Hi, my name is Jacob LeBlanc and for those of you who don’t know I’m a Software Engineer with Project54. As Dr. Kun mentioned below, I presented a Late Breaking Results paper and poster at this year’s Pervasive Computing Conference in Toronto. In this post, I will talk about the conference experience regarding my own presentation, but look for follow up posts about my thoughts on the other papers at the conference as well as the experience of travelling to and staying in a multicultural city like Toronto.
This was the first computing conference that I have attended and in general it was a great experience. I was given only 60 seconds to give a speech aimed at convincing others to view my poster and read my paper, and given that the time limit was enforced with a hockey stick, I wanted to be sure I finished with time to spare. One thing I found in preparing for this presentation is that it is best to focus on a few key points instead of trying to cover everything. This may seem obvious given the time limit, but I think this also applies to much longer presentations. The longer talks given by other authors that I found to be the most engaging were perhaps not the least dense, but were certainly carefully and logically laid out. So my advice from a personal preference standpoint is to focus on the most important or most interesting aspects of what you want to say. If you do a good enough job then others will seek more information by reading your paper or better yet, they will come talk to you. In my speech I only had time to state the basic research problem and proposed solution. This made it easy to prepare for, but a bit nerve racking as I couldn’t afford to forget anything. I practiced enough where I didn’t forget anything, and it seemed to go well enough.
After I got through my 60 seconds, there was a three hour viewing session where I was given the opportunity to show off my poster, answer questions, and gain insight into what others thought about the work I had done. I received a lot of positive feedback and was encouraged by others to continue this work and to conduct some user studies. One great thing about talking with people from other fields is that it is a reminder that we don’t operate in a bubble. After spending a lot of time focusing on direct stakeholders it is easy to forget that there is a larger community that can benefit from the work that we do.