The 11th BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was held just before Easter, at the University of Sheffield with support from Sheffield Hallam University. Regular followers of this blog will know that the day has a well-defined format, with student posters, speakers, a panel on computing careers, and a social at the end of the day. We also have a cake sponsor, so we also have too much cake.
This was the first colloquium since I started the conference in 2008 where I wasn’t in some sense the conference chair. Cardiff, in 2010, was chaired by Miki Burgess (and I didn’t even make it to the event), but I was still involved in the financial side and the lineup. This year, I handed over properly to Helen Miles and was officially just deputy chair. We had two excellent local chairs in Heidi Christensen (tUoS) and Deborah Adshed (SHU), and our long-term supporter Amanda Clare came to lend a hand too. But Helen was in charge.
Any worries I might have had about the running of the event evaporated on arrival. Due to some bad fog in Aberystwyth I set off much later than anticipated (not wanting to drive with zero visibility), and then we got lost in Stockport just for fun, so I turned up about 4 hours after I had planned to arrive.
On the one hand, whoops!… on the other hand, Heidi, Amanda, Helen and company had managed to do pretty much all the pre-event stuff without me. Magic.
On the day it was actually huge fun helping out without feeling I had to go to every session. So during the afternoon talks I helped tidy up and made sure the sponsors and stallholders knew what was going on, and collected poster contest judging results etc. which helps the day go more smoothly and left Helen to be the figurehead.
Indeed this was, I think, the fourth Lovelace where Helen, Amanda and myself have been on the helper staff together. Between us we are quite good at working out what needs to be done and just getting on with it. To be honest, seeing Helen in the chair was just brilliant. Partly because she did such a great job, and partly because for the first time ever there was someone at the Lovelace more stressed than me (sorry Helen:-).
Here’s me and Helen at the evening social – relaxing at last.