The conference is coming to an end, which for me means it’s time to reflect upon what happened.
There were lots of good (and great) things happening. For starters, I loved the more expedited check-in process. One comment I heard repeatedly was “Even though the lines at first looked long, they moved really fast.” I fully agree. The just-in-time printing of badges was a smart idea because not only it saves printing badges for those who don’t show up, but it enabled INFORMS to have not a single one but two check-in desks for our increased convenience. All in all, a big win for efficiency.
I was also very happy with all of the talks I attended. Lots of high-impact, relevant work and great tutorials. I enjoyed some of the new introductions as well, such as the flash sessions. The reception at the Science Center rocked; I really enjoyed the Planetarium shows, and the folks outside with the telescope pointed to the Pleiades Star Cluster were telling us interesting stories about it.
To me, the sad part is always not being able to attend everything I wanted to. I missed an awesome talk by John Hooker, Laura Albert’s sage advice, didn’t get to sit down for a beer with Paul Rubin (though I briefly ran into him by the elevators), and many other things. Well, I’ll just try harder next time.
Some of the dictionary’s synonyms for “bubbly” are high-spirited, lively, and vivacious. And that’s what a meeting like this is all about. Sure we come for the talks, the job interviews, the intense, sit-down research meetings, etc. But we also come for renewing friendship bonds. I had a great time re-connecting with lots of friends, some of whom I had last seen 22 years ago. It was great to celebrate with them a paper acceptance, the birth of a child, a promotion, an award (and congratulations to all of the award winners), and even to celebrate meeting a co-author of mine for the very first time in person (despite having published a paper with him already).
I’m presenting this afternoon in Section WC71 (1:30pm, West Building, 106C), in case you’re still around. That section is packed with some excellent talks. My flight tonight only leaves at 11:59pm. So if you feel like sitting down for a chat, send me a tweet @thyunes. Good news: Starbucks won’t have a line! 🙂
May you all have a safe trip home. See you in Seattle next year!