Cyber Corps Symposium Day 3: Poster Child

It turns out that it is possible for Syracuse to have days that aren’t hot and humid. Today was merely hot.

This morning was breakfast, more presentations, snacks, another panel discussion, and lunch. There’s never any shortage of food around here. Part of me wonders if this whole symposium is just a covert plan to fatten us up, and the busses that are supposedly going to the airport tomorrow will be making a detour to the slaughterhouse. Those of you who wish to pay their respects may want to cut back on their Soylent Green consumption for a week or two.

Anyway, today’s big event, as far as I was concerned, was the poster session. Everything went according to plan: the posters were mounted on foam board and were waiting for us at the hotel at the beginning of the session. Mine came out pretty well, modulo a small inexplicable smudge and a few minor spacing problems that had gone undetected beforehand.

The posters, ginormous as they were, seemed to be a hit. We had five posters total, each one giving an overview of one of the research projects going on at Purdue. Since three of the five poster creators had graduated from the program and thus weren’t at the symposium, those of us who were there got to field questions about theirs as well, which generally wasn’t too hard, especially when you had seen one of them give a presentation on their work in the previous semester or so. My poster seemed to interested a lot of people who came by, and as the session went on I got better and better at describing the goals of the project regardless of the viewer’s experience with SELinux. In fact, those who did have some familiarity tended to be most interested, recognizing how useful it could be once it gets fleshed out and matures some more. Good enough motivation for me.

Purdue didn’t want to have the posters shipped back and told us to destroy them. They weren’t specific why, but our guess is that they don’t want anyone dumpster diving and copying the results we presented. Or maybe they just didn’t like the thought of seeing large posters branded with various university and departmental logos lying in the trash somewhere. So we got to tear the posters off the boards and shred them manually, as the hotel apparently didn’t have a shredder available for that sort of thing.

As the last official event of the symposium, they bussed us off to the Landmark Theater for dinner and what they called “teambuilding exercises.” This involved splitting people up into groups and assigning those groups some odd type of performance, such as magic, plate spinning, dancing, and balloon animal making. As luck would have it, I got randomly placed in the so-called “improv” group, which turned out to actually mean “stand-up.” I ended up not going on stage for the jumble of performances that ended the night, which I didn’t have any problem with. I still fail to see how any of that really involved teambuilding, especially things like going up on stage solo and telling a joke.

All that’s left of the symposium is tomorrow’s breakfast and shuttles to the airport, from where I’ll fly back. Hopefully things will go more smoothly than the trip up on Day 0 did.

Comments are closed.