Friday, July 26, 2013

Conferencing People is Easy

Dear Diary,

This week was busy (again).  I've encountered some hang ups on the research.  Namely, it isn't finished yet.  Lucas and I are mulling over how to a fit an energy correlation functional properly. Until we figure it out, I'm keeping my little computer humming with other calculations and my notes tidy.

One scary prospect that was revealed at this week's meeting was that you have to talk to at least three people when you go to conferences (!) as a house rule.  Professor Burke, Lucas, Raphael, and Justin all presented conference notes and insights from recent conferences they've attended (another house rule).  I'll have to be thoroughly paying attention and try not to lose focus during talks, diary!

I have notoriously bad luck with asking questions at conferences.  I once saw a talk that referenced 'flux trapping' and I was curious for more information.  The presenter, afterward, waived me off when I asked him if he could explain a bit more, but I was persistent and smiley and wanted a reference so he walked away saying only 'Blamire.'  Victory!  The other presenter I queried was working on things that I maybe could have used, but her talk was so popular that, even though I was the first one in line for a question, a deluge of post-docs and professors kept interrupting until I got too hungry and left politely for dinner.

Getting straight answers to three questions is going to require a lot of guile, diary.  Lucas and Justin seemed to ask their questions by staying smiley and polite-like.  I suppose one way to do this is to speak with the graduate students and work your way up to the professors.  In the meantime, I'll have to look up unknown words as I see them so I can understand presenters at the next conference.  Maybe I can keep a friendly attitude and get lucky at the next conference!

[Editor's note: a student attending a conference must speak with 3 professors]

1 comment:

  1. Actually, Tom, you must talk to 3 PROFESSORS (not real people), so its even worse!

    If you get stuck going to supper with one, keep the receipt and get it specially reimbursed.