Sunday, May 24, 2009

Final thoughts on ICSE and Vancouver

The past week was very busy, but very good. For me, the biggest benefit of going to conferences like ICSE is the chance to meet with other researchers. I got to see some old friends, make some new ones, and get some great ideas for future research directions. Even though the conference is long and takes a lot of energy, I come away excited about my research. Let's hope I can keep up that excitement.

It was also enlightening going to Canada for the first time. In the past, I'd often heard the joke about Canada being the 51st state, but I don't think that sentiment is justified. Even though there are many similarities to the United States, such as language and customs, I saw a country which attempts, and in large measure succeeds, to maintain a separate cultural identity. In the end, though, I'm always glad to get through customs and back on US soil (though in this case, it actually happened before getting on the plane in Vancouver).

Vancouver is also a neat city. I was surprised by the heavy Asian population I encountered, though not put off by it. The city is gearing up for next year's winter Olympics, so everything seems like it's under construction. I found the public transportation accessible and using it intuitive, all while seeing sites like Stanley Park and Capilano canyon. The weather turned out nice, which made the trip even more pleasant.

It's now time to turn toward ICSE 2010. Although I don't plan on having a paper in the main research track, I still want to go and be involved, probably through participation in a workshop, or maybe the MSR conference. The fact that it's in Cape Town, South Africa doesn't hurt my motivation any, either.

On the seawall, with Stanley Park on the left, and downtown Vancouver on the right

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