SPIE Microlithography Conference, Day 4 (Thursday night)

Monday night and Thursday night are the poster sessions. But these are unlike any other poster sessions I have seen – monstrous rows of cork boards crowded with people and information stretching as far as the unaided eye can see. You’d think with two and a half hours I could see all of them, but that is just not possible. I gave up many years ago trying to read even some of them. Now I move as quickly as I can just scanning the title and content. If it looks remotely interesting, I give the author a card and ask for a preprint – then I move on.
The problem is that my mean free path is too small. I keep running into people I know, stopping to say hi and talk about a paper or exchange company gossip. Only by rudely professing a preference for posters over people can I carry on with my journey. At least the beer selection for my two drink tickets has improved over the years – not just bud or bud light any more. Somehow that makes everything just a little more manageable.

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