Wednesday, March 18, 2009

General conference observations

  • For the love of heaven, turn off your cell phones. Yes, that includes you, conference speaker who has a lavalier microphone attached right to your breast pocket containing your vibrate-mode phone.
  • Please check to make sure that your laptop actually talks to the projector before the actual moment that you're supposed to start speaking. This goes double for you if you're running linux, windows-on-a-mac, or any other unusual combination.
  • It's unfortunate when you're a focus topic organizer who is supposed to chair a session, and you don't or can't make it to the meeting. It's worse when you're not there to chair the session, and one of your invited speakers doesn't show up either.
  • I can't believe that it took me three days to realize that soda in the vending machine by the registration desk costs half as much as soda at the food concession.


Unknown said...

... and of all these observations, the last was the greatest.

Anonymous said...

An ACS speaker mounts the podium to face a crowd of one for his talk. A few minutes later he says to the only other fellow in the room,

Speaker, "Why don't we both leave?"
Audience, "Can't."
Speaker, "Why not?"
Audience "I'm the next speaker."

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed very much your invited talk. Your results are very interesting and you presented them in a particularly nice way.

I was also impressed by the number of persons that came to your talk. The room was completely full.

Do you think that your blog is one reason of your success?

Douglas Natelson said...

Hello from the Pittsburgh airport. Anon., thanks for the kind words. I doubt that my blog has much impact one way or the other on my scientific impact (the readership just isn't that large), though it does lead to some fun conversations at conferences sometimes. There was a nice crowd for my talk, but I think that's more a reflection of the session as a whole. It's a pretty hot area at the moment, and the organizers put together a nice focus session. Thanks again.

Amy Elizabeth and Amelia Grace said...

YOu know how at the beginning of the first Harry Potter, when Harry survived and Voldemort went underground? So the wizards were all out in plain sight of the muggles, and the news reported weird happenings, and everyone noticed all of these odd people in the streets? I think that's how the people in pittsburgh must have felt this week with 7000 physicists walking around.

Narasimhan said...

Dear Doug,

I have always wondered, why can't the presentations be collected(either by session moderator or organizer) before the session and stored on to one computer/cd so that there is no changing of laptops and waiting for them to talk to projector.

I have seen it happen all the time.

With Regards

Anonymous said...

The thing with Microphones/Cellular phones is actually more interesting: the buzzing noise in the microphone is caused by the signal of the cellphone, even if it is not ringing. You will hear that noise periodically if you just leave your phone within 2-3 inches of a notebook computer.
I'm not sure if it works for all notebooks, but definitely for some.

Douglas Natelson said...

Anon. 12:27 - I know the buzzing that you mean. This particular case was not that effect - this speaker's phone rang (on vibrate) while he was giving his talk. Pretty funny, really, especially the look on his face.