conferences

edmedia conference

2014-06-27 TAMPERE, FINLAND -- My friend and partner Akio Ohnishi and I presented our paper at the EdMedia conference in Tampere, Finland.

We flew in to Helsinki, and then took an IC (intercity) train from Helsinki to Tampere.

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Our car was double-decker brand-new model with a ravintola (restaurant) on the lower deck and passenger seats on the upper deck.

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The restaurant on the lower deck has a dish washer (wow), and seating areas separated to accommodate multiple groups.

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The mezzanine has its own vending corner. This area is above a dolly. On the opposite end of the car, the same area has doors that open onto the station platform.

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Passenger seating on the upper deck is arranged in a 2+1 configuration, with some double seats permanently facing each other.

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The single seats face the window. I’m sure Japanese would call these bocchi-seki. The locals use them to get work done. Lots of table space and elbow room.

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There is a conference room at the end of the car. They say you can give presentations here. Great idea!

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IC trains cover the 187 km in 120 minutes. Pendolino trains (designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro) take only 90 minutes but their cars are older.

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You can reserve and choose seats online. The earlier you pay, the less you pay.

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Unlike German trains which require hardcopies of tickets, Finland’s VR national train system allows you to show your electronic tickets on your laptop or mobile device.

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WiFi is free, albeit slightly slow. Akio tracked our train’s progress over a beer.

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Tampere is perhaps best known for the Muumilaakso (Moomin Museum). This is an art museum for serious adults. Children should probably visit Muumimaailma (Moomin World theme park) in Naantali, Finland, about 3 hours away.

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There are 3 spots where you can take pictures. I was ecstatic with meeting Muumimamman (Moomin Mama). The white sticker between my eyes is the entry ticket to the museum.

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The conference was held at the University of Tampere. We prefer poster sessions because they allow more interaction with our audience. I used to think lectures were more prestigious. Only if it’s a keynote! Innovative stuff shows up in posters.

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Akio and I set up our poster way ahead of time.

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Akio showed a looped video of our online learning experiences. We also used the campus WiFi to demonstrate Glexa using our computer servers at Hokudai. We gave out handouts. They were all gone in 2 hours!

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Our next-door neighbor was a MS student who analyzed communications among health care professionals at a emergency care facility in northern Finland. I enjoyed learning about applications I didn’t know about.

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Our paper was among the 12 selected from about 400 papers to receive an outstanding paper award. Thank you, our students and colleagues!

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conference and dinner


2012-09-11 PORTLAND, OREGON -- 11 years ago Noriko and I were stranded first in Copenhagen and then in Amsterdam because America closed its borders due to terrorist attacks. Today was a pleasant day. First our colleagues and I gave a poster presentation at a speech science conference in Portland, Oregon. Afterwards we had dinner 2 blocks away at the South Park restaurant.