My boss is having a conference put on in his honor. I guess that’s how you know you’re a big wig in the field: when colleagues decide that the best way to celebrate your 90th birthday is to bring in around 190 scientists from across the globe to talk about progress in a field of research you basically invented… I think it’s safe to say you’ve “made it”.
Tonight is the poster session part of the John B. Goodenough Symposium in Materials Science and Engineering (the invited talks are tomorrow). For those of you who are unfamiliar, a poster session is basically when graduate students lay out some aspect of their research on a big sheet of paper and hang it up in a big room where other graduate students do the same. It’s pretty much a science fair for grownups.
The graduate students then stand in front of their posters nervously sorta-kinda wanting one of the visiting professors to take interest and sorta-kinda wanting to be left alone for fear of feeling stupid. As you progress in your graduate career, the hope is you start to want the former rather than the latter.
Since I’m trying to wrap up during the next year, and have talked about this subject a few times (including at the APS March Meeting this year), I’m definitely feeling like I want to present my poster. Which is comforting. Because I also am going to try and impress everybody who comes up to me to the point they want to hand me a job next year…
We’ll see. In any case, it’ll be a good experience just getting comfortable in with “networking,” which has never come naturally for me.
For those who are interested, you can see my poster here.