First Day of ECE2011

I am sitting here reflecting on the first day of ECE2011 at University of Salford and feeling slightly dazed to be honest.   Much of the day was taken up with registration, keynotes and panels: and these were very valuable.  Martin Hall situated us in the current UK HE context (more of his ideas here), Glynis Cousins gave us a masterly account of a research project, simultaneously exposing us to a delightfully different approach to research.

The panel session was broad-ranging and participative, tying the ideas of creativity into the current HE context.

However, for me, the highlight of the day was the session I chaired for the last 90 minutes of the day (Paper Session 1 here).  I have worked on the research papers strand of the conference since at least May 2010 (according to dates on my filestore).  Initially I had modest expectations of the quantity and quality of papers we could expect (since this is the first ECE conference where we have called for full papers) but these have been exceeded massively.  Today, the first eight of the 31 full research papers accepted were presented, four in the session I chaired.  The room was full, the presentations were excellent and the discussion was wide-ranging and challenging.

It was a very sweet moment to realise that the quality of the content we had already observed was exceeded by the reality of its performance at the conference.  As my co-editor of the full papers, Moira McLoughlin observed in our editorial “the meaning of conference is ‘meeting for consultation or discussion’ or ‘an exchange of views’ “.  Well, let me tell you, the first paper session had real exchange of views, as I am sure the other five paper sessions do too.

I heard that the Pecha Kucha session went very well so I can retire to bed happy that our authors and delegates have another two days inspiring, being inspired and learning – I know that I will.

Bring on Day 2!