Friday, March 09, 2007

MM2007 - final thoughts

Well, I'm back home from APS. I'll write a bit more about the science over the weekend, but for now, here are some last thoughts on the meeting.

Three things that are frustrating about conferences:
  • Speakers that run way over their time. There was an invited talk this morning that was physically very interesting, but the speaker must've run 10 minutes over. The timer goes off - no sign of conclusions. The session chair stands up. No slowing down. The session chair whispers in the ear of the speaker. "I'm concluding." Followed by three more slides.
  • Senior people that get your name wrong. Repeatedly. In front of a full room.
  • Parallel sessions on nearly identical topics at opposite ends of the convention center.
Four good things about conferences:
  • Senior people that do cite you, and get your name right.
  • Competitors that do similar measurements that complement your work and are nice about it, and good agreement between the independent experiments. (Hurray! Science actually works!)
  • Former students doing well in their careers.
  • Good audiences that ask smart questions.


Dan M said...

Don't forget the free coffee at the coffee breaks! Dude, isn't that why we go to meetings?

Doug Natelson said...

Dan, when was the last time you went to an APS meeting? They're too cheap to have free coffee! On the other hand, there was a Peet's Coffee right on the way from my hotel to the convention center. Good stuff, and the first day I stopped in I saw a slew of high profile physicists.

Dan M said...

One more reason why CLEO is a better meeting. The awful coffee is free. Join the light side, Doug...