Thursday, September 30, 2010

No me gusta being sick and traveling

So this post will probably be pretty short, but since you all have followed me through this much of the trip you deserve the .... thrilling conclusion!

So as I have mentioned before, Eric, Todd, and Chris B. are all going to the EUSES meeting, which starts at 9, so they are planning to leave at 8:08 (because it has a lot of symmetry, it can be flipped around or turned sideways and it is still a palindrome!). So they again have to get up early. Markus who stayed with us has to leave at about 9 to go catch his flight.

So Chris B sets his alarm, but it fails to go off. It was set up only to work on weekdays and since it was a Saturday it didn't go off, so we all woke up a little late. Since Chris B. had to get ready I decided to at least start making breakfast for everyone. I don't think that it was nearly as good, but it certainly wasn't bad. Markus says that the potato peel that I left on the potato was poison and that we were all going to get sick.

Soon it was time for everyone to go and then I was alone. I read some and finished my book (well before Eric), and I did a little emailing, which I had been ignoring for quite a while. After a while I headed out to explore Madrid one last time.

As I have mentioned before my day was cut short by an illness. I am not sure what it was, it might have been food poisoning, but whatever it was I was confined to my bed and so that was not very fun. I basically stayed in bed all afternoon and evening and slept rather fitfully and hoped that I would be at least a little better for the travel day the next day.

So the next day, Sunday, was the day that we were to head home. My alarm was set for 530, but I actually woke up without it, and I was feeling a bit better, so that was good. We got ready and we left a little bit late at about 630. On the way to the airport, the metro was packed with people just coming home from partying. The majority of them were very drunk, and it was a little strange to see.

The trip to the airport went well enough, and after figuring out some confusing signs in the airport and some very unhelpful airline desk people we checked in. We were a little concerned since they only gave us tickets as far as Vancouver, which didn't really make much sense to us, but there isn't really much that we could do about it.

The security line was ridiculous, it was just very slow and unorganized and every time someone set off the metal detector, they stopped the whole line and made us wait. If we had been late for our flight then this would have worried me. Eric threw away his water bottle that he has had the whole trip (from Vancouver on the way over). He regretted this throughout the rest of our trip as he always tried to find someplace to get water but they were about 3 euros.

So we had to wait a while for our flight, and I actually was able to eat a nectarine, which was the first thing that I had eaten in... about 15 or 16 hours, so that was good, and I actually felt hungry, so I was hoping that the worst of my illness was past. Eric went and got a little pastry with most of the rest of our euros.

The Spanish airport doesn't actually announce when planes are boarding, so we sort of had to wait and pay attention. We noticed that people started lining up, but then for about 20 minutes and never moved so we just sort of waited, then it finally started to move and we got in line and were the 2nd to last people on the plane. We ran into Alessio on the flight, which was crazy. He was headed to Sweden... I think?

So... I slept for the entire flight to Frankfurt, which was nice. Eric read his book. So that flight was very smooth. We got to Frankfurt and we took a bus to the terminal and walked around trying to find something to eat. We finally settled on a little restaurant. 1 of only 3 places there! pretty poor amount of choices for a major airport. Eric regretted not getting beer. We both got a hot dog and a pretzel. The pretzel was great, the hot dog was ... ok. I took some pepto bismal tablets just in case.

Here is Eric ordering.

We waited for our plane, and right after boarding Eric passed out. Not for very long, but I have photographic evidence!

The flight from Frankfurt to Vancouver was long, I watched a few movies and read and slept a little bit. It actually went faster than I thought it would. It helped that there was no one behind me so I just reclined for most of the flight, which was nice.

We arrived to Vancouver and had to go through customs and then get our bags. And for some reason we had to go out of the security zone and check in again, which seemed so ridiculous to me. And because of this... we missed our flight. It was very annoying. We were there 45 minutes early, but we had to be there an hour early to actually get our bags loaded. If we wanted to we could have gone through security with all of our bags and ran ahead. But I had some liquids that I had purchased, so I didn't really want to do that....since I would have had to dump them out.

