Saturday, February 12, 2011

Conclusion of EERI Conference

I think I should keep track of how many miles I fly this year. It might be a new record. I got back from San Diego a few hours ago. Really tired out from this conference. I'm not sure why. I really didn't do anything other than sit in presentations. I think it's just the fact that I have a lot on my mind these days. There's always something I think I should be doing.

The sessions on Friday were more technical and more interesting. I was definitely more in the conference mode on Friday. I met a lot of interesting people during lunch, the poster session, dinner, and casino night event. The food at the hotel was generally very good. The desserts were very big! I almost felt like I should go running. But I really wasn't feeling that well the entire time. Not that I was sick or anything. Just, low on energy.

Seeing all these great presentations have made me realize that I really need to work on public speaking. I don't think I would have been able to handle speaking in front of such a distinguished audience, even if it's on a subject that I know very well. I think I need to come up with some sort of plan for this... Suggestions are welcomed.

More presentations on Saturday morning. They split up the group into structural and geotech. I went to the geotech one and thought that it was very well done. The topic was on Vs30 and if it is an effective parameter on the characterization of sites. There were four speakers, all very well respected and distinguished in the field. I think they all came to a consensus about the basic use of this parameter and then presented their own research and a bit about the future of seismic site response analysis. It was very interesting. I think some of it was still too advance for me but I was able to follow most of it. Again, I wish that they allotted more time for discussion because I think the audience also had things to add. Actually, I was surprised that some of the audience didn't seem as comfortable with site response analysis as I thought they should be. So maybe I know more than I think.

The flight back had a lot of EERI people on it. It felt like a very short flight. I changed my seat so that I would be next to Veronica. I accompanied her to the luggage pickup and we ran into a guy who was also going to Stanford. So I got a ride with him and his friends. It turned out that he's dating someone I know in my department. And he also worked at Arup HK for a year as a structural engineer before doing a PhD at Caltech. Small world or self selecting community?

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