This blog is really a special one. This is an account of a lot of firt times. This was my first visit to Coimbatore, not exactly frst rather first proper visit. Last time I visitted it only for changing a bus on my way to Kodaikanal from Ooty. Also it was my first ever paper presentation in an international conference. First time staying in a hotel alone (seriously). Well enough with firsts, now that you know what this blog is about, let me try and pen down an account of the trip.
First thing worth mentioning is that, at this moment, I have been awake for the last 40 hours or so. Writing this blog entry just to keep myself from dozing away in the middle of the cultural programme and dinner. Though the bus was pretty comfy but it's a bad habit of mine that I cannot sleep in a bus. Reached here in the morning at 5:45 am , came straight to PSG college of engineering only to find that the guard has no idea where the conference is happening. He sent me to the PSG hostels where another guard told me that the conference is probably at PSG college of arts. The PSG college of arts was at a place which was more deserted than any place I have ever seen. The guards there were completely taken aback by the simple word "conference". Unable to find out any furtehr information, came back to PSG tech in an auto and I am not kidding when I say that the auto walas here are even bigger robbers than their counterparts in Bangalore. This time I barged straight in, roamed the campus and finally found what I was looking for. The registration was to begin at 8:30 and it was only 6:45. So I went back to Gandhipuram in search of a really cheap hotel. Found a decent hotel for 370 per day and came back after taking shower.
The organizers were really helpful and helped me to get myself registered. The conference had already began. After an awesome breakfast, started attending the plenary taks one by one.
The lunch was as sumptuous as the breakfast. My poster presentation was in the afternoon. I finished setting up the bits and pieces of papers and slides I had prepared on the very last day and the day before that , staying awake till 4 in the morning. So the moment finally arrived and a few people came by wanting to know what my work was all about. I explained tem prperly and also handed them printed copies of my paper. After this I went for a NABIC session where I saw a paper being presented which had only excerpts from other papers. It was basically a compilation of 6 previous papers. How can something like this get selected? Currently sitting here at Quadrangle waiting for the cultural programme to start. Is extremely tired. I will simply throw myself into bed once I reach the hotel.
Made some new friends on the first day, one from Bangladesh, one from Iran and two more from Japan and China. Nice to see these friendly people. Took a lot of snaps wit them. The guy from China said that Indians are great scholars and mentioned that they never even knew what paper presentations and conferences are when they were in college. I don't how that should make me feel keeping in mind the tremendous growth of research in China, but I really feel proud on something like that coming from a Chinese. See you guys tomorrow.
This day was much more on the technical side. Reached the venue a little late. The plenary talks were really good. Dr. Hideyuki Takagi had a talk on "Interactive Evolutionary computing". Lot of the topics were new to me and thoroughly enjoyed the talks and presentations. Bo stuck with me all through the day. After lunch , there were some more interesting presentations. Talked to a lot of people, got their contacts.
The poster session on the second day saw a lot more crowd. Later in the day, I talked to Dr. Mario Koeppen about an idea that I had. I shall be working on that. H gave me some pointers and some ideas to. I will be in touch with him. After the sessions, there was the awards ceremony followed by the gala dinner which brought an end to a very fruitful day.
There were no no plenary talks today but only a tutorial on "Content based image retrieval". I did not register for it although I should have as it could have been useful for me. Once the presentations got over, it was time for lunch. A trip to a place called 'Isha Yoga Centre' was organized by the conference committee. This place was inside a reserve forest and was pretty awesome. The ambience was calm and serene and, as the saying goes, one can meet with his inner self if he keeps an open mind. I really enjoyed the trip.