This means that we had to talk the 830 flight instead of the 445 flight.... so it was a long wait. It sort of went quickly.... although all we did was sit around. We got some food and then right before the flight Eric got a cup of coffee and took a quick nap. Then on the flight we both slept the whole way. It was only an hour flight, but it was a good nap.

We arrived in Portland and got our car. We got a minivan!

Before we left for Portland, we sent an email saying that we were going to be late, in case any of our fellow OSU travelers were going to be late as well. After getting our car, we went back into the terminal and Viola! an email from Chris B. sent right before Eric opened his computer. He had just arrived. So we waited a little bit and then he got to ride home with us.

That was good, since I was tired and had problems staying awake, so he was able to talk to Eric and then about Salem I was able to stay awake the rest of the way.

So I got home at about 1:30 or so... My bed never looked so good.

It was a great trip, and a pretty successful conference, but it was nice to be back home.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Conference: Stats!

So during the conference one thing I did to not fall asleep and since it was actually really very interesting I took stats of attendance during the different sessions as well as computer usage and the differences between macs and windows computers.

As a guide, these are the session titles:

0: Opening Keynote
1: Assisting Programmers
2: Debugging
3: Games & Learning
4: Spreadsheets & Nuerons
5: Graph & Model Transforms
6: Web Programming
7: Spiders & Graphs
8: Closing Keynote
9: Understanding Designers and Programmers
10: Visual Languages & Formalisms
11: Panel and Close

I did not start keeping stats until the 3rd session, and I was too nervous during the 4th session as Markus and Eric were talking. So sadly, the graphs are not entirely complete.

The first graph is about session attendance. You can certainly see the drop off as the days go on. Although I don't have a lot of information for the first day. It also shows that modeling is one of the most poorly attended sessions, and gaming was one of the highest. The red vertical lines mark the separation of days.

The next two charts have to do with computer usage. In the first chart we see Mac usage in blue, windows in red, and computerless in green. In general Mac usage for outweighed that of Windows, while actually computerless was very high. I should have also counted sleeping people... but that would have probably been a little sad :).

The final chart shows the actual percentage of computer usage for each session.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Conference: Day 3

We have reached the final day of the conference, the culmination of the trip and the day that I, after what has seemed like ages get to present.

I am sure that you can tell by this picture that I am... wait... I look mad, that doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, the day started, once again early, luckily I wasn't feeling any effects from the banquet and the copious amounts of wine that I drank. My stomach did feel a little queasy, but I was able to eat that breakfast that Chris B. made, which was good since I needed to eat before the presentation, it helped a lot.

I just have to say that Chris B. made breakfast almost everyday of the conference and it was great, having food prepared and not having to worry about getting it was very nice.

So there had been some debate about whether or not we should go to the last keynote since it didn't sound incredibly interesting, but I woke up early and Eric wanted to go since he had attended and paid attention to everything. Chris B seemed to indicate that he wasn't going to go, but he actually ended up going with us.

We were...slightly late. I am not sure by how much, only a few minutes I think, but the keynote was actually surprisingly well attended, there were a lot of people there and considering that the banquet had been last night and that it had ended late, I thought there would be less people.

I do have to so, that I was slightly distracted since I was thinking about my own presentation, but the keynote was... hard to pay attention to. The material was interesting enough, it was about security for UML diagrams and how to set it up. The presenter was German and at times his accent was a bit tough to follow and his slides were soooo packed with information that it made it difficult. Anyway, here are my notes from the keynote:

Why do UML diagrams need security? Did I miss something?
Germans, as they tend to strive for perfection, are the perfect people to do security stuff
1 security break in 100,000 years is too much.... wow
This guys answers are sooooo long :/

And then it was over... the time had come for me to present. Since the keynote went a bit long, there was only a 15 minute break. I tested my computer to make sure that it connected, then I went and got a snack and walked around a little bit to calm down and headed back into the room. I ran into Chris S. (my adviser), and we talked a little bit about the presentation and I said that it was a bit long and he advised me that I should take my time on the data since it was the most interesting part and then if necessary I should speed through the last part. Then he told me that I had done this before and that I would be fine. Simple words, but they steadied my confidence.

