We're scoring and evaluating the LCA2005 abstract submissions now. This is a lot of work.
The proposals look generally very good.
It is very disappointing and frustrating when people put in inadequate abstracts, sometimes just a couple of sentences. Sometimes they sound interesting but without enough information they're always going to lose out to somebody who can explain what they're going to say. Doubly so because the whole point of a seminar is cogent presentation of interesting material, and if you can't do that in a web form why should I trust you with an hour of my time?
One common failing is to give a definition of the topic but not say what you're going to talk about. There should be some kind of indication that you'll do more than just tell me the definition.
It doesn't have to be cute. You can be entertaining in your presentation; you can even redraft the abstract later so that it's funny or intruiging in the program but judges looking at 140+ abstracts in a row would rather just have the facts.
Similarly for the presenter biography: I really don't care where you were born or went to school or what you do on the weekend. I might find your hobbies fascinating if we meet at LCA but it's totally irrelevant to choosing the best possible material for our conference. What I want to see is evidence that you know the material, and are experienced at public speaking in English.
The whole point is an assessment of the likely quality and appropriateness of the paper/seminar. Everything should be directed towards helping the judges decide that.
I'm tired and aware this is a bit ranty but it's also dead true.
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