[PyAR2] UCA Visit

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Thu Aug 14 00:22:37 CEST 2008

Hello Everyone-

I just got in from a visit to the UCA campus and department of computer
science.  Let's be clear about one thing; we could not have more gracious
and enthusiastic hosts for this event!  Dr. Hu (pronounced 'who'), the
department chair was excited to meet me and has made it clear that he will
do (almost) anything for us.  Dr. Bernard Chen has just moved here from
Georgia State University where he taught Python to non-cs majors and uses
Python for his research in biometrics (just ask him...he loves what he
does).  Both of them are encouraging and seem genuinely interested in
helping us.  Dr. Hu even mentioned "community" which is a common theme in
the Python world.  This feels like a great fit!

The CS department is on the 3rd floor of the math/computer science
building.  It's a beautiful facility.

We have 3 rooms with computers at each desk.  The largest room holds 40
people in a stadium seating layout with laptops everywhere.  The 2 smaller
rooms hold 24 each and have PCs.  All rooms have projectors and the hallway
connecting the rooms is large and clean.  Dr. Hu will check to see if there
is a problem with vendors setting up in the hall (we may have O'Reilly and
Elegant Stitches).  There is no football game scheduled for October 4th, but
we still need to look into parking for the event.

The computer network is set up for their (UCA) computers and they have given
us permission to use the machines.  People are welcome to bring their own
laptops, but will not be able to access the UCA network (the wireless is
intended to UCA students).  They will insure that Python 2.5 is installed on
all the machines.  If there are other packages we need installed for classes
or talks we need to let them know ASAP.

There is no food or drink allowed in the classrooms and we need to enforce

Dr. Hu is concerned with the number of people attending.  We do not have
one, large room that everyone can get into (we might be able to use the
large classroom briefly, but it won't be comfortable).  We need to get the
best count we possible can.  Right now we are asking people to sign up on
the wiki, but let's all encourage people to sign up.  We really can't handle
more than 100 people.

The other thing Dr. Hu wanted was a schedule.  I'm working on it and could
use more people to step up for talks.  Also, he thought that 8:30-4:00 might
be too long; that people may stay away because it makes for a long day.  I'm
thinking people may stay away if it's too short.  We may look at shutting
things down at 3, but that will sort itself out in the next couple of weeks
as we get the schedule together.  Your thoughts are welcome.

Overall, I was very happy with the visit.

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