Here is a picture of me during the presentation. I am not sure how it actually went. For the most part I think it went well, but I did run long and had to zoom through the last couple of slides, so unfortunately, it was not as good as I would like, I was a little flustered when the guy running my session held up a sign that said STOP, but I plowed through and sort of delivered an ok finish.

I got three questions... well one was just a comment about how some of the data that we had found matched some observations that Margaret (OSU professor) had found in a previous study. The questions were not all hard to answer and then it was done.

The next talk was sort of a blur to me as I sort of had to calm down a little bit from giving my presentation, but I actually got a little interested in it as it went on and in general the whole session was really good.

My notes:

Carlos Jenson (OSU) Diagramming in Open Source
People don't know what UML diagrams are and people are using power point presentations to communicate
many view diagrams as an altruistic thing that they do to be nice

The next presentation was about bug reports and the words in bug reports and how to improve how they reported.

Lots of people start questions with a compliment, interesting but nice.
people Game the system by saying things such as "all users experience this" etc
Resolution times for different bug types... previous work... this would be interesting to see

The next two presentations were short papers, but I actually asked a question about one, so that was kind of cool.

And then it was time for lunch. Before I could head out to lunch Michael Coblenz came up and talked to me about my presentation and about some ideas about where to go with it, which was really nice, and I think we are going to pursue one of these.

We talked for a while and then had lunch. During lunch, Eric and I sat by the guy who did a presentation on SpiderTimeTrees. I had noticed him sitting by himself for most of the conference and so I figured it would be nice to sit with him, and I like Germans for the most part. They are friendly people. ;)

We had a good conversation with him and then it was time for the final session of presentations. This was again a lot of presentations about models, which didn't seem to interest a large portion of the crowd, but it was pretty well attended. There were a few people that had problems staying awake, but I think for the fact that it was the last session, people did a good job.

So here are my notes:

The presentation was about live sequence charts that would update and you could zoom on certain parts
Why don't graphical models scale well?
Because they are too big?
Live demo... brave, it went well enough

2: The presentation was about uh... some kind of modeling. lol

Cool Russian Accent (Note: he was Portuguese)
Eric is using his computer, he was trying to not do that, but he is paying attention
He is calling the objects blobs, which I guess is fine it just sounds really funny with his accent
Wow, actually showing semantics. very rare for VL/HCC
Where do the extra lines come from?
V & V? oh...Verification and Validation

Hmm... so I didn't take notes for the rest of the presentations, but I did sort of pay attention.

The final session of the day was a panel thing, which Martin warned Eric would not be good, and he was kind of right. The last few minutes were actually interesting, but I wish that they had just allowed people to ask questions for most of the time.

So then it was all over, we had a last little goodbye session and then headed home.

Last shot of a bunch of professors (and Scott) walking at the train station:

Eric and Chris B at the train station:

So we set it up to go out around 8 or so for a kind of simple dinner, we didn't want to go all out, since we sort of did that the night before. Markus and Jacome were going to come join us.

Before hand we just hung out at our apartment. Eric got lonely since Chris B and I were just hanging out in our room. So he joined us.

Just before we left Eric started a load of laundry. He managed to wash his wallet. So we had to struggle a little to get it out and then he wrung it out. You can sort of see the water coming off of it here:
So Markus soon arrived with his stuff, he decided to just spend the night on our extra mattress. Soon Jacome and his professor and Nuno, another Portuguese student showed up and we headed out. The first stop was this restaurant that Alessio had recommended to us.... it was.... well it was far from the best place we went and it was very expensive. I also managed to make us look like fools since I tried adding the bill up and I got it wrong and then we asked the guy about it... and... then we added it again and in fact they were right... so... yeah.

Afterward we headed to the Belgian bar to see how Cuban friend once again and have some nice beer. I had to go get cash, so I am not quite sure how or what we ordered, but sadly the Cuban guy didn't seem to recognize us. Here is our table:

We sort of got tapas, at least chips and... some weird nut bowl thing. We had good conversation, and other than Markus, who has better German beer everyday, enjoyed our beer. We didn't really stay out late, and we soon headed home.

