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Student Events Report from IUS 2021

1 week 6 days ago
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Student-Professional Networking at IEEE IUS 2021
Contributed by: Madeleine Hertel & Maryam Basij, IEEE UFFC-S Student Representatives

The Student-Professional Networking event was organized on Tuesday, September 14 during the 2021 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium. This event provided student attendees with the valuable opportunity to meet both academic professors and industry representatives. For students, one frequently-cited benefit of attending an academic conference such as IUS 2021 is the chance to network with professionals and future colleagues and / or employers. With the conference being conducted virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event helped facilitate new connections between students and professionals that would have likely not been otherwise possible.

At the start of the event, the IEEE UFFC-S Ultrasonics Student Representatives welcomed everyone and invited all participants to temporarily edit their display names on Zoom to include either “S -” for “Student” or “P -” for “Professional” to help identify each attendee’s role. A list of conversation starters was also provided to everyone to help spark ideas for discussion, including icebreakers for general introductions, conference-related discussion topics, and career-related discussion topics.

During the event itself, participants were sorted into small breakout rooms of four to six people, with at least one professor or industry member in each breakout room to facilitate conversations in a more comfortable group setting. The random assignment of rooms allowed students to meet and speak with professionals from different fields that they may not have had a chance to meet otherwise and to talk to industry members as well as academic professors. Breakout rooms were randomly reassigned about every 12 minutes so that everyone had a chance to converse within different groups while allowing enough time for substantive conversations.

Student Social at IEEE IUS 2021
Contributed by: Madeleine Hertel & Maryam Basij, IEEE UFFC-S Student Representatives

The two Student Social events were organized on Monday and Wednesday, September 13 and 15 during the 2021 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium in order for the students from all time zones to be able to join the event. This was a casual social event that provided student attendees with a valuable opportunity to meet and get to know their peers on the first day and during the technical sessions. With IUS 2021 being held virtually with a compressed schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it became much harder for students to network as they usually might during an in-person conference; the goal of this event was to facilitate new connections between students that would not be possible otherwise.

At the start of the event, the IEEE UFFC-S Ultrasonics Student Representatives welcomed everyone and provided conversation starters in the form of a list of topics to help prevent any potential awkwardness of virtual conversations with a group of unfamiliar people. The topics highlight the diversity of students attending IUS 2021, and encourage students to discuss their nationality, their research, hobbies, and past experiences.

The first social student event was held on the Gathertown platform and students were assigned to create their own avatar and join us at a certain meeting point (student lounge). Then the topic list was handed out and students were asked to find a seat on a random table and start their conversions with others in their private area. The tables were arranged in a way that a maximum of six students can join into the conversion.

The second Student Social event was held on the Zoom platform and a conference catalyst representative managed the breakout room randomization during the event. In this regard, the participants were randomly assigned to smaller breakout rooms of three to four people per room to facilitate conversations in a more comfortable group setting. The random assignment of rooms allowed students to meet and talk with others from different fields that they may not have had a chance to meet otherwise. Breakout rooms were reassigned every six minutes so that everyone had a chance to converse with different student groups, and to allow attendees to drop in or out of the event as their schedule permitted.

Overall, the event feedback was extremely positive, with all survey respondents indicating afterwards that this kind of event should be offered in future conferences. One attendee noted: “It was nice to meet people from other places. It's my first time for this kind of event and I really enjoyed it.” Another commented: “Interesting, I met several pals and made new friends.”

Meet Your Student Representatives at IEEE IUS 2021
Contributed by: Madeleine Hertel & Maryam Basij, IEEE UFFC-S Student Representatives

The Meet Your Student Representatives was held on Thursday, September 15 during the 2021 International Ultrasonics Symposium. The purpose of this event was to introduce the society and its offers for student volunteers, as well as help students direct their questions about the society to the respective contact person. First, Student Representatives introduced themselves and gave a short overview of the society, student positions within UFFC-S, and how to become a member. Afterwards, presidents Paul Reynolds and Mark Schafer were introduced, and they emphasized the importance of students joining the society. Former and active student representatives shared their experiences within their positions, and the student representative advisor, Andreja Erbes, highlighted some student activities. The event was held in the form of a conversation, led by the student representatives. In the second half of the event, student questions were answered by all hosts taking turns. Questions either came from the chat or through the registration forms submitted prior to the event.