De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Posts in category O.V. Castaneda Villagran

Presenting your master’s thesis at a conference

Recently I presented my thesis at ApacheCon North America in Atlanta. I wrote about my experience in a blog post for Google’s Open Source Blog: 


If you’re interested in presenting your thesis at a conference, i’d highly recommend going for it. It truly is a great experience! There are various opportunities for students. My advise is to become a member of a professional or academic organization. And then look for a conference that is organized every year. Probably you will need to apply at least 6 months or one year in advance. So preparation is key.

In my field, professional and academic organizations include USENIX, ACM, IEEE, among others. But there are also more specific organizations. Furthermore, opportunities for students often include financing. In my case, the airfare and hotel were covered. Plus speaking in public at a conference is great practice for your thesis defense! It has been for me, although I haven’t presented yet. But already I feel more confident knowing I presented in front of 30 people and things went ok.

So if you’re thinking of presenting your thesis at a conference, my advise is go for it! Look online, opportunities are plentiful for those who search for them.

Best of luck! 

Suggestions for attending the EURO conference

This week I attended the 24th European Conference on Operational Research. Still being in Lisbon, where the EURO conference was hosted this year, I have some thoughts, mostly advice for students, on attending such a conference. 

First of all, the conference is huge (close to 3,000 attendees this year). This year there were about 40 parallel streams and sessions that varied greatly in terms of depth into the different subject matters. It is easy to get lost in this conference. So reading the programme beforehand (ie. as soon as it’s posted online) is highly recommended. Furthermore, it is advisable to have a clear idea of your area(s) of interest. For instance choosing one or two topics and attending related talks is good practice.

Second, attending keynotes and plenary sessions is a must. The speakers thoroughly prepare for these sessions and are superstars on the subject matter. This year the plenary sessions featured Professors John Nash Jr. and Harold Kuhn. In fact, I would say in your first visit to the EURO conference, try and stick with the keynotes and plenary sessions. Attend streams but do not get discouraged if you get lost or cannot get to grips with the subject matter. As I said, depth varies significantly in this conference and you have to be aware of this beforehand.

Another tip is to leave time for meeting conference attendees. You will likely be tired after a couple of sessions and meeting someone to chat with for a few minutes is always refreshing. Sometimes it can take courage to walk up to someone, for instance a well-known speaker, but keep in mind that people are usually friendly and will be happy to meet an interested student to talk with for a few minutes. And if you have questions about a session, it is advisable to contact the speaker right after the session for questions offline. Otherwise you might not see him or her again, since the conference only lasts three days.

You might also want to consider attending during the first year of your master’s or final year of your bachelor’s. Perhaps you can gather courage to present your thesis at the conference next time around, for example the year after you first attend. The key is that to present at this conference you do not need to submit a scientific publication, but instead only an abstract of your presentation. This does not mean you will easily get in, but it does mean you have a more accessible hurdle to jump in order to get the chance to present your research at a high caliber conference. In my opinion: definitely worth it! That’s why I will be giving it a shot next year.

And finally, my last piece of advise for attending the EURO, or any other conference for that matter, is to do some well-deserved tourism after each day of the conference and also to make sure and have nice walks and delicious dinners! 

As an end note, the EURO skips a year every three years. So the next conference will be until 2012, it will be hosted in Lithuania. However, there will be an Operations Research conference in Zurich next year. So hopefully see you at OR2011 or the next EURO! 



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