March 29, 2010

JDIR Experiences

I was attending JDIR from March 24, to March 26. This was the first time I was presenting a paper at such an event and I was not sure on how to go about it. Most of the presentations were in French and I was afraid of being the odd man out. My presentation was on Friday, March 26, and my advisor, Arnaud, and my lab mate, Stevens, had given me nice feedback about my presentation on Thursday. I missed the excursion to MarineLand on Thursday as I was busy modifying the presentation.

My initial presentation was in Beamer, however, based on the comments given by my advisor I was tempted to use PowerPoint. Sadly due to my inexperience on Windows and Office, I just couldn't get the effects I needed; hence I stuck to Beamer. I was done with the modification in the night at around 11. The presentation was in morning at 9 in INRIA and I woke up early at about 5:30 to rehearse. It was around 7 when I started rehearsing, and for some stupid reason I decided to practice on Windows. The machine booted and I finished my presentation in about 15 minutes. I had skipped the text I was to speak at the outlines; this was a mistake and my advisors email sent to me during the presentation was a confirmation of this. But as the presentation was over my eyes fell on the clock on the bottom right of the screen; it was showing 8:30. My heart lost a beat. My office mate, Roberto, had warned me that daylight saving time kicks in this weekend. I had read that it doesn't happen at the middle of the week but I thought my computer cannot be wrong as it normally syncs the clock with the timeservers. In the hurry I even forgot to check the current time on worldtimeserver.com.

I packed my bags, took the pen drive which had the copy of the presentation, and ran. Murphy's soul was playing a joke with me as it was pouring like it does in Mumbai while I was rushing to INRIA. My phone, which was manually set and doesn't understand day light saving, was showing 8:45 when I reached the INRIA gates. I swiped and my card gave an error. I was petrified; my card stopped working on the day of the presentation, 15 minutes before the event; I thought I was screwed big time. The guard, with his big white beard which will remind anyone of the foreigners representing the East India Company, came out with a frustrated look; it was quite natural as no one would want to begin their day with some problem. He showed me the time; it was 7:45 and he said my card would be activated only at 8. The guards office had been shifted to another conference room that day and he was kind to offer me a seat near his table.

I reached my office at 8 and left for the conference hall at 8:30. My slides were copied on the notebook connected to the projector and I confirmed that the latest version was copied. The presentation went fine and during the course of the presentation I realized I was talking in my normal pace (which is very very fast) . I slowed down and decided to concentrate on the pronunciation of the words. Overall the presentation went fine, however, for reasons unknown, while answering the questions I realized my pace had returned. My advisor was present for the presentation and it was nice as my mailbox had all his feedbacks and the time at which each of the feedback was sent. Stevens, my lab mate, also had a presentation that day and his presentation was amazing; he won one dolphin as an award for his presentation.

However, the JDIR had stored the a surprise for the end. After the event was over, I was approached by a guy who had asked questions about the error bars used in the plots and the TCP implementation for which the experiments were conducted. I was impressed as most of the other crowd just wanted me to finish (I guess my accent and pace had a lot to do with this); but this guy was unfazed. He was a French national and when we met me, he asked from where I was. My reply was India, but he was not convinced and asked, which part of India. On receiving Mumbai for an answer, he asked if I was a student of IIT Mumbai. I said that I was a masters student at IIT Delhi. His face lightened and he said that even he was a masters student at IIT Delhi. I was shocked. Here in INRIA Sophia Antipolis, I am meeting a French guy who said he was a masters student at IIT Delhi. He was an exchange student from EPFL and spent 1 year of his masters in the Maths Dept at IIT Delhi; he was currently a part time student at Eurecom and was working in Orange Labs. I felt really glad as I had met a French national who was in India for his masters.

Overall JDIR was really an amazing experience for me and I am hoping to publish another paper in JDIR.

1 comment:

Mrunal Gawade said...

The world is flat :)