Friday, March 7, 2008

A Big Brick Wall ...

Well, today it became official, after some speculation after the recent "Games Cruise in CS Education" sponsored by Microsoft ... many who have read here before know the story of Randy Pausch and his "encounter" with a brick wall called cancer (visit here to get Randy's thoughts about this encounter) -- after many weeks of decent news, the brick wall made its presence known; Randy will not be able to deliver his keynote (and SIGCSE Award speech) next Thursday in Portland as we all hoped. I will not even try to guess what it must be like, but suggest you check Randy's Last Lecture for some clues.

However, I would like to think about the brick wall that has been now discovered for SIGCSE 2008 (Note: this is by no means a comparison to the situation for Randy and his family, but I do think Randy would be OK with me viewing this as a wall). Some great people are handling this dynamic situation directly and indirectly, and I feel strongly that this will just be another time for the SIGCSE community to shine.

I have very little experience with brick walls in the direct sense, but even the little experience I do have has demonstrated to me the opportunity for a group to come together, to galvanize bonds and forge news ones. I once heard that adversity does not promote character as much as expose it. I suppose we'll see.

Also, below is the message sent out to the SIGCSE list today, with the news and other information that may be useful to SIGCSE 2008 attendees. Further bulletins will also be posted here and the SIGCSE 2008 Symposium web site, so stay tuned.

Here are just a few last minute updates and reminders for SIGCSE 2008 in Portland, Oregon next week. Up to the minute news will be added to the website and blog.

1) Our Keynote Speaker Randy Pausch is unable to travel cross-country to Portland, due to health issues. Dennis Cosgrove, Project Scientist, and Wanda Dann, Director of the Alice Project, will give a Keynote address on Thursday morning highlighting Randy's contributions to Computer Science Education, including rare footage videos of Randy's work.

2) Getting between the Hilton and other downtown hotels and the Oregon Convention Center.

From the Hilton, walk two blocks to Pioneer Square and take the MAX Rail RED or BLUE eastbound to the Convention Center. MAX drops you off right in front of the convention center.

3) Online registration is closed. You can still register onsite. Registration is at the Oregon Convention Center. Hours are:
  • Wed. Mar 12 3pm-9:30pm
  • Thu. Mar 13 7:30am-4pm
  • Fri. Mar 14 7:30am-5pm
  • Sat. Mar 15 8am-3:30pm
4) The program is available online here:

There are many extra events listed on our web page that are not part of the program:

5) CD Proceedings are included with your registration. There will be a few paper proceedings available at on-site registration for $35 each if you have not prepaid for one.

6) You can still sign up on-site for one of the 35 workshops being offered.

7) There will be free wireless at the convention center Wednesday-Saturday during the conference and extra conference events. Information on how to access the wireless will be in your registration packet. **

We look forward to greeting you in sunny* Portland, Oregon next week.

Susan Rodger and J.D. Dougherty
SIGCSE 2008 Symposium Chairs,

* We did put in an order for sunny weather, but I think ACM forgot to pay that bill... maybe they will still pay it in time....

** JD Note: wireless in the OCC is included in your registration fee; Portland does have wireless through most of the city, I have had decent experience with it downtown (near Hilton), weather permitting.


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