Viviana Sutedjo

  • MS Student
    Technical University of Munich
    Attended IEEE ICRA 2022
    2022, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

After a long period of online conferences during Covid, the time had finally come to attend an in-person conference. I had looked forward to my first conference as an attendee for a long time, and since I was lucky enough to have my first paper published in the IEEE ICRA 2022, I was more than excited to be able to attend it in person through the ACM-W scholarship and the sponsor supporting my participation, Google.

I arrived in Philadelphia with a stop-over in New York (due to cheaper flights) and got the chance to visit both NYC and Philadelphia on the way. The conference center, lying in the city center of Philadelphia, gave me and my colleagues a great opportunity to explore local sights during conference breaks. Besides the sightseeing, there were the even more interesting things that the conference had to offer:

The conference center was filled with the buzzing energy of eager researchers of all levels from all over the world, excited to finally be able to share their projects with each other again. There was an exhibition hall with world-renowned robotic/automation institutions such as Boston Dynamics, Tesla Autopilot and DaVinci surgical robots, which I was even able to try out myself!

On the second conference day, it was my turn to present my first-author paper to the audience. I was excited to share what I learned and answer follow-up questions from researchers from different fields. Even more interesting were the discussions that followed in the poster session afterwards, where I got to meet and talk to professors, PhD candidates and industry researchers about my project, but also exchange some ideas on how to further elaborate on it. I was also surprised by the variety of different applications of my project that attendees were proposing that I had never thought about. I also learned how to answer technical questions and how to ask for valuable advice, which I will cherish for my future career.

Overall, it was a very exciting and eye-opening trip that definitely fuelled my eagerness to keep doing research and exchange ideas with others. Thank you so much ACM and Google for this experience!