www.altoona.psu.edu/fts/docs/SeatingPositionGrades.pdf that students that sit at the front of the class tend to achieve higher grades, and are often regarded by their tutors as more interested and motivated. However, some would argue that the properly "stoer" (cool) student is more likely to be found at the back, where he or she can interject with incisive questioning having fully surveyed the scene before them. The latter individuals are usually precocious but highly socially aware - they look down upon those that crave the attention of the front row.

Another pleasing feature of the new room is the easy access now available to the rear - it becomes largely effortless to pop in and out of a presentation, and over-stressed late-comers no longer need to make a dramatic entrance and disturb the speaker, as in former times.

The new space and ease of movement within the auditorium will doubtless generate many new and interesting forms of social behaviour that could never really become fully established in the cramped confines of the old colloquium room. It will be interesting to see what is unleashed upon us.

Be there to find out!
Copyright: ASTRON
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