Attending a conference

So last week I attended arguably the largest conference for my research area, SIGCSE 2012. It was enlightening, fun, and totally exhausting.  I have found that when you attend a conference, especially one in your research area, you really have to plan out your time critically.  There are panels and special sessions that take precedence over paper sessions (you can always read the papers later).  But there are also the networking opportunities and meeting people that you may otherwise never have a chance to meet.

I had this amazing opportunity.  Alan Kay was receiving the 2012 Abacus Award from UPE at their national meeting (always held during SIGCSE).  I have always admired Alan and his visionary thoughts, especially as related to computing education.  So he was giving a talk during Friday lunch, the same exact time I had planned a research meeting with people coming from St. Louis.  I finished my meeting early and ran (literally) to the next floor so my adviser could introduce me to Alan.  The introduction took place and Alan actually had some very nice words to say about some of our “conversations” via my adviser’s blog.  Needless to say I was on cloud 9.  Those are the opportunities you don’t want to miss at a conference.

Now off to finish writing a paper…


Briana Morrison

Briana Morrison is a first-year PhD student in Human Centered Computing (HCC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Briana graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from Tulane University many years ago and has a Masters in Computer Science from Southern Polytechnic State University. Her research area is Computer Science Education and she is fortunate to work with Mark Guzdial. She has be a faculty member for 16 years teaching introductory programming and data structures among other things. For her mid-life crisis she decided to return to school to pursue a PhD. She is the mother of two (17 year daughter applying to colleges and 13 year old son applying to high schools). Between studies, teaching part time, and being a mother, she has very little time for recreation, but she plans to make up for it after graduation.
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