My experience at WITS and ICIS 2006. It was the first time when I went to any conference and it was a great experience. I attended a good number of papers presented in Econ IS track of ICIS and some presentations in WITS. I met many people and it was good to talk to them. Reading some big names on a paper is one thing, but when you meet and talk to them, then it is totally different experience. For example I met some well known people of our field – Prabuddha De, Vijay Mookerjee, Ramayya Krishnan.
I also met Yong Tan. I was looking forward to meet him from a long time. I bet he is going to be one the greatest researchers in our field. I used to think that it will be tough to get a mentor like Eric Walden but Yong proved me wrong. Meeting Eric after two years was good. At first I did not recognize him due to his changed hair style. He is still the same good old mentor- always encouraging and considerate. I, Param, Vishal and Nitin went to dinner with Eric.
Besides Yong and Eric, it was fun to talk to other faculty at University of Washington and University of Texas at Dallas. To name few people from UW- Ming Fan, Subodha Kumar, Anjana Susarla, Arvind Tripathi and few people from UTD- Vijay Mookerjee, Radha Mookerjee, Zhiqiang Zheng, Wei Yue. Ming is enthusiastic and nice. The best part in him is his friendly smile. Subodha has a good sense of humor and always have some joke to crack. Arvind, an alumni of my university, was very friendly. Few people from other places whom I enjoyed talking:
- Akhil Kumar from Penn State
- Karthik Kannan from Purdue
- Gautam Pant from Utah
- Yonghua Ji, Ray Patterson, Ofer Arazy from Univ. of Alberta
- Marshall Van Alstyne from MIT and BU
- Ramayya Krishnan from CMU
- Gurpreet Dhillon from Virginia Commonwealth
- Alok Gupta from Minnesota
- Andrew Burton-Jones from UBC
- Sinan Aral from NYU
Andrew Burton-Jones won the best dissertation award of ICIS 2006 and was also the chair of the session in which I presented at WITS. Sinan, Marshall and Brynjolfsson won the best paper award at ICIS. Marshall was very generous in releasing some of their proprietary softwares to the research community. He later explained to me that the software was used to get e-mails from company’s server without data loss and the software was also capable of masking the messages for privacy.
People whom I met but did not get the chance to talk much are:
- Prabuddha De, Alok Chaturvedi from Purdue
- Sumit Sarkar, Varghese Jacob, Indranil Bardharn from UTD
- Balaji Padmanabhan, Kartik Hosanagar from Wharton
- Michael D. Smith, Rahul Telang from CMU
- Amit Basu from SMU
- Anindya Ghose from NYU
The biggest fun of the conference was to hang out with old buddies Param and Vishal Middha. I also got to meet two of my undergrad classmates- Raveesh and Tejinder. Tejinder lives with his wife in Milwaukee and they hosted a dinner for me, Param and Vishal.
Overall, I spent a lot of money in attending the two conferences, but I feel it was money worth spent.