19 December 2006


It's been a while since I last blogged, and I spent much of that time sitting.  I had the long flight to Amsterdam with little leg room, a three-day conference, the flight back, a fourteen-hour drive from St. Louis to Austin and then drives to and from my brother's graduation ceremony in College Station.

The conference was tons of fun.  My talk went well and it was well received.  I got a few good questions and later several individual compliments on the talk, some from names I know from papers I've read, which was a thrill.  Some of the other presentations were very impressive and a few gave me some research ideas and pointers to other important papers that I look forward to exploring.  More importantly, I put faces to names and hopefully got my name known to the members of this relatively small academic community.  Of course, Amsterdam itself was also a lot of fun.  What a great city to walk around in!

Now I'm finally relaxing in Austin, enjoying Blue Bell ice cream, Belgian chocolate, beer, Layne's chicken fingers and mint M&M's (but not all at once) and feeling at home.  I have many friends I need to call and e-mail, some of whom I've been neglecting for a long time, and I've barely started my Christmas shopping.  I also need to find some time to work on my doctoral research proposal.  But right now I just feel like taking it easy; it's hard enough to get motivated to write a lame blog post.  I'll get to that other stuff soon.

03 December 2006

Dutch psephology

I lost power a few days ago during the recent ice storm in St. Louis and still haven't got it back, so it's a good time to leave town.  I'm flying to Amsterdam tomorrow to attend the 1st International Workshop on Computational Social Choice.  I'll be presenting an original paper on computational aspects of a specific multiwinner voting system.  It's an honor to have a paper accepted to this first conference of its kind; it's a fairly small academic community so I'll be able to meet many of the big names.  "Psephologists" everywhere!  O and my mom are joining me for the trip; we'll have fun exploring the city.

Preparing my presentation has kept me from blogging lately but I'll have more time soon:  A few days after I get back from Amsterdam I leave for Texas to spend the holidays.  It's my favorite time of year.  I can't wait to relax with my family and enjoy some free time.