OK, you're all headed off early next week to attend SIGSOFT '93. There are
two things I want to say: (a) what are your responsibilities? (b) what do you
need to do for reimbursement?
- Your hotel rooms should be charged to an American Express card (this is a
UW rule). If you don't have such a card, you can use mine. Try to let me
know before I leave, but if you don't just find me when you arrive (leave a
message in my room).
- Lunch is included in the tutorial program, but no other meals (unless you
eat dinner by snacking at the Wednesday evening reception) are included. You
have to buy these on your own. I don't remember the exact rules, but as long
as your daily costs are reasonable, you don't need documentation. Just keep
track of what you spend (by meal and by date) and we'll arrange
reimbursement when you return.
- Take the Supershuttle to and from the airport and hotel. It's supposed to
be about $12 each. (If you don't have the local arrangements sheet, I can
send it to you.) It might be as cheap to take a taxi if it's two or more of
you. Either way. Keep receipts.
- Keep your airplane ticket receipts, of course (especially if they are on
my AmEx card!).
- Ask me questions if you have any.
(a) Conference responsibilities
- Why am I bringing you all down to the conference? In part, I just want UW
to have a good showing, since I'm so closely involved with the conference.
But more importantly, it's good for you (1) to see the people who've written
papers you've read, (2) to see what's current in software engineering
research, (3) to start to build relationships with other researchers in the
field, (4) to tell people what you're doing and to find out what they are
doing, and (5) to find out that you're at least as smart and good as many of
- So, you should work hard to attend lots of sessions and read lots of the
papers. But it's unlikely that you'll go to every session: some will be
genuinely uninteresting to you. In addition, the most important part of a
conference is "schmoozing", standing in hallways talking to
colleagues (satisfying most or all of the items in the previous category).
You'll see me and lots of others doing this.
- It's scary trying to meet these "famous" people. I'll try and
introduce you when I can, but I'll be pretty busy. So it's OK (actually,
it's more than just OK) to be a little (or a lot) pushy. If you see people
you want to listen to having a conversation, feel free to move on up to them
and try to listen (unless for some reason it seems like it's a personal
conversation and is thus
inappropriate). Sometimes they'll acknowledge you, sometimes they won't. But
it's worth trying to get involved in these conversations when possible.
(Even listening by itself can be valuable.) Of course, the best way to get
involved is to ask a question: it flatters people and makes them respond to
you. And you learn something.
- Trying to have meals with folks is a really good way to meet them. Some of
you already know a couple of people from other places, so if you set
something up, it'd be nice to try to bring another UW student or two along.
(There may be a Womens' lunch one day. It'll probably be marked on a
bulletin board. Go if you can and want (and are eligible).)
- Hang out some with each other. (One of my earlier students is bringing a
few students, too, and you may want to meet them as well.) But don't do this
exclusively, since you can do that in Seattle, but you can't schmooze with
the others here. Debriefing with each other on sessions, papers,
interactions with others, etc. is of value, though, and you should do this
with each other on occasion.
- I'll be busy, but please feel free to track me down and tell me how things
are going or what you've been doing. I may be brusque, but don't take it
That's more than enough. I'm really, really happy you're all coming. I hope
it's enjoyable and professionally satisfying.