Topic: ESIP 2012 summer meeting
Location: Madison, WI
Time: July 16 – 20, 2012
Keywords: Patrick, Stephan and Eric; Geo-data projects; Poster presentation; FUNding Friday; Networking
ESIP 2012 summer meeting is my first academic meeting in the US. The central topic of the meeting, earth science information, is also the domain of my PhD study. The meeting covers various sessions, some are technology-themed and a few others are project-themed. Though I already knew some ongoing research projects in the US when I was doing my PhD in the Netherlands, it is an excellent opportunity to follow the latest progresses of these projects and talk to the researchers in person. More importantly, Patrick, Stephan and Eric will also attend the meeting. It’s a great chance to talk to them in person on the ongoing and incoming projects at TWC.
(1) Meet Patrick, Stephan and Eric in person:
Thanks to Peter for sending email around and organizing a group breakfast on the first conference day – I met Patrick, Stephan and Eric! Those names were heard hundreds of times while I was talking with students at TWC in the past month. Once we knew each other it is easy to talk on various topics – not limited to only those on research! Belgian beer is a good ice breaker, and both Patrick and Stephan should be awarded a doctor degree of beer.
(2) Meeting sessions:
I followed the sessions of ESIP 101, USGIN, DataOne, Frameworks for data visualization and EarthCube. ESIP 101 gives me a brief introduction of ESIP. USGIN and DataOne sessions are all half-half in contents: Half for introductions of the projects and half for technical demos. I like the technical demos, but the project introductions are also good, deepening my impressions obtained from their websites. ‘Frameworks for data visualization’ is a group of demos – I was wishing something on theoretical discussion on data visualization so in the beginning of the session I was lost, but soon I was attracted by the technical features of some programs presented in the session. The ‘EarthCube – data discovery’ session on Thursday morning is a big discussion, and I did not see a conclusion at the end of the session. Later I will go to the EarthCube website to follow further information of that working group.
(3) Poster presentation:
I gave a poster and a demo on Wednesday (The second conference day) evening. The topic is “Beyond an image: using ontology and visualization to enrich Web Map Service for geosciences” (http://commons.esipfed.org/node/495). I did not talk to many people on Tuesday. The poster session provided me a good chance for introducing my work and myself. It’s a little noisy in the poster hall, so I have to speak louder than normal. After presenting demos for five times I lost my voice. From that on I could only talk briefly when people came and asked me questions.
Tips for poster presentations (point 1 is courtesy of Deborah): (1) Go to the poster hall early and recharge yourself with water and some snacks; (2) Prepare a short talk with highlights of your work and a long talk with technical details.
(4) FUNding Friday:
I did not have a plan for the FUNding Friday (http://commons.esipfed.org/node/490) until only two days left before the competition time. But the FUNding Friday encourages new ideas and the meeting committee provides supports on poster boards and I found free printing services at the hotel. After following the sessions of USGIN and DataOne projects on Tuesday and Wednesday, I had an idea to propose a research on ‘Exploratory visualization of earth science data in a Semantic Web context’, which aims to chain up Semantic Web technologies, data visualization and WMS/WFS and lowers the barrier of online geodata to both geoscientists and the average citizen.
The proposal won the competition on Friday.
Tips: (1) Always collect feature elements (screen shots, mental maps, conceptual diagrams, etc.) of your work – do not wait until you are going to write a document; (2) Whenever you have a good idea, write it down (so prepare a pen a notebook under your pillow – you may write down sth. while in dream); (3) A presentation is an advertisement of your research but not the research itself (Think about the ad. of Big Mac burger).
During the meeting I had the chance to talk to different people. I talked to some people after following their lectures. I also recognized some names because I read their papers before. Also, there are people coming to me when I was presenting my poster and demo. It’s always nice if you can find some common interests to talk, but, it may be even better when people challenge you on some details issues if they know your work well – this can lead to some sparks in your brain and may light a new direction in your own work. I listed the names of some people and their affiliations here.
Karl Benedict, University of New Mexico
Christopher Lynnes, NASA/GSFC
Curt Tilmes, NASA/GSFC
Christy Caudill, Arizona Geological Survey
Matthew Jones, University of California, Santa Barbara
Nancy Wiegand, University of Wisconsin, Madsion
Craig Walker, University of Adelaide, Australia
Tips for networking (for students or early-career people like me): (1) Check conference schedule of a before the conference starts – Have a plan in mind on whom you want to talk to and where/when to find him/her; (2) Read background information of him/her so you can easily find topics for a short chatting; or (3) Follow a senior staff from your institute and ask him/her to introduce you to others that he/she knows (think about FOAF: friend of a friend); (4) Prepare a self-intro in 3 or 4 sentences, be confident and smile.
Hotels at Madison: The Edgewater hotel is close to the campus of UW, Madison. It has a magnificent lake view.
Restaurants at Madison: There are many good restaurants on the State Street.
I experienced 38C temperature for the first time in the past five years.