Eric had previously purchased a French? Maybe Spanish board game called Tasso, and so we cracked that out and played a few games of it. It was pretty fun actually, and it was a nice ending to the night.
Eric, Todd, and Chris B. had to go to the EUSES meeting the next day so we didn't stay up that late. And thus ended the last day of the conference.

The Conference: Day 2

And we're back! So as I mentioned Eric was going to be presenting on the second day of the conference, in the first session. Markus was also presenting (first overall) the paper that I did with him and Martin. I was actually a bit nervous for Markus' presentation since I was worried about the questions that he might get and basically didn't like not having any control over how to answer things or how the presentation would go.

So Eric got up really early and wanted to leave early for the conference. It started on Day 2 at about 9:50 and we left at about 8, so way early. Sadly we didn't have any breakfast food, but Eric downed a baguette that he saved/stole from the cafeteria during lunch the previous day. Chris B. and I both went with him, but we peeled off and went to get breakfast at a nearby little restaurant near the conference. We had a pretty good Spanish Omelet, so that was nice.

When we showed up, Eric was practicing before hand:

There was no way I could do that. I guess everyone prepares for talks in their own way, but I have always preferred to not think about it day of. I practice the day before or something, but doing it right before is just too much for me.

Anyway, the time soon came for the session to start. Here are the three presenters for the morning. The third guy is Jacome, who came to OSU last year to work with Martin. Coincidentally, he ended up writing a paper with Martin and was presenting it. That meant that all three presentations during this session where going to be papers that Martin was co-author on.

So, first up was Markus. Here is is setting up. I foolishly sat too far away to get really good pictures, and I didn't really want to use the flash... so the quality is not all that great, as I am sure you all noticed from the pictures yesterday.
Markus' presentation went really well I think, his introduction was really stellar and he did a good job presenting our work favorably, despite some shortcomings that both of us were aware of. He got a few questions, the one contentious one, and one to be expected was about why we thought our tool presented the data in a better way than other tools out there. He did a good job handling that one.

As I mentioned I was nervous for Markus', but I was also oddly a little nervous for Eric's, so I didn't take notes for any of these. Jacome went after Markus, and then it was time for Eric:

Eric's presentation went well and he got a lot of question. Maybe the most so far? I don't know. DANG! I should have kept track of the questions each presentation got.

A lot of the questions were about philosophers and why the stuff he was doing was useful, which seemed pretty odd. At the break he was surrounded by professors and they debated about philosophy and it was all a little surreal. But it seemed like at the very least he had created a lot of discussion and so that was good to see.

The next session of the day was about graphs and model transformers and these kinds of sessions are hard for me to pay attention too... but I tried. I wasn't all that successful and ended up watching Markus play poker a little too much.

Then it was time for lunch. As an example of the stuff that we had here is a picture of our meal, this is Eric's and the thing on the left is rice with tomato sauce and an egg. Eric claims that he and Allison eat this all the time, which seems... interesting.. not sure I could do that a lot. The plate on the right is a slab of ham and potatoes, which was pretty good.

The session after lunch was about web programming and was fairly interesting. The first talk was about programming by example and the web. The line I liked best was he put a graph up and was talking about people's programming experience and expertise and it was listed on the scale from amoeba to god, which I found pretty interesting. There are soooo many things in between those two... well at least I assume that there is.

Jill, another OSU grad student, gave her talk during this session and other than having problems getting her computer set up she did really well. She had to use another presenter's computer as the two tech guys who loudly clomped down the stairs couldn't figure it out. She talked a lot about self efficacy, which I then had to explain to Markus, as I guess that word doesn't translate to German.

The final session of the day was a lot about graphing and how to improve them, etc. This was very very poorly attended, but we went! and we were rewarded with an awesome presentation, which I will present without comment:

After the conference we headed home and we had a short time to rest/I worked on my presentation. It sucks to be the only person that I know who hasn't finished their presentation. It means that it will be in the back of my mind during the banquet that we have to go to.

