2017 Student Workshops

VSS Workshop for PhD Students and Postdocs:
Reviewing and Responding to Review

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Sabal/Sawgrass (Jacaranda Hall)
Moderator: Jeremy Wolfe
Panelists: David H. Foster, Isabel Gauthier, Cathleen Moore, Jeremy Wolfe

Peer review of papers and grants is far from perfect, but it is, nevertheless, a pillar of our sciences. Writing reviews and responding to reviews are important, time-consuming tasks. How can we do them better? How much is too much when it comes to review? Should I give the author the benefit of my biting wit? Do I need to respond to every point in the review? When is it OK to say that the reviewer is an idiot? The members of our panel will address these and other questions from the vantage point of their roles as journal editors, grant reviewers, and recipients of reviews. Bring your questions and war stories from the trenches of peer review.

David H. Foster, University of Manchester

David H. Foster is Professor of Vision Systems at the University of Manchester. His research interests are in human vision, mathematical and statistical modelling, and applications to machine and biological vision systems. He has served as journal editor for over thirty years, most recently as editor-in-chief of Vision Research. His book, A Concise Guide to Communication in Science & Engineering, which is based on courses given to graduate students and early-career researchers, is due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Isabel Gauthier, Vanderbilt University

Isabel Gauthier is David K Wilson Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. She received her PhD from Yale in 1998 and is the recipient of several awards, including the Troland award from the National Academy of Sciences. She heads the Object Perception Laboratory, where investigators use behavioral and brain imaging methods to study perceptual expertise, object and face recognition, and individual differences in vision. She has served as associate editor at several journals, is currently outgoing editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and incoming Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Cathleen Moore, University of Iowa

Cathleen Moore is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Iowa, where she heads up the Iowa Attention and Perception Lab.  Her research focuses on visual attention and perceptual organization.  She has been on the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society since 2010, having served as Chair in 2016.  She was Editor of Psychonomic Bulletin & Review from 2011-14, and Associate Editor of the same journal from 2002-05.  She has written and read a lot of reviews over the years.

Jeremy Wolfe, Harvard Medical School

Jeremy Wolfe is Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. He is Director of the Visual Attention Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His research focuses on visual search and visual attention with a particular interest in socially important search tasks in areas such as medical image perception (e.g. cancer screening), security (e.g. baggage screening), and intelligence. In the world of reviewing he has served as Editor of Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics and is the founding Editor of the new Psychonomic Society, open access journal; Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. He will be moderating this session.

VSS Workshop for PhD Students and Postdocs:
Careers in Industry and Government

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Jasmine/Palm (Jacaranda Hall)
Moderator: David Brainard
Panelists: Kurt Debono, Kevin MacKenzie, Alex Smolyanskaya, Cheri Wiggs, David Brainard

Scientific training often focuses on preparation for careers in academia, in part because those providing the training are generally academics themselves and thus most familiar with the academic track. This workshop will provide an opportunity for students and post-docs to learn more about career opportunities for vision scientists outside of academia, specifically careers in industry and government. Panelists will provide brief introductory remarks touching on how their scientific training prepared them for their current career, how they obtained their position, and what they have found rewarding about their career path.  This will be followed by an audience-driven discussion where panelists will respond to questions and speak to issues raised by audience members.

Kurt Debono, SR Research

Kurt works in eye tracking technology with SR Research Ltd in Brighton UK. He got his PhD in vision science at Giessen University and made his transition from academia five years ago.

Kevin J. MacKenzie, Oculus

Kevin J. MacKenzie is a research scientist at Oculus Research, a multi-disciplinary research team within Oculus. He conducted his PhD work in Laurie Wilcox’s lab at York University’s Centre for Vision Research and held a post-doctoral fellowship at Bangor University, 2008 through 2012 under the tutelage of Simon Watt. Prior to Oculus, he was part of the Microsoft HoloLens team, holding positions as a human factors engineer and user experience researcher.

Alex Smolyanskaya, Stitch Fix

Alex is a data scientist at Stitch Fix in San Francisco, where she works on forecasting demand and macro client behavior. She got her PhD in Neuroscience at Harvard and was a postdoc in Nicole Rust’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. She made the transition from academia to data science two years ago via Insight Data Science, a post-doctoral fellowship program specifically designed to prepare scientists for interviews and careers in industry.

Cheri Wiggs, National Eye Institute

Cheri Wiggs serves as a Program Director at the National Eye Institute (of the National Institutes of Health). She oversees extramural funding through three programs — Perception & Psychophysics, Myopia & Refractive Errors, and Low Vision & Blindness Rehabilitation. She received her PhD from Georgetown University in 1991 and came to the NIH as a researcher in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. She made her jump to the administrative side of science in 1998 as a Scientific Review Officer. She currently represents the NEI on several NIH coordinating committees (including BRAIN, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Medical Rehabilitation Research) and was appointed to the NEI Director’s Audacious Goals Initiative Working Group.

David Brainard, University of Pennsylvania

David H. Brainard is the RRL Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a fellow of the Optical Society, ARVO and the Association for Psychological Science. At present, he directs Penn’s Vision Research Center, co-directs Penn’s Computational Neuroscience Initiative, co-directs Penn’s NSF funded certificate program in Complex Scene Perception, is on the Board of the Vision Sciences Society, and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Vision. His research interests focus on human color vision, which he studies both experimentally and through computational modeling of visual processing. He will be moderating this session.