I was at a very nice one-day local conference at Michigan yesterday that aimed to bring together folks in education, economics and statistics doing research on education. It was, I thought, a great success. I continue to be impressed with the high quality of Michigan's faculty outside of economics.
The thing that I want to rant about, though, is people who sit and type away on their laptops during conference presentations. During one presentation - by someone the university is trying to hire (!) - about 1/4 of the audience was typing away. What could be ruder than this? I do not have in mind here people who are actually taking notes, but in my experience of looking over shoulders at this and other conferences, the note-takers are typically a very small minority.
My view is, if you want to check your email, take your laptop and go outside. If you do not want to be at the conference but think you should be, then either tough it out and show up and pay attention or stay in your office and work. Doing work at the conference just imposes a distraction on those who do want to be there and is rude to the speaker.
It's really quite easy.
1 year ago