Archive for January 31, 2014

A Sussex story!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2014 by telescoper

A very touching blog post from a Sussex student who graduated In Absentia this week…


29 January 2014

The stage is set, the lights are on…the Brighton dome is electric with energy and booming with excitement. Miles away, I am sitting across the computer with sparkling eyes and a beating heart. Awaiting the live streaming to begin…awaiting my graduation ceremony to commence.

Today, 2 months into the professional world, I turn around for a peek into the student life once again. As my classmates walk across the stage, I share in their happiness, I share in their smiles and just a tiny shiver of disappointment travels through me. I envision them laughing their hearts out, breathing a sigh of relief for finally and officially crossing the bridge from being graduands to becoming graduates. ‘In absentia’ the University confers the degree upon me as well, and an audible sigh of relief escapes my lips. “Yes, I have done it!”

From being a Sussex post-graduate student, I…

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Breakfast with BIMM and Cake with MPS

Posted in Biographical, Education, Music with tags , on January 31, 2014 by telescoper

Another very busy day means I’ve almost reached the end of a very busy week. I spent this morning in a meeting with colleagues from the University of Sussex and representatives of the Brighton Institute for Modern Music (also known as BIMM), which focusses on courses intended to prepare students to work in some aspect of the popular music industry, including performing and songwriting as well as, e.g., management.

It’s one of the odd things about being a Head of School that you get invited to do strange things every now and again and this was one such occasion. The University of Sussex validates degree programmes for a number of education institutions, BIMM being one of them and it was my job to Chair a session this morning (at a location in central Brighton) that formed part of the validation process. We had some nice pastries for breakfast too.

Regular readers of this blog (both of them) will know that I’m not really up to date on popular beat combos so I wasn’t picked for this task for any music expertise; the idea was rather that being a complete ignoramus I could be an impartial Chair…

It was great to talk to have the chance to talk to some of the current BIMM students as well as the staff and one of the things that struck me was that although I work in a very different discipline, many of the educational challenges faced by the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and BIMM are very similar. I can’t talk about the details we discussed, but it was a very friendly meeting and there was lots of constructive discussion.

That business concluded it was back up to Falmer for a quick lunch and a meeting about undergraduate admissions. And finally, because it’s the last Friday of the month it was time this afternoon for our monthly MPS cake event. This month’s cake had a vaguely mathematical theme and also raised the issue of the correct plural of the word conundrum:


I thought it was appropriate to invite the Head of the Department of Mathematics, Miro Chlebik, to solve this particular conundrum by cutting the cake:


The cake vanished pretty quickly thereafter.