Technical Editing SIG

Dear students,

Most large professional organizations, such as STC, host subgroups – that is, smaller organizations, nested within the larger organization, based upon themes/issues/competencies relevant to the larger professional organization.  These subgroups of “special interest” have their own managers, newsletters, events, educational resources, social media, competitions, etc.  Among the dozen or so Special Interest Groups (SIGs) of the Society for Technical Communication is the Technical Editing SIG.  I am a member of this and of the Academic SIG.

If you are thinking about the working in the broad field of technical communication, one good way to explore possibilities is to look into these big patches of special interest that make up the topography of TC.

Dr. H


Physics Talk

Dear students — both 460 and 470–

FYI, here’s an abstract just sent to me.  It announces a presentation coming up in the physics department at Columbia University.  I have dozens of these.  Care to translate?:

Speaker: Mehrdad Mirbabayi, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)

Title: Asymptotic Fragility, Near AdS2 Holography and T\bar{T}

We present the exact solution for the scattering problem in the flat space Jackiw-Teitelboim (JT) gravity coupled to an arbitrary quantum field theory. JT gravity results in a gravitational dressing of field theoretical scattering amplitudes. The exact expression for the dressed S-matrix was previously known as a solvable example of a novel UV asymptotic behavior, dubbed asymptotic fragility. This dressing is equivalent to the TT¯ deformation of the initial quantum field theory. JT gravity coupled to a single massless boson provides a promising action formulation for an integrable approximation to the worldsheet theory of confining strings in 3D gluodynamics. We also derive the dressed S-matrix as a flat space limit of the near AdS2 holography. We show that in order to preserve the flat space unitarity the conventional Schwarzian dressing of boundary correlators needs to be slightly extended. Finally, we propose a new simple expression for flat space amplitudes of massive particles in terms of correlators of holographic CFTs.


Dear students,
I know you are all eager to attend the UT Job & Internship Fair this coming Wednesday.  While there, be sure to visit the Oak Ridge National Lab booth and meet two of my former students: Elizabeth Rosenthal and Rachel Harken, both recent graduates and both absolutely wonderful people.
Rachel writes: Dear students of Dr. Hirst, I am currently a science writer subcontractor at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. My colleagues and I will have a booth set up at the UT Communication and Information Job and Internship Fair at Thompson-Boling Arena Concourse Level on campus from 3-6 PM on Wednesday, October 25th. We will have information about science writing and editing at the lab, including information about internships and some of our educational programs through Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).  Come visit us! 
While the laboratory offers many opportunities for science writers and editors, an article about the OLCF-specific science writing internship program can be found HERE.  See you at the fair!

 Rachel Harken
Post-Bachelor’s Business Associate—Science Writer
Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility
Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Elizabeth writes: Dr. Hirst, I would love to talk with any of your students about science communication and internship opportunities at the lab. In addition to Rachel’s expertise with the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, I’ll be able to share my previous experiences as a technical editing intern and discuss my current role as a science writing intern in the Neutron Sciences Directorate. I write for both the Spallation Neutron Source and the High Flux Isotope Reactor, both of which are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Elizabeth Rosenthal
Science Writing Intern
Neutron Sciences Directorate
Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Directives for English 470 Students

Dear Global Communication students,

Welcome back from fall break. Now it’s pedal to the metal until December 14. Here are our client obligations and opportunities:

  • International client Hubert Foy has now sent his team more than enough material for all teams to work on. Team Foy: please distribute the work asap, and orient other teams to it.
  • Teams Herrera and Nan each have an extra assignment: they are editing submissions to the IJNS student writing competition.  Teams Herrera and Nan: please report tomorrow on progress for these edits.
  • Each team will continue consulting for its CNS client, and that work will pick up soon.
  • Tomorrow we have a guest speaker, Mr. Arjun Banerjee ( of the Indian Revenue Service; he has submitted multiple articles to IJNS; any teams could also take him as an additional client and help edit one or more of his articles; we’ll discuss this tomorrow.
  • Tomorrow morning I’m going to generate all the team presentation assignments, and their dates; look to the online class schedule to see them.
  • Basically, in addition to general classroom discussions where I may ask teams to share and discuss some of the work they are doing, each team has 4 deliverables:

