Conference/Abstract Season

November 7th, 2007 by Potato

Well, abstract submission season is in full swing, and it looks like it’s going to be a busy summer for me, with conferences in Toronto (may), Victoria (may), San Diego (june), and Chicago (july august). At least nothing is scheduled for the other side of an ocean, or August the fall (yet). I wonder if I’ll get to stay in a hotel while in Toronto, or if they’ll make me commute (though, do I want to stay in a hotel with someone else, when I could just take the subway and sleep in my own bed?).

Right now I’m deep in the depths of rewriting fatigue. There’s a fine art to submitting the same stuff to different conferences, in rewording things to focus on different aspects of a multidisciplinary project to appeal to the audience of each conference. One, for instance, might be frequented by biologists, and so that aspect of the project should be played up, with a minimal mention of the whole MRI thing. The other one may be a conference just about MRIs, so the biology stuff serves as a background for all the cool things we’re doing with our MRI system. And of course, each one has different word counts, so sometimes things need to be exquisitely trimmed down to just the most succinct of summaries, while other times a more liberal vernacular can be applied. There’s a surprisingly large chasm of difference between a half-page 12-point font abstract, and a full-page 9-point one.

The hardest part to tweak for each is of course, the introduction, since it’s usually completely different for each submission, rather than simply (heavily) tweaked. I’m killing myself on that at the moment, just completely drawing a blank as to how to write the one I’m working on at the moment. It doesn’t help, of course, that I’ve turned my brain to mush with image analysis recently, and the increasingly psychotic effects of sleep deprivation.

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