Vartika Agrahari

Over the past one and a half year, I have been working in the area of Software engineering, Education Technologies, and Human-computer Interaction (HCI) in RISHA (Research in Intelligent Software & Human Analytics) Lab, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, while pursuing my Masters degree (Master of Technology i.e., M.Tech) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Tirupati, India. My advisor and founder of RISHA Lab, Dr. Sridhar Chimalakonda, has always motivated me and my peers to think out of the box, to be consistent, and he also taught the art of pushing one’s boundary to achieve the highest goal. So with his constant support, I put my efforts in several interesting and novel ideas and submitted three full papers to three different tracks of ICALT (International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies) conference this year. By almighty’s grace, all the three submissions got accepted as full paper, short paper and discussion paper. Discussion paper also got nominated for Best Discussion Paper Award in the conference. I am really happy and excited with all the acceptances and this has increased my confidence a lot. However, because of the current pandemic situation of COVID-19, the conference went virtual and all the events were online.

The conference took place virtually from 6th July, 2020 to 9th July, 2020. I presented my full and short papers in front of Prof. Maiga Chang, Prof. Christian Guetl, and many other presenters. They were very friendly and supportive. For the discussion paper, we had individual zoom session, where anyone can come and visit the poster. We had quite thoughtful suggestions and discussions. I attended few interesting talks based on Learning Analytics and Digital Learning. I would like to thank the whole ICALT community, which has organised everything so perfectly, that it never felt that we are not present there physically. Apart from the presentations and talks, I also got chance to take a virtual tour of University of Tartu, mesmerising live concerts by Estonian musicians, comedy night by Karl-Alari Varma, quiz night, and energising dance breaks. I made peer friends in the virtual lobby rooms also. So, overall, I would like to add that although the physical conference would have been much more, virtually also it was a life long event for me.

A hearty thanks to ACM-Women, which has helped and supported me to grab this opportunity and attend the conference smoothly!!!!