Shaan Chopra

The conference was far more than a learning experience for me. Not only did I get to attend the presentation of the full paper co-authored by me and 2 workshops (I had one position paper in each), but also got an opportunity to network with people in the field. I was completely mesmerised by the community and the welcoming nature of its members for a beginner researcher like me who was attending her first HCI conference. I got an opportunity to interact with both young/junior and senior researchers working in academia and industry. Since I am on a hunt for a Ph.D. position in HCI and ICTD, this proved to be extremely valuable for me. In fact, I received indirect offers from a few professors who were impressed with my work at the undergraduate level! The 2 workshops I attended – “Conducting Research with Stigmatized Communities” and “Solidarity Across Borders” – were particularly helpful as I found it easier to socialise in a smaller and close setting. At each workshop, we spent the entire day having detailed discussions about related topics, learning from the experiences of other researchers, and brainstorming to find solutions for problems specific to conducting such research. I also presented my work – submitted as position papers – in both the workshops and got valuable feedback. Moreover, it was the people who I met in these workshops who ultimately helped me expand my circle as they directly introduced me to more researchers at the main conference. Besides this, I attended talks from various tracks including health and tracking, sharing economy, emotion and biosensing, transactions and currencies, feminist perspectives, and collaborative working and design, and visited the poster session. This being said, CSCW was an absolutely amazing experience for me as I got to experience a community that I wish to become an integral part of some day. Though initially a little overwhelming, the numerous formal and informal sessions (including the conference banquet) provided a platform for insightful, comfortable, and fun interactions. For my first conference, I could not have asked for a better experience!