Single word to describe the Poster session is Enthusiasm. Students and Professionals from various backgrounds and varied subjects presented their work with passion. Tirelessly and patiently they presented their posters with a smile.
The posters were grouped by topics like Robotics, Bioinformatics, Data science and so on. In between presentations they were bonding with each other, which was added bonus for them and for me too. I could go to a group and have a meaningful conversation about the topic. It was well-organized with zigzag arrangement of posters.
The atmosphere was light, and welcoming. Presenters were knowledgeable and were happy to explain basic concepts around their topic. There were a few nervous students in the crowd. One of them asked me whether I was the judge. After we laughed about it she felt comfortable and explained details of Bayesian networks with ease.
What moved me most was a poster from Michigan State University, part of “Broadening participation in CS”. Their women in tech group reaches out to middle and high schools to encourage students to attend their 10-12 week courses on programming. They are not measuring their success as number but have surveys before, after and during the session on perception of CS. They are inching their way making a change and have squashed myths around CS, welcoming both girls and boys.
Unique and most interesting was a poster made of cloth (the topic was very interesting also, it was about how the team optimized usage of most powerful super computer in US). Presenter carried her poster in a small bag instead of a large tube (a big plus when you are flying). Printing costed her less than $25 and she plans to make it into a T-shirt. How cool is that, wearing and bragging about amazing work she had done. This was not an original idea but it’s up for grabs without any royalties, something I will remember for a long time.