Poster Display, Class of 2008; Gradients and turning points

Unlike my last article on the poster display, this time I have no intentions of frolicking around with statements that might throw a shadow over the facts. I recall that last time I had congratulated the organizers for taking such an initiative constantly reminding them that there were glitches in the organization which they should try and overcome. Seems like what happened now was quite the contrary.

To start with the date for this competition was no where to be found in the final year projects schedule decided at the beginning of the semester. The minutes which gave a glimpse of the display carried a vague statement saying that the event will be held and something is being chalked out. This was followed by a notice a couple of months down, announcing the event with draft submission deadlines following in a week with hourlies and project presentations lying in the middle.

So far so good. But can anyone tell me what the purpose of a poster display is? In fact what is a poster. The word poster competition sounds like an art poster display. At a place where people have no clue as to what poster displays are about, it’s a good idea to introduce them to an idea before forcing them into it. In fact, it wasn’t a just a poster display at all. The work our students did fell under the category of scientific posters.

I went through various links. Each of them gives an outline on how to go about making a scientific poster. Why one shouldn’t use dark backgrounds and how the elements should be spaced out such that they are visually appealing. By visually appealing, it is usually implied that the poster should be proportioned well and comfortable to the eye. Here’s another link to an award winning poster from NC state which doesn’t feature any fancy artwork.

Keeping these points in mind it should on an average take about 8-10 minutes for a person to go through a poster. I doubt if anyone went through any such references before making their poster. And even if they did, what good would it have done. After all, the evaluators wouldn’t really know what to grade in a poster would they? If an event has been organized, the evaluators should also be selected not only on qualifications but must also briefed about how they are to grade the work.

Here’s a sample evaluation sheet from the NC state. One might notice the factors that are considered while making a poster are very different from those people generally perceive.Sample poster evaluation sheet.

The idea of having a poster display has been great. The timing and the way it has been conducted has not been so. Several people raised this concern, including myself, but instead of creating issues after voicing our concerns, tried to work things in our own capacity hoping for the best.

The timings and venue without differentiating between a scientific poster and art poster display at an art gallery were contributing factors which further fueled the fire. I understand that this was organized for the best of the institute and students but it doesn’t take long for things to get overturned.

If things at TIP are to improve, it’s imperative that efforts are streamlined.

2 Replies to “Poster Display, Class of 2008; Gradients and turning points”

  1. I would like to thank Aasim for introducing this topic so I can clarify some misconceptions.

    Starting with the date of the display, the same meeting mentioned by Aasim also included a tentative date. I am sure the supervisors present in that meeting would agree with me that it was decided to hold the research display after the first presentation of the research projects.

    It should be observed that in all notices and discussions, this display was referred to as ‘Research Poster Display’ and not just a poster display. The notices to the students and faculty were displayed on 31st October and outlined what was required from them. The students were also provided last semester’s posters as examples to follow.

    It was also the responsibility of the respective supervisors to follow up with students as most of them supervised last research display.

    As far as the venue and timings are concerned, I think rather than talking about the texperts or the industry representatives showing up, we should think about why most of the supervisors of the projects stayed away from the event?

    I think rather than critisizing the timings and the venue now, our respected texperts should have raised the issue when they were contacted through TIAF as well as personally. No one at that time raised this issue. Regardless, this is all about showing support and motivating youth to positively participate in such events. I am sure every one is busy in their work and its very hard to take some time out but still people came and supported the students.

    This is not to offend anyone at all. This is just to say that people like Ali Hafeez and I, took time out and made a lot of effort. We would have loved to see some support from graduates of TIP. I know people who would make a lot of comments about TIP doing nothing innovative and creative, but when someone makes an effort, there is hardly any support rather you get to hear loads of excuses. I hope people will take this positively.

  2. Based our discussion earlier today, it’s important that these points are read by other people at TIP, especially those who are involved with projects so that things can be done better in future.

    There have been lapses in communication which I think led to this current state. Lets try and ensure that such matters are sorted next time round.

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