Exactly 2 months after going to the research conference in Montréal, here I am again, on the road, presenting another paper of the same research topic, this time in the very pretty city of Honolulu. Of course, like all the conference I go to, Kate comes along too. During the Montréal conference, I had this crazy idea of showing up to the seminars as Kate. At the end, I didn’t go through with it, because there were only ~100 conference attendees, and any woman showing up would have drawn too much attention. (It is an engineering conference, afterall.) The Hawaii conference, on the other hand, has more than 1200 attendees. Suddenly, the idea seems much more do-able, and last night, I decided to give it a try.
And it was much easier than I thought.
As I have said before, modifying my name tag to have the name “Kaitlyn Young” is trivial. It only took me a few minutes at the hotel’s business centre. I purposely changed the name of my affiliation to my alma mater, just for the fun of it. So since 8 o’clock this morning, I had been hopping from one half-hour talk to another; the last one just finished a few hours ago. I didn’t have any problems getting up early this morning to make myself presentable either: Hawaii is 6 hours behind Toronto, and of course I haven’t adjusted to the new time zone yet, so waking at 5am is like waking up at 11am in Toronto…
Speaking of the conference, it is much better than in Montréal: the talks are better, the research done is of higher quality, and all the well-known names in my area of research all came. In Montréal, a few small companies presented their “technical papers” that are really glorified advertisements of their products, and that was annoying. No such thing at this big-bad-American conference; the technical committee had done a great job filtering all those things out. As for my own presentation on Monday (given in boy mode, of course), I had some technical difficulties with my laptop: my VGA port for the computer would reset after every slide. At the end though, I stayed calm and everything worked out. I think I’d give myself an A- for the research work, B- for the presentation.
For now, I haven’t had any pictures of myself taken yet, as I have spent the whole day learning, and there is a lot to digest. I’ll be working late into the night reviewing the papers that were presented today. If I get around to take some pictures though, I’ll post them on my blog, eventually.
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