We could have gone to the walking tour, which basically just walked around Madrid and explored stuff that we assumed we had already seen, at least Eric and I. So Chris B and Eric and Todd rested and I worked on my slides, trimming them down and going over them in my mind. At this point I haven't really fully practiced, so that is a little disconcerting. And I don't practice before we leave. Which means I get to do it late at night... joy!

So we walked to the banquet and on the way there we got treated to a great street performance by what I can only assume to be Don Quixote and Shakespeare. Although... I guess it would make more sense if it was Don Quixote and Miquel De Cervantes... but .... I wasn't smart enough to think about that until just now....and as Eric says, I wear out my e's and a's but not my backspace key... so it is too late to erase that. Anyway, I had no idea what they were saying, but there was a huge crowd and they seemed be be enjoying it quite a lot.

Anyway, we got to the place where the banquet was supposed to be, but it seemed like we were the only people there. In fact there were like 2 people there. Adam Carter, shown in the picture with Todd and Chris B. below, and Mary Shaw... who didn't seem that into talking to us. We all almost sat together, but then we figured that would be bad, so Eric and I sat at a 6 person table and Todd and Chris B. sat at a 4 person table.

Here I am sitting at our table waiting for people to join us. I am wearing my new shirt, which on the way to dinner, both Eric and Todd said they liked. Then this spurred a conversation about the phrase "I like the cut of your jib" Which Eric had never heard....
Anyway, the food at the banquet was amazing. We got portions of four appetizers. They were:
  1. Crawfish Salad- this was absolutely wonderful. Maybe the best thing that we had all night. Although, since it was first, it was also the only time I wasn't full.
  2. Fried Anchovies - A little salty, but quite good.
  3. Ham Croquettes - Similar to stuff that we have had before
  4. Something..... I think it was Spanish Tortilla, but I really have no idea.... it sort of all blended together
Ah, so we were sitting at a table with Michael Coblenz, who I actually talked to a lot during this conference. He is working on Numbers at Apple and so is interested in the spreadsheet stuff that I am doing. He wouldn't tell me any of the ideas that he had, since he couldn't (or didn't want to) give anything away. He didn't trust me I guess. But it was nice to have someone that was pretty interested in stuff that I was working on.

The other members of our table were Bernie, who has been at the last couple of VL/HCC's and is pretty familiar. He is kind of a jokster or a trickster and is good at getting people to party and have fun, which is a useful skill. With him was John Daughtry... who... was sick and sat next to me >(. I was not happy about that. There was supposedly a sickness sweeping through VL/HCC or at least some of the students and that was not cool at all. He was very obviously sick and I did not like that he sat next to me one bit.

The final member was Sandra Fan, who studies at UW and did some work with board games and online content. Eric loved talking about this and told her about which is one of Eric's favorite site. It was actually crazy how many people at the conference liked board games. Also cool, she actually did some online game creation using Google Wave, mostly for its forum ability, sadly this was not enough for Google to put that aberration out of it's misery, but I still thought it was cool that someone actually found something useful for it.

For the main choice we got a choice between, Cuttlefish (in their own ink!!!!), codfish, ham, or beef cheeks. Most of the people at our table got the beef cheeks. Eric, always the rebel, got the cuttlefish. Now he had cuttlefish before (in Malaga), but....that did not prepare him for this dish:

Surprisingly, it turned out to taste fine I think... I am skeptical even to this day (a whole 5 days later!). I was so stuffed but the time that the main course came that I wasn't sure that I could eat it. But I managed to... it was tough though..... So I loosened the belt a little bit.

Here Eric is at the banquet... picking at his cuttlefish?

So the banquet ended and people trickled out and soon it was just us and... lots of half empty or mostly full bottles of wine. Of course we could not let this fine wine go to waste could we! of course not. So.......... we drank it. All of it. I am pretty sure that the staff hated us since we were the only table left and we were pretty high on wine... but they were just going to throw it out anyway, and we paid good money to come here (sort of, only if you count the registration fee). So we weren't going to waste it. I wasn't sure that this was the best choice for me since I had a presentation the following day.... but everyone was doing it, and I had already had a few glasses during dinner... so it was hard to resist.

note: I did not mean to drink that much during dinner... but they kept filling up my glass! Even if it wasn't empty! And before I knew it, I had drank a fair amount.

