Having a conference presentation is one of the academic activities that PhD students are involved. I have been trying to have at least one presentation at an academic conference each year and actually I like to attend a conference. It is a great opportunity to learn what is new or hot in the field and also to meet people for net working.
Last week, I visited Boston to attend the International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, one of the conferences by the American Association for cancer Research (AACR) to present one of my dissertation projects. To prepare a presentation, I came up with a project idea, designed a study, created a data set, analyzed data, wrote an abstract (and a manuscript), and prepared & printed a poster. I had a poster presentation, which is not an oral presentation, so I stood by a poster on the board and answered questions from people came by. I attended this conference for the first time, but I liked it and would like to return next year. It is much smaller than the AACR main annual meeting, but much focus was on cancer prevention and epidemiology.
After the 3 days in this conference, I attended the other meeting - the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cohort Consortium Annual Meeting. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and this meeting was an opportunity that principle investigators (PIs) of major NCI-sponsored cohort studies discussed about projects using data from multiple studies so that we will be able to have a larger number of study subjects. I accompanied my adviser who was invited to the meeting. It was a great opportunity for me, as a student, to be stimulated.
Since it was my first visit to Boston, I walked around the town with my friend during the off time. We went to a casual seafood restaurant "No Name" right by the pier. Of course, food was good, but the waiter was such an entertainer! He spoke multiple languages including Japanese :) He even treated us a free desert (what a yummy apple pie!) as hospitality, as he said.
Preparing a conference presentation is a lot of work, but having fun in other cities is a bonus for hard-working students, right?!
Perhaps, a lesson for me is taking a comfortable pair of walking shoes to a next conference trip. My legs are still hurting from lots of walking :)