The crucible of the unknown graduate student

This is it. The meeting officially starts tomorrow.

How will my day look like? Busy.

Due to the fact that my flight was unilaterally pushed back (thanks, Continental), I will be missing the “Dialogues on Society and Science” (sigh). Instead, I will have to go straight from the airport to my poster board (OO15) to present my poster (1 to 5 pm).

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Note to self: Go a day early if the meeting is as far away and as important as this one. I’ve done this before, but wanted to save the extra hotel night this time… a questionable choice.

Note1: Make sure to bring your credentials (they were likely mailed to you. If not, pick them up at registration). The guards will not let you advance to the poster session without credentials, presenter or not. No exceptions.

Note2: It can be confusing to navigate the big hall, so here is a primer. Poster boards are organized from A1 through PPP34. The posters usually envelope a hard core of exhibits (vendors), which are organized from Aisles 100 through 4233. However – this year – it looks more like the poster boards “hug” the exhibits in horseshoe-formation bayside. My “own” poster board is located just off the Carl-Zeiss both. Should be fun. Of course, it is somewhat euphemistic to call it mine. I just checked. That poster board sure sees a lot of action throughout the meeting.

Note3: Perhaps the most important link of the entire meeting. Here is how you get wireless internet access at the convention center. Hope it works.

Note4: I mentioned that SfN seems to like good weather. Looks like that panned out…

This better be true. What is the reliability of these predictions on the west coast?

I am somewhat bummed that I won’t get to see all the other motion posters, as I will be presenting my own during the visual motion session. I think I will submit my poster to the visceral pain session next year. That way, the other people in my field could see my poster, and I could see theirs. I understand the rationale behind grouping the posters, but some decorrelation might be nice.

Immediately after the poster session, I will be having dinner with an old friend of mine. After that, I will be at the mentoring event. After that, I will check into the hotel. And such – barring potential late night surprises – will be my first day at the meeting.

Also, check this out (figure from “Google Trends”): The buzz is supposed to hit a real frenzy within a couple of days. Some things are notable about this figure: 1) The lawfulness – small annual blip in May for abstract submissions followed by a large spike in the fall for the actual meeting – looks like SfN has a pulse.

Nice trend... From Google Trends.

2) Search volume is increasing. This is in sharp contrast to the falling trend lines for most keywords, including “neuroscience” itself; at least there is only a minor seasonal “high school/college” modulation, unlike for math or psychology. The negative slopes for most keywords result from the fact that this is not absolute, but RELATIVE search volume, scaled by total traffic.

Bethesda, lol.

Therefore, the slope of the trajectory for any given keyword would be expected to be negative. This should be very encouraging to the Society. 3) The New York Juggernaut can be spotted even here. 4) The NIH leaves its signature everywhere, but why do they keep googling it?

Happy conferencing.

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