Friday, January 23, 2004

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference - Day 1

During the next three days, I'll be reporting live from the CUTC held in Toronto. (it's an early weekend for me!) Today was day one of the three-day conference. Even though the weather is less than optimal outside with the snowstorm, the attendance on the first day was really high. We filled up the entire ballroom! The day started off with a TechPanel discussing about globalization and how it affects technology innovation. It was really interesting to hear about globalization from a different angle.

The first seminar I attended was about Leadership. Personally there wasn't much to learn, since she talked about the usual qualities of a good leader. However, she brought up a good point regarding the difference between strength and talent. A talent is something you're born with. Strength is actually talent plus knowledge plus skill, therefore, you must keep working on your talent in order to make it your strength.

Lunch was the usual affair, the food was rather tasty for conference food. A featured speaker came and spoke DURING lunch. I barely heard him speak over all the utensils hitting the plates, and people chattering. Why didn't he wait until everybody was finished their meals before speaking!?

The second seminar was supposed to be online job applications and tricks to enhance my chances, but the speaker didn't show up until much later. So I went to the third seminar instead, which dealt with information security. A consultant from PWC showed us how easy it was to retrieve passwords, sniff packets.. etc. Not something that I didn't know already, and he didn't show anything too in-depth about the countermeasures.

The keynote speaker during dinner was very inspiring. It was Nancy Martin, the Operation Manager of GE Global Research in NY. She spoke about research that her team is conducting, and what the technology implies for the 21st century. Everything from renewable energy (hydrogen energy), pulse detonation engines, to molecular medication and cures for cancer. It really gave me an insight as to how the technology that I embrace everyday is useful in everyday life, that it affects people outside of the field also.

I'm going to get some sleep now, as the next two days will be packed with more seminars and keynote speakers!

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