This year is my first time attending the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) annual conference as a non-student, since I graduated in December 2016. No more student registration discount, no more student volunteer position, and no more student travel fund; so sad :(. Fortunately, my postdoc salary is enough to support me now. ;)
This is my first time presenting two posters at the same time. Luckily, they were next to each other.
This was also my first time attending the "Posters with Fellow". My Ph.D. advisor Dr. Doug Gillan told me about this in previous years, but I was either not aware of it or too busy attending other talks or preparing my presentations. This year, my own posters were done early, and indeed being a postdoc was less anxious than being a doctoral student. So I had checked the conference program before I arrived and scheduled this session into my agenda. Normally, it is hard to have a chance to talk to these experts due to lack of a reason, busy schedule, and not recognizing the faces though knowing the names. It was such a great educational opportunity to talk to these experts face-to-face, and tens of fellows were waiting to talk to us/me. What an privilege and honor! There was so much to learn from them. One hour was just too short.
My first time being a session chair was fun. I chaired the CE14 Perception and Effort on Performance session. It was fun interacting with speakers and the audience. I learned so much more by reading their papers ahead of time, and my position allowed to ask as many questions as I wanted and it was appropriate. The audience also asked many good questions. Asking good questions is a really important skill.
I also attended the "Women in Human Factors" social event and "Mentoring" program for the first time, as well as the "past president talk." The technical talks were highly relevant to my research interests. I did feel that people in the Human Factors society are very human-centered and user friendly. They have tried all kinds of ways to meet the participants' social, logistics, and educational needs, and they turned out quite effective. I enjoyed the conference a lot.