FAQ

Q: How does this conference work?

In the weeks leading up to the conference, speakers post videos of their talks, organized by topic into sessions. During the 2-week period of the conference itself, participants watch talks on their own schedule and use Discord to interact with others. Speakers will regularly check Discord during the conference period to continue the mathematical conversation! We will also have some live events, including plenary talks, office hours, and more!

Q: Why this format?

While in-person conferences certainly have many virtues, some of which we can't hope to duplicate, we believe this format has strengths of its own. (Ken Hiltner's Nearly Carbon Neutral Conference guide was a formative influence on our perspective.)

  1. Lower carbon emissions: A large portion of many university's carbon footprints (UCSB estimated a full third!) come from the air travel that faculty, staff, and students take to attend conferences.

  2. Accessibility: We hope the asynchronous nature of this conference makes it easier for mathematicians around the world (and in many time zones) to balance their many responsibilities to students, families, and themselves, while still participating in a research community. Some may not have access to travel funding, and/or have disabilities making physical travel more challenging to participate. In addition, YouTube automatically generates closed captioning of talks, and we strongly encourage speakers to review and edit that captioning.

  3. Low risk: While the NCN conference idea significantly predates the emergence of COVID-19 as a global phenomenon (see Hiltner's page again), the widespread cancellation of mathematical conferences and workshops was a major impetus for a geometric topology flavored NCN conference. We hope this conference will maintain a sense of community among mathematicians in this area, as well as supporting ongoing research and new collaborations!

Q: Who's in charge?

Martin Bobb, Siddhi Krishna, and Allison N. Miller are the organizers for the overall conference. If you have any questions about plenary talks, how Discord works, or any other conference-wide events, feel free to contact them at ncngt(dot)organizers(at)gmail(dot)com.

Each topic group has organizers listed on their page, and noted in Discord. The topic organizers are good people to ask about things like speaker office hours, topic group events like tea times, and so on.

Q: Can I see the Community Agreement again?

NCNGT is dedicated to providing a positive experience for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, religion, national origin, or any other aspect of their identity. This event attracts individuals across time zones, career stages, and cultural backgrounds, and we would like all participants -- especially those from marginalized backgrounds -- to have the best possible experience.

We expect all participants to maintain a respectful and professional environment. We do not tolerate harassment or abuse of any participants in any form. Our code of conduct applies to all NCNGT spaces, including the Discord server, office hours, teas, plenary talks, and any other events. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be removed from these spaces at the discretion of the organizers.

Big picture:

  • Treat each other as valued colleagues.

  • Err on the side of professionalism: if you’re not sure if something is appropriate or not, it probably isn’t.

  • If someone communicates a boundary, respect it.

We appreciate your contributions to a positive environment. If you have questions about any of the above or concerns about your own safety and well-being at NCNGT, please don’t hesitate to email us at ncngt.organizers@gmail.com.


What constitutes inappropriate conduct?

The following list is not intended to be exhaustive. It includes behavior that we have seen in the past; we wish to emphasize it is unacceptable at NCNGT:

  • Offensive comments related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, national origin, or religion. This includes comments made in jest.

  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.

  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent.

  • Sustained disruption of discussion.

  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others; unwelcome sexual attention; gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior.

  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.

  • Publication of non-harassing private communication without consent.


Reporting and consequences

If you are being harassed by a member of the community, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the NCNGT lead organizers at ncngt.organizers@gmail.com (or via Discord/individual emails). We will do our best to take care of the situation as quickly as possible. If a participant engages in harassing and/or abusive behavior, we may take any action deemed appropriate, up to and including expulsion from the conference.

We take all reports of harassment by community members, including leadership, seriously. We reserve the right to reject any report believed to have been made in bad faith. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse, and will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

By applying to participate in NCNGT, you are agreeing to abide by all parts and aspects of this community agreement in good faith, and to the best of your ability. You are also agreeing to afford every participant reasonable respect and dignity, whether or not such behavior is directly dictated by this community agreement.

Q: How do I use Discord?

A short version of Discord instructions follows, but you can also consult the longer version or the video version.

Discord basics:

  1. Download the Discord desktop app (the browser version can be troubled) and create and verify an account. Use your full name for your username.

  2. You will receive a link from us granting access to the NCNGT 2021 Discord server. Please do not share this link with anyone.

  3. The server is organized as follows:

    • Conference-wide-info is a general category for conference announcements, etc. Links to live events will be in this category. Remember, PLEASE do not share these links with anyone!

    • Each topic session has a category named after it, and a handful of channels within its category (see Item 4 below for more details on what the different channels do).

  4. Session categories contain text channels for discussion of the talks and general discussion (collaboration?!). There is also a ‘Coffee Break’ voice channel for drop in conversations (like at a real-life conference). Please be responsible in the Discord server!

  5. If you wish to send a message in a channel and make sure a specific user (like a speaker) sees it, use ‘@user’s-name’ in the comment to message them. This will leave them a notification to see the comment. For example, to send Siddhi a message, you would start typing "@siddhi" and Discord will help find her username to message her. (This is another reason why we ask that you use your full name as your username!)

  6. If you want to use the voice channels for live conversation with whoever else is around, you need to set up a push-to-talk in your settings.

Q: Where's the old website!?!

We know, it was beautiful. But this is even nicer!