Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NSF grantees conference post mortem

It was useful to network with fellow NSF grantees for the last two days in Reno - an interesting mix of people and projects. A few observations:
  • Rice's webmail client is so pathetically slow that it's nearly unusable.
  • Hotels in Nevada walk a fine line between needing to compete with other hotels on the one hand, and trying to make sure you'd rather sit in the casino than your room on the other.
  • "Nuggets" = out. "Highlights" = in.
  • "Disruptive technology" = out. "Transformative" = in.
  • 4 hours of 5-minute talks in one day is too many, at least for me.
  • Some people don't understand the meaning of "Your talk should be three slides."
  • Most of the NER projects (high-risk, high-reward one-year single investigator grants) from FY04 in the ECS part of the engineering directorate of NSF actually worked, and were pretty cool.
  • The free wifi in the Reno airport makes up for the beeping, blinking slot machines in the terminal.
UPDATE: Rice upgraded their webmail service today. How's that for timing?


Dan M said...

I agree with every point Doug made except for the last one.

Bernard said...

>>UPDATE: Rice upgraded their webmail service today. How's that for timing?

No coincidence. Clearly Rice has assigned a full-time person to read Nanoscale Views and adjust university policy based on observations therein. You just didn't know how important you actually are. Try to use this power only for good and never for evil -- or at least, never for boring evil. Amusing evil, that's OK.


Dan M said...

Yea they upgraded all right, and since then I can't log in at all. I need to start a blog so that I can have power and influence.