Cal Berkeley EECS professor David Patterson did a great job this year organizing Berkeley’s EECS Annual Research Symposium on Thursday, February 23rd.
B.E.A.R.S. used to always be held in a theater in an engineering building on campus, however last year it was moved to International House to accomodate more people. But it was crowded and dark in there, and not a good fit.
This year, B.E.A.R.S. was held in Pauley Ballroom instead, atop the Student Union next to Sproul Plaza, and between great weather and plentiful refreshments, the audience of about 400 people seemed happier than ever to be there.
Good vibes in 2012 could also be attributed to Patterson’s choice of presenters, and the time allotted to each. Instead of the usual 10+ professors, each with 20 or 30 minutes to describe their research (academics who’ve consistently felt entitled to run long), Patterson limited faculty speakers this year to just 3. Each of them spoke succinctly and, miracle of miracles, stayed within their allotted time.
Hence, the fourth and final part of the 2012 program started on schedule, and consisted of 11 grad students talking for 5 minutes each about their respective research and labs. It was great – totally enjoyable and informative.