I am not sure how much we finished off, but it was a pretty good amount, we were all very happy. And Stephen (a guy who joined our table to drink), first got candy from the bathroom, which at the time was .... oddly hilarious, then suggested that we all go to lazer karaoke.

On the way home, we actually walked right to the lazer karaoke place, so they all went in, but I... deciding that I should actually practice once before I gave my presentation decided to go home with Chris B. and practice.

So I did that and practiced... I was 4 minutes too long, which was not good. But I also had to take 2 bathroom breaks in the middle of it because of all the water I drank to try and sober up. lol.... Eric and Todd got back at like 2, which was about when I finished practicing and so I went to bed, wondering if I should have practiced more.

Luckily, the wine made it easy to sleep! How did my presentation go???? Tune in Next blog for the exciting conclusion to.... The Conference!!!!

Dun Dun Duhhhhhhh!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Conference: Day 1

So it has been quite a while since I updated this, and for that I am sorry. I wasn't able to post about the first day of the conference since I had to prepare for my presentation as well as go to the conference banquet. The next night was celebratory and so I was up late and so was too tired to blog.

So I figured that I would be able to catch up on Saturday since after walking around Madrid a little I began to feel not so good and then I started feeling really bad and my stomach gave me problems and I just couldn't bring myself to write anything, in fact mostly I was just passed out or laying on my bed all day. Then Sunday was a travel day. So, basically I am begging your forgiveness but this was the earliest that I could write this. So I will split the conference up into the three days, and then lump Saturday and Sunday in one, since Saturday will be interesting to no one.

I also have some stats for the conference, but I think that I will just put those on the last days.

Ok, so the day begins bright and early, especially compared to the wake up times that we have had in Spain. Both Chris B. and Todd are presenting today. So even though we woke up early, Chris B. was still practicing as I got ready.

I look like I am sleep taking this picture, but .... well I have no idea what I am doing, I was tired, Chris B. is going over his slides though, early in the morning.

So then we headed out on our long walk to the train station, well not really long... it was about 10 minutes or so. The conference actually started at ... 9:15, and so we left at about 8. Since there are 4 of us using just one bathroom we all staggered out wakeup times so that we wouldn't all be jostling for the bathroom. Chris B. also made us breakfast which was really great.

Anyway, we get to the conference easily enough, the train ride takes about 20 minutes and the total time is about 45 minutes or so.... the day before the guys had gotten lost trying to get back to the train station so I had expected it to ... be sort of confusing. However, the walk was pretty straightforward.

We checked in and I talked to Chris S. (I know another Chris!), my adviser, about Spain and tapas and all that jazz. He was confused about our failures in trying to get tapas. I explained to him that we were trying to get free tapas, I am not sure that I really explained it all that well though.

So I got checked in very quickly since we were pretty early and I got to check out the free swag, usually one of the funner parts of checking in. However, I already knew what to expect, which was good since otherwise I would have been even more disappointed. Basically, we got a bag full of brochures... which... is not really swag, but more like advertising. I could understand if they had to do that for sponsorship money or something, but it was a little lame.

It sort of reminds me of this scene from the best christmas movie ever:
and since I can't find any video that has the reaction, here is that as well

Luckily, I didn't react like that... otherwise I may have been kicked out of Spain.

So the conference was supposed to start at 9:15, but it ended up starting late, at about 9:30. The first part was just an introduction and they talked about what was going on and then we got a keynote by Ed Chi. I thought the keynote was pretty good, I do have to admit that I didn't really know about Ed Chi much, everyone else seemed to know him before hand and thought he was great... I guess I just don't follow researchers enough.

Picture of the first session (introduction)

So in the room where the presentations are there were only 2 outlets in the whole room.. 2! So Markus and I made sure to sit by one, since it is a valuable resource and perhaps it would allow us to rent out power to people... or else just use it at least.

