Well, it's that time of year again, when I get together with 7000 of my (mostly condensed matter) physicist colleagues for the annual March Meeting of the American Physical Society. This year the meeting is in my old hometown, Pittsburgh, though this is the first time I've been to an event in the new convention center here. For the curious, the meeting program is available online here.
For those who don't know, these conferences are an interesting though exhausting experience. It's a chance for faculty (and national lab scientists) to catch up with friends and colleagues and get a sense of the exciting science that's out there. For grad students it's an important opportunity to get experience giving talks and posters, to get the lay of the land in the field as a whole, and to begin to network and look at career options, particularly if you're close to graduating. For postdocs, it's a chance to show your stuff and look around at the options before you.
I'll probably do a little blogging about the meeting this year, but my perspective will be a bit limited, since I won't be session-hopping as much as might be necessary to give a really balanced overview. It'll be interesting to see what the big science story of the meeting turns out to be. Last year, while there was an enormous wealth of talks about graphene in particular, the exciting undercurrent was the rumor/discovery of what are now the new hot topic, the Fe-As based high temperature superconductors.