Jasmine Davis

  • Undergraduate Student
    Wellesley College, USA
    Attended SUI and UIST 2014
    2014, Waikiki, Hawaii, United States

I admit I was a bit nervous to be attending SUI and UIST. Nervous to the point of be scared, but I am so incredibly glad I reached for it. I’m also glad I was at SUI before UIST. Being at the smaller, one-track conference gave me a chance to settle into things, get over my nerves, and learn what conferences are all about. I had great discussions with professors from Canadian colleges to graduate students from Stanford. It’s amazing how mutual misery and troubles over working with a particular system can bond a couple of strangers together and I’ve made lasting friends from it. Presenting my work at SUI reaffirmed that just because I’m an undergrad doesn’t mean my work is any less valid or comparable to that of older and more experienced scholars in attendance at the conference. I don’t need to know what everyone around me is talking about as long as I’m willing to learn and everybody is more than willing to answer questions or explain. Taking what I learned and experienced at SUI made UIST a much better experience than I otherwise thought it would be. It’s not that I thought UIST would be a bad experience, but having learned from SUI, I was in a better position to benefit, learn, enjoy and interact with everyone in attendance. I met more great people at UIST, made new contacts, and listened to truly amazing presentations. One of the most interesting things that caught me off guard at both conferences was the presence of people in industry research positions in the CS world. Looking back I don’t know why that caught me off guard, but they opened up a road I hadn’t considered taking before going to Hawaii. I had a lot to reflect on coming out of UIST and SUI and its all helped me gain a better idea of what I want to focus on in my future research projects.