As I am typing students and postdocs looking for jobs are giving 5 minute presentations. It was absolutely great for the first hour. For each speaker I quickly checked
- their web page (if they kept their name on the screen long enough for me to catch it),
- the DBLP page for their publications,
- their Facebook page,
- checked whether they were applying for a job at Brown,
and jotted down for myself a few notes on their presentation and on whether I thought their interests might be a fit.
What a great way to get a quick first impression! Also a great way to get a quick sense of the pool of theory-inclined applicants this year. If I see other applicants in our database, then, even if they are not here today, this session will make it easier for me to evaluate them.
The room is full and I saw some people standing in the back.
If only this had been split into two sessions, it would be easier to pay attention. As it is, early speakers had a big advantage. If I was staying around, I would compare impressions with other Brown people and try to corner a few of those applicants to chat with them. Unfortunately I've about had it with traveling (I've logged close to 80 hours traveling in the past 22 days and only spent 12 hours at home since getting back from France), so I am not taking full advantage of this great opportunity to get a first look at job candidates; but it is a great, great idea.