MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
January 17, 2002

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January 24, 2003

GSAC Meeting
Friday, January 24, 2003

In attendance:

Violeta Marin
Abhijit Brahme
Oner Kozan
Kate Trapp
Abie Flaxman
Tiffany Miles
Justin Douglas

Rea Freeland
Gregg Franklin
Katya Malkin

1) Poster Session
The third annual poster session is coming up! It will be held Friday, February 7 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm in the Connan Room (UC).

This year we will be giving palm pilots as prizes rather than reimbursing the winners for travel or educational expenses. The model that was selected, Palm m105 Handheld, is unfortunately no longer produced and not readily available. So, the second choice, Palm Zire Handheld, will be the prize.

Representatives from each department should let Katya know about how many posters they expect, so she can order enough sign stands. Chemistry estimated about 15 and math about 5. Physics and biology still need to find out.

The catering order will remain the same as last year's, though we will display signs letting people know which items are vegan or vegetarian.

Finally, Abhijit and Kate volunteered to arrive at 6:00 to help with setup and take the first shift greeting guests at he door and checking IDs.

2) Entrepreneurship Program
Rea announced to the group that some progress has been made in setting up a course to pilot an entrepreneurship program for MCS graduate students. Tom Emerson, Director of the Donald Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at GSIA, has agreed to offer a 5 week course, which would be based on his "Starting a Technology-Based Venture" course. The course would cover topics such as marketing, funding, and viability of start-up ideas and would be beneficial for those seeking to start a business or to work in a business setting after graduating.

Regarding scheduling, the group agreed that Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 - 5:00 PM in the summer (probably beginning in early June and ending in early July) would work well. If it turns out that most MCS students interested in the course are from Biology and Chemistry, the course could be held in Mellon. Initially, this would be a non-credit course, though in the future it might be offered with the option of receiving credit. It was also suggested that some type of certificate be awarded to those who complete the course.

GSAC members estimated that the following numbers of people from their departments might be interested:
  • Biological Sciences - ~2-3
  • Chemistry - unsure
  • Mathematical Sciences - ~1-2
  • Physics - ~5
It would be optimal to have 8 - 12 interested students for the course, which looks likely.

Rea offered to organize an information session with pizza and the group estimated that 10 - 20 people would probably attend.

Other ideas for marketing the course included:
  • advertising it at the poster session by providing a postcard/flyer with information
  • distributing a questionnaire at the poster session to gauge interest
  • email
  • word of mouth
3) Agenda Items for Spring 2003
There was discussion of holding another career seminar, but since Renee is on maternity leave now and Kat will be over the summer, the group decided that this could wait until next fall, possibly to be held in spring 2004. They also felt that it might be too soon to hold another career event.

Other items included planning another Happy Hour and looking into issues that might arise for the Advisory Board review coming up this year.