Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Conference Call: The Day 2 Effect

In a three-day conference, Day 2 has quite a lot of value. Day 1 is set aside to get into the mold of the conference, to get to know the participants (and learn the names, of course!). Day 3 is almost non-existent as people have to catch a flight and have just enough time to wave goodbye. Thus, the real action of making social contacts and friends is on Day 2. No wonder then that the Pavement LCA 2014 organizers let us go out on our own for dinner on Day 2, which I used to get to know some guys from UC Berkeley.

To be sure, Day 2 is not all about socializing, it's also about getting results to make the conference more meaningful. We had good breakout sessions on that day, where the student registrants were asked to act as participants-cum-scribes. It is unusual for a conference to ask participants to help them in what is fundamentally an organizational role, but then since they offered a deep discount to us, we were happy to oblige. Day 2 saw some important results from the conference, where minds in the LCA area thrashed out some contentious issues.

I also got some decent feedback for my poster on Day 2, although I had hoped for more. But then, the area of Pavement LCA itself is so diverse now that many had little idea of the dynamics of UHI and were happy to just read the poster without asking questions. I also learned a lot from the other posters. The luncheon also gave me a chance to discuss some further research. Finally, I had a chance to see the UCPRC site, thanks to a very cooperative Dr. Hui Li. It was quite impressive, although I would still place ATREL above it.

Overall, Day 2 turned out to be the real conference (and I got enough sleep to not have to depend on coffee to stay awake, for the most part). The funniest thing is how suits slowly made way for jeans and shirts on Day 2! 

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