Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I'm in Yokohama - actually, in Tsurumi, north of Yokohama proper - and preparing for a research meeting tomorrow and Friday; don't expect any substantial posts for another few days in other words.

This meeting is oriented around poster sessions rather than talks. This is good: posters mean you get to talk one-on-one with people doing research you're interested in. But every poster submitted - our included - has a 1 (one) minute talk telling everybody why they should come by and check it out.

This is hard. This is really hard. I've done this kind of poster presentation before, and it's really difficult. I can talk about our research of the cuff for ten or twenty minutes, no problem. I can do a one-hour seminar with some preparation. But condensing it all into 60-90 seconds - including title and contributor names - is really tough.

And then you have to actually deliver it in that brief time, with a hundred people looking at you (well, they're mostly surfing the web, but still). You can't "iummm" or "ahh", or "well" or "maa" no matter how much you may want to. I'm a champion "umm"-er, but one good "ummm" - delivered with confidence and gusto - could eat up half the time you have. If I would try an unscripted delivery I wouldn't get as far as the names of my collaborators before people start forcibly pulling me off the stage with a hook.

So yes, I'm going to sound stilted and wooden when I rattle through my presentation tomorrow. Not a major problem; anybody with an interest in our work will get as much detailed, unscripted explanation as they can stand.


Statue at the soccer stadium in Nagai park, Osaka. Yashica Mat with Kodak Ektar film (Fuji has some real catching up to do here). No connection to the above; I just like this shot.

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