One of the things we used power for... Markus playing only poker during a talk:

The first group of presentation were about assisting programmers and featured a presentation by Andy Ko, it seemed like his idea was pretty simple but he did a good job presenting it and it looked very useful. The next two presentations were about uhmm... something, (looks at program) I guess a code completion tool and a metric to navigate API's. The API tool looked interesting. The most interesting thing about the Code Completion program was that the presenter gave it while reading from paper notes which... I don't think I have ever seen at a conference, so there are always new and exciting things going on!

Then we had lunch! It was cafeteria food, but it wasn't bad at all, and there was soooo much of it. well... it was a Menu del Dia, which was exciting. I sat with Markus and then Carlos Jenson, a professor at OSU sat with us and talked about Spain and the menu. Then Andy Bagel and Martin sat next to him and we talked about random things like wine importing and vegetarianism in Spain, which I think is next to impossible.

The session after Lunch was the all OSU session and featured Scott, Todd, and Chris B. all presenting there work:

Here is a picture of Scott presenting. He dressed up and even wore a coat!

So here are my notes from Scott's presentation... this might be embarrassing...
Concurrent Programming/Debugging
I like the little spider pictures
Complexity has an effect, so more complex leads to a better score when using diagrams.
Creating diagrams did improve scores
complexity was related to affect
diagram quality related to reasoning ability
looking harder always leads to finding bugs.

The last note was related to a question that asked whether or not Scott thought that the improvement in scores was more based on the fact that when they created the diagrams made the user think more about the problem, which made it easier for them to debug the problem.

I liked Scott's presentation, I thought it was well done and pretty interesting.

Next came Todd:
Again, here are my notes for Todd's presentation:
He should take his hands out of his pocket
He starts out a little nervous, but gets better
His eye contact is better now
Mental Models are stubborn? (Just like normal models?)
Does AutoCoder work for any code set?
runtime is better than logic
Eric asked 2 questions about logic

Basically Todd was presenting a tool that was trying to automatically code uhm... code sets for transcripts and stuff like that.

Last in the OSU group was Chris B. Chris is always a good presenter:

My notes for him are a lot less detailed:
The thing with the properties and related work was really good
no questions :/
ah good, people started asking questions.

Lol... wow those are bad notes, I may need to stop including the notes that I take.

So then we had a break. Oh! So the two breaks during the first day, Eric, Todd, and Chris B. had to stand in the hallway by posters and talk about them if anyone stopped by, so during the breaks I brought them coffee and some of the treats.

The treats were little like croissant, which for the first day I thought was great, but as time went by I got more and more tired of, until by the last day I just couldn't bear to eat them anymore. Some variety would have been really nice... or german pretzels :P

The final session of the day was really interesting. It was about Games and Learning.

The first talk was about seeing if the things people learn about while programming games and be used to created scientific programs. I am not sure that I would have put the focus quite like this. But I think this is really interesting. If people are learning the same kinds of things, then they should obviously be doing whatever interests them. I also thought that I may be able to use this work for something, but I am not positive.

The next couple of talks were good and interesting as well.

So the first day of the conference ended and we headed home. Luckily this time we did not go in the wrong direction, although I did have to argue that my way was better. We went their way. (only because I knew it would eventually get us there)

On the train ride home we talked to this guy Alessio who worked at the university and he gave us a bunch of tips on places that we could go to eat, so that was really cool.

On the way home we again stopped to see the turtles. I don't think that Eric will ever be tired of looking at those turtles:

Right out of the train station we were talking about being hungry and then we walked by this place that Alessio suggested and so we decided that we would stop and try it. So we stopped and got the calamari sandwiches that he recommended... they were ok. Not sure they were worth a recommendation, but they weren't bad.

Todd and Chris B. went out for the night with some people. Eric stayed into Practice and I stayed to finish my slides. Eric didn't end up starting his practicing until like 1 AM... so he got to sleep pretty late, like 2 AM I think. How did he do? That is a story for another Post!