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Re: [Swarmfest2006] Keynote speakers -> use of swarm funds

From: Marcus G. Daniels
Subject: Re: [Swarmfest2006] Keynote speakers -> use of swarm funds
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 11:04:14 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird 1.5 (Windows/20051201)

Rick Riolo wrote:
or there is an item in there about how a student can try
to name their own mentor organization, because none of the ones
that exist are quite right. (its in the faq somewhere).
so we could try that.
Well, there are a lot of organizations involved, including heavy hitters like Gcc and Mono. My general point is not to push any particular project at this point, but to build on the momentum and visibility of SOC to leverage our own resources. In other words, spread the net for talent a little farther than the usual suspects.
as it turns out, an ex-student here at UM (Ed Baskerville)
would like to do something with Swarm or something related
to ABM tools.
..although it's great if one of the usual suspects could be motivated to do something clever! He's done clever things before..
i don't know anything about the approaches marcus mentions below.
building a new simulator sounds like more than a one summer project, tho.
so it might take coming up with a plan that breaks
the task up into summer-doable chunks.
If you look at some of the projects on the SOC list, many are very ambitious. I think that's kind of the point. SOC can be expected to endure (like SwarmFest) and different students can take off a chunk a piece of the problem at a time if it proves to be too hard. Swarmfests are fine, but having that be the single effective reason for the SDG seems a little depressing, in particular the cult of personality thing w.r.t. Keynote Speakers. Better to encourage coolness by performance than by throwing out authorities to admire. But I understand I'm probably in the minority on this.

In response to Jim's point, though, I think some spark is needed to do something new in this community and to shoot for something more dazzling than to add, e.g. some blasted GIS widget adapter to some ABM toolkit or yet another parameter sweeping program. It's just not fun to work on stuff like that. It's slavery. This is not to say that the SDG shouldn't also sponsor research, and possibly also basic maintenance support for various ABM packages, but in the context of something like SOC, there should be a generous interpretation of success and we could help rationalize it to Google. Participants should go away feeling like they tried to do something hard (even if it is obscure or not directly useful) and were appreciated for trying.

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