I was most certainly surprised to find out that this is the first entry for this month, and the last entry I made was almost a month earlier! Busy? You bet!
I had been gritting my teeth since the start of this month (not literally, of course), in anticipation of the conferences I will be participating in. I was not so worried about the conference in Singapore, because I had the data and analysis of my results pretty much wrapped up. Also, I was finally able to submit the paper dealing with those results so I need not worry so much. Still, two conferences in a month, that’s tough. The other conference in Kyoto, was a mere one week right after coming back from Singapore. However, it was not as big as the materials conference in Singapore. It was a workshop where most speakers were invited from different parts of the globe. Big names. Mostly men. Experts in the field. Even as I entered the conference hall I felt a little bit insecure – I had to ask myself over and over what exactly I was doing there. Adding to my anxieties was the fact that I was all alone, I would probably not feel as pressured if there was somebody in our group accompanying me.
Well, finally that was done and over with. Yesterday I presented our paper, and got some positive feedback as well. Well, okay, I didn’t quite get to answer properly the questions that were thrown by me, especially that one question from a professor who is most certainly one of the experts in the field of flux pinning. I have been dabbling in pinning mechanisms for less than a year, and admittedly there’s so much information that I do not know yet. I haven’t done much of a homework either, because I wasn’t able to write a paper on this yet, and most of my efforts were concentrated on the earlier conference in Singapore.
I don’t know if I like small gatherings like that workshop I attended, or bigger conferences like the one in Singapore. Smaller meetings provide more in-depth discussions of ideas and you can get to interact with the big names in the field — but if you haven’t had enough introduction to the subject, or if you were a relative unknown in the field, it’s so easy to feel out of place. And my presentation was in the last session. I would have preferred to be among the early speakers so I would have been “introduced” that way – people won’t talk to me obviously if they still haven’t heard about my work. It’s not like my name precedes my work like most of the guys there.
On the other hand, the presentation made a pretty good impression on one of the guys working at the International Superconductivity Technology Center – Superconductor Research Laboratory (ISTEC-SRL) that he immediately went over to me to invite me and give the same talk in their group. What a real surprise!
Well, for now I can rest awhile and get back to experimenting. Just for now, anyway. The next conference is in Vienna, but that’s still a good month and a half away. Plenty of time to prepare my materials. After that, in October I attend one more international symposium, and that’s it for the year.
Hahh…I can’t wait until November! Too many conferences this year!