Vrinda Mittal

Attending the 5 days of attending the conference in Brighton was an experience for me. Everyday I would catch the 8 am train from London to Brighton to attend the conference. On the first day I must admit, I was a bit overwhelmed at the venue. There were so many people form all over the world students, professors alike. Though I had the conference schedule with me and my advisor was also there with me , I was very nervous initially. But, then I started with interacting with students who very giving poster presentations. I attended the plenary talks every day given by various professionals from the industry like Corinna Cortez from Google and Misha Dohler , professor at Kings College in London. Their talks really opened my mind to the various fields out there where innovation is taking place specially in terms of the applications of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

My presentation for my research paper was on the last day of the conference in the early morning slot. I was hardly able to sleep the night before due to anxiety. I speant the train ride rereading my research paper again and again in order to be able to handle any difficult questions that audience may ask with confidence. I was at the venue by 7:30 am, though it was early and doors had not been opened yet. I got to interact with a professor who was also waiting for the doors to open. Talking to him helped, I felt more confident. After rehearsing ouside the room for my presentation I finally went in and gave the presentation. It was the best feeling I ever got. I wasn’t sure if people would appriciate and like the work done by our team. But I was pleasantly surprised at the questions people were asking. In fact, I even met a PhD student who had previously worked on this project. She told me how that project was shut down as it was to expensive and taking too long. She was happy that someone was looking into this area. That felt very reassuring. Besides the academic side of the conference, the snacks and beverages part of the conference was also something to look forward to. My biggest takeaway from the conference was exploring the various areas that I can work in and making contacts. I hope I get another opportunity to attend a conference in future. Lastly, I would like to thank ACM – W for the financial support they provide and make it all possible.