For all mentors of the WiMIR mentoring round 2019, we offer Peer Mentoring. In this blog post we would like to familiarize you with the Peer Mentoring sign-up procedure. This year we use Trello (explanations follow below), please note that the sign-up deadline is March 10th.
What is peer mentoring?
Peer mentoring provides mentors with the opportunity to discuss various career aspects with other mentors in the WiMIR program. Peer mentoring is meant to serve as a complement to the traditional mentoring program, in which mentor and mentee in any given pair typically have an unequal amount of experience in the field of MIR. In the case of peer mentoring, the two peers may have comparable amounts of experience, yet benefit from each other by bringing in various perspectives on MIR. For example, these perspectives may differ in terms of scholarly background, geographical affiliation, working environment, MIR subfield of expertise, experience with teaching and public outreach, technical skill set, mentoring practices, and more.
Our hope is that the peer mentoring program will contribute to reinforcing the cohesion of the MIR community at large, and in particular: across countries and continents, across scientific disciplines, and between academia and industry. Furthermore, we aim to frame this program within the core mission of WiMIR, that is, to increase the opportunities of women in the field of MIR. Therefore, we encourage WiMIR mentors of all genders to take part in the peer mentoring program, and adopt this communication channel as a facilitator of diversity and inclusion.
How does peer mentoring work?
The first stage of the peer mentoring program is for you to introduce yourself to the rest of the WiMIR mentors. The second stage is to read the profiles of other participants, rank them by order of preference, and send us the ranked list of your top choices. The third stage, once you are assigned a peer, is for you to connect with them through private electronic communication.
Why use Trello?
Last year, the interface for introducing oneself to other peer mentors, and selecting a peer, was a simple shared spreadsheet on Google Documents. This year, because of the rising number of participants, we have decided to migrate to another interface: Trello. This might seem like an iconoclastic choice given that, for those of you who already know Trello, it is primarily designed to be a tool for task management rather than team building. Yet, as it turns out, the streamlined drag-and-drop interface of a Trello board is actually perfect for us to collect the ranked list of preferences of each participant.
A Trello board consists of items (“cards”) which can be moved from one column (“list”) to another. In project management, cards are tasks and lists are states of completion. However, in our peer mentoring interface, we will be using cards to denote participants, and lists to denote preference. For the time being, there is a single Trello board, and it is only visible to us organizers. We kindly ask participants to fill in this Trello board via an email interface.
In an upcoming stage, we will duplicate this Trello board and send a different, private copy to every one of you. At that point, your role will be to browse through the Trello cards of other participants and rank the ones you want to meet.
How do I introduce myself to other mentors?
You can introduce yourself by creating your Trello card. Rather than giving global access to the entire Trello board, we propose that you use the email-to-board interface of Trello. This interface is lighter, more portable, and more accessible to people with disabilities than the visual interface.
Here is a link describing the email-to-board interface of Trello: https://help.trello.com/article/809-creating-cards-by-email
We particularly point your attention towards the “formatting tips” paragraph.
The subject of the email you will send will become the title of the Trello card.
For consistency, we ask everyone to title their Trello card with three elements, separated by spaces:
- The two-letter abbreviation of the country of affiliation
- Your full name.
- Some hashtags describing your own interests in MIR.
- “US Vincent Lostanlen #academia #symbolic #timbre”
- “NL Vincent Koops #academia #harmony #rhythm”
- “US Blair Kaneshiro #industry #cognition #performance”
The list of recommended hashtags includes, but is not limited to:
You may include other hashtags in the email subject as you see fit. We highly recommend using the #academia and #industry hashtags, and at least two others in the list.
What to put on my Trello card?
In the email body, we ask mentors to include a small profile to their card that includes some biographical information, research interests, and reasons for wanting to participate in peer mentoring. A recommended outline is
- Some biographical information
- Current position(s)
- Research interests and goals
- Current research focus
- Interests and pursuits outside of research
- Projects you are currently working on
- Your goals in peer mentoring
As an example, below is the information on the card of Vincent Lostanlen.
– He/him. 26 years old
– a postdoc at NYU’s Music and Audio Research Lab
– visiting scholar from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, working on bioacoustics
– research goal: MIR applications at the interaction between signal processing and deep learning
– current focus: contemporary music techniques, timbral and structural similarity
– outside of research: computer music designer for Florian Hecker
– open source: Kymatio, librosa, scattering.m
In addition to scientific topics, I would like to progress in my understanding of diversity and inclusion in MIR, ethical responsibility, and fostering links between research and creation.
I would prefer to establish contacts with peers in France or the UK.
Background: EngD Télécom Paristech 2013, MSc Ircam 2013, PhD applied math ENS 2017.
You can also write in prose if you prefer. Feel free to add as many details about yourself as you want.
What is the email address I should write to?
Again, please make sure that the subject of the email contains your country of affiliation, your full name, and some hashtags of interest.
Deadline: Please make sure you email your Trello card by March 10th.
What if I want to connect with multiple mentors at once?
Although the peer mentoring program is designed to focus on one-to-one communication, we wish to point out that there is also a recommended communication channel for broadcasting messages to all mentors of the WiMIR program. This communication channel is the channel #wimir_mentors_ on the “MIR community” Slack workspace. Below is the link:
Please note, however, that Slack restricts the history of this workspace to the most recent 10,000 messages. Thus, even though this channel is OK for short-lived announcements, it is not ideal for keeping track of the evolution of long-term projects.
Who are the Peer Mentoring Coordinators?
The Peer Mentoring Coordinators will help you find a suitable peer mentor: Hendrik Vincent Koops (Utrecht University) and Vincent Lostanlen (New York University). If you have questions, please contact them at the following email addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
TL;DR if you are a WiMIR mentor in the 2019 round and want to join the peer mentoring program, please write an email to email@example.com
with an email subject of the form “US Vincent Lostanlen #academia #symbolic #timbre” and personal information about yourself in the email body.
With our best wishes,
The Peer Mentoring Coordinators
Hendrik Vincent Koops and Vincent Lostanlen