I had a great time, but I did come to the strong realization that what I view as important is distinctly different from what the typical ENAR attendee views as important. (Rafa said, incredulously, “You knew that already!”)
Let me tell you about the high- and lowlights, for me.
Having lunch with Hopkins Biostat students.
Hadley Wickham’s ggplot2 tutorial, in which I really learned how to teach. (Can I put it into practice?)
Matthew Stephens’s talk, and spending time with him.
Jeff Morris’s orientation to Epcot.
They should have emphasized the cheaper shuttle from the airport (vs taxi); the information was hard to find.
They should have emphasized that wifi was actually free; ignore the \$14.95/day charge as it gets waived from your bill.
Registration on Sunday closed early, so many at the poster session were without name badges.
The program guide PDF should have had bookmarks, and the schedule should have included links to the abstracts.
Realism regarding the start time for the President’s invited address. But I guess if we knew the awards ceremony would take not 15 min but 45, everyone would skipped.
The venue was too isolated.
The hotel was too expensive.
The \$85 admission to Epcot was a required part of the registration fee (23%). The registration fee (\$365) was the same as for ENAR 2012 in Washington DC, but it could have been \$280. And there’s a striking difference between “It’s free!” and “You already paid for it!”
The lighting in meeting rooms was not great. We needed a ladder and a can of spray paint to “turn off” those lights shining on the screen.
As I said at the beginning, I had a good time. But I worry particularly about accessibility to students paying their own way.
It was a really useful and inspirational meeting, right up there with the UseR 2011 meeting in the UK, but less from talks and more from individual interactions.