+ In-class presentation #1: Tutorial for CNS client ; 10% of final grade

+ In-class presentation #2: topical discussion (presentation and discussion of a topic relevant to the research of one or more clients); 10% of final grade

+ In-class presentation #3: display and discussion of work for clients; 10% of final grade

+ Final report (see prompt at end of this long message); 70% of final grade. The final report doubles as the final exam, but we’ll still meet at 12:30 PM on 14 December for final things and “de-briefing.”

Here FYI is a list of sample topics (see “in-class presentation #2):

– Internationalization, Localization, and Translation

– Culture and Rhetoric – Strategies for Persuasion

– Culture and Visual Communication

– Psychology and Culture

– Legal and Ethical Issues in Intercultural Communication

– International Outsourcing/Offshoring: Economic Concepts, Benefits, and Limitations

– Culture and Business Practices; Management Issues in Intercultural Communication

– Culture and Usability

– Approaches to Teaching and Training Others in Intercultural Communication

– Nuclear Security Communication in Global Contexts

– Defining and Managing Risk; Risk Communication in Global Contexts

– Demographics, Global Markets, and the Expanding Information Economy

– Predictions for the Future – How Might Globalization Continue to Affect Intercultural Communication

Here also FYI is the list of topics students chose/generated last year, and upon which they presented (well here are the clients and their titles and counties, plus the topics their teams chose):

Professor Ayoade Kuye — Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Peaceful and ethical applications of nuclear science and technology


Mr. Stephen Dahunsi — PhD Student, Energy, Science, and Engineering, Bredesen Center and Institute for Nuclear Security, UTK
Narrative theory and visual rhetoric as applied to international communication in nuclear security

Professor Kwan Kyoo Choe — Director General, International Nuclear Nonproliferation and Security Academy, Korea Institute for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control, Daejeon, Republic of South Korea
Global Education and Training in Nuclear Security

Dr. Natalie Manaeva Rice — Research assistant in Global Security Policy , UT Institute for Nuclear Security
How terrorism has affected nuclear security and how this has shaped a country’s stance on international nuclear peace treaties

Dr. Haidy Ghoname — Research Associate, UT Institute for Nuclear Security
International Laws and Treaties regarding nuclear security (focus on involvement of Middle East)


Mr. Hubert Foy — Director, African Centre for Science and international Security, HQ in Accra, Ghana
International organizations dealing with nuclear security


Peter and Paul Amoah — Research Scientists, Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Accra, Ghana
Culture and Rhetoric: Strategies for Persuasion in Global Contexts

Ok! That gives you some food for thought. Now here is The Prompt for your final projects.

Yours as always,
Dr. Hirst

Get into grad school!

Dear students,

See the message below from our director of UG studies, Dr. Anthony Welch.

I highly recommend this event — Don Asher is excellent —


Dear Colleagues,

October is “Graduate School Prep Month” at UT. A series of events this month will offer guidance on how to fund graduate study, where to apply, how to navigate law school admissions, and more. Please consider announcing these upcoming events in your classes; they will interest many of our students. The program begins with this lecture tomorrow afternoon:

Gaining Admission To Graduate School

Featuring Donald Asher, nationally known speaker and author

Tuesday, October 10th

4:00-5:30 p.m. 

AMB 210

Learn how to set yourself apart in the graduate admissions process. Hear about topics such as choosing where to apply, timelines, GPA and test scores, essays and much more!

Co-sponsored by: The Center for Career Development, Arts and Sciences Advising Services, The College of Engineering, The Haslam College of Business, and The Student Success Center.

Consider attending additional events offered during October, Graduate School Prep Month. Information about graduate school admissions is available at: and events at:

Many thanks for spreading the word!

Dr. Anthony Welch
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of English
301 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0430
(865) 974-5401