June is a month that is dominated by conference travel for me, with three of my favorite conferences all typically happening back-to-back. The third (and final) of these this year was Stochastic Networks. The little one at home prevented me from being able to join for the whole conference, but I was happy to be able to come for the first two days.
Stochastic Networks is an applied probability conference that is the type of event that doesn’t happen often enough in computer science. Basically, it consists of 20-25 invited hour-long talks over a week. The talks are mostly senior folks with a few junior folks thrown in, and are of an extremely high quality. And, if you do the math, that makes an average of 4-5 talks per day, which means that the days leave a lot of time for conversation and interaction. Because of the quality of the speakers, there are still lots of folks that attend even if they aren’t presenting (which makes for somewhere around a 100+ person audience, I’d guess), so it becomes a very productive event, both in terms of working with current collaborators and in terms of starting up new projects.