Alex Thayer is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). He received funding from HCDE to attend the CHI 2012 conference.
CHI 2012 took place in Austin, Texas, May 5–10. This was my second time attending the CHI conference; I went to Vancouver, Canada, for CHI 2011 and I look forward to visiting Paris, France, for CHI 2013 next year.
My CHI 2012 experience was unique in that I co-chaired and organized a workshop on Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology (EIST). This workshop was two days long, which means my CHI experience began before most other attendees. EIST 2012 was a huge success—we had more than 35 attendees and about 30 presentations over two days, and I had the privilege of seeing a wealth of interesting, original research projects.
As for the rest of my conference experience, I realized just how valuable CHI can be from a networking perspective. I met a number of leading researchers and, better yet, had the opportunity to meet with interesting people in the field over meals or drinks. I came away from CHI 2012 with more contacts and more possibilities for future research collaboration. I can't think of any higher praise for a conference than that!