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Post conference blog post by Kelly Shiptoski Wed 1 Aug 2018

This was my first time as a student volunteer at a conference, and I really enjoyed the experience, and plan to do it many times in the future. This experience made me really appreciate how much work and organization goes into a conference. I never realized how many students and other organizers work behind the scenes to make the conference run smoothly. Being a student volunteer made me feel like I actually had an impact on the conference by helping attendees, which in turn allowed them to learn as much as possible from the conference. I also enjoyed the student volunteer experience because I met so many other students. I was the only student from Penn to attend, and so I was able to meet other students from all over the world with varying interests. Some of my conversations helped me understand topics I did not know beforehand, and how different fields could work together with my field to produce research. There were many talks I really enjoyed, and I felt that they were very approachable for someone like me who does not have a lot of experience in either of the fields and is a junior graduate student. I especially liked the ISSTA keynote on Wednesday, because while the speaker talked about his research, he also talked about positive changes that could be made in the research community, and I really appreciated his honesty about the topic. Overall, I loved this experience because I got to meet many veteran researchers and also many students, and I got to learn about the inner workings of how big research conferences operate.