So, as I pointed out before, last week was the annual APS March Meeting. For those of you unfamiliar with the conference, it consists of thousands of presentations given by professors, post-doctoral students, graduate students, and even undergraduate students. Most presentations are scheduled to last ten minutes followed by two minutes of questions for the speaker. This schedule is enforced by the chair of the session. This person is tasked with deciding how many questions should be asked and informing the speaker if they are running out of time. I noticed as the week went on that the talks always seemed to be rushed toward the end and there were often very few questions allowed by the session chair. This observation brought out the scientist side of me. I decided to take data and determine how long the talks were actually taking. So, this is what I did: starting on Thursday, I timed each presentation I went to and recorded the time at the end of the presentation and then again at the end of the question period. To see the results of the experiment read on! Continue Reading
For those of you outside the physics community something big is happening next week that you may not know about. It is the annual March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS). It is the single largest physics conference in existence and it just so happens to be taking place in Boston this year. To give you an idea how big, last year, there were over 7700 submitted abstracts meaning that there were that many people with posters or giving a talk about their research. That does not include the thousands more physicists that go to keep up with current research and foster collaborations with other groups. Needless to say, I will be there almost all of next week soaking it all in as it will be the first conference I have ever been to. I will try to post updates about the meeting throughout the week so stay tuned!