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This is one of the best workshops I have been to. No parallel sessions, long breaks, focused scope so speakers can assume some background, and 45 minutes talks, so we are spared the race over slides that usually occurs in 25 min conference talks. The only minus so far is no blackboard, which is why I stayed in Erice today to prepare the slides for my talk tomorrow instead of going to the tour to Trapani. No complains though. it’s fun walking around in the cobbled streets, there is an awesome view from Venus Castle, and I can’t have enough latte di mondorla.
So, automatic chairing: The clock is ticking, the amount of time left in a talk is visible to both the speaker and the audience on a large screen, and the bell rings a `three min left’ warning, and rings again at the end. All without human intervention. Nobody has to suffer the misfortune of the last speaker in a session, who is usually also the chair. If you have ever been in this position you know what I mean: You are always busy trying to make the first speakers notice that you are holding a piece of paper with the number 5 on it. When they finally can’t pretend not to see it, it’s actually already two minutes after their time, and in addition they give you that shocked and offended look `So your watch is more interesting than my model ?’ You end up feeling bad and not having even the 25 minutes for your own talk.
Oh, and Kudos to Eilon for a general audience presentation in a joint session with the other workshops that take place here, and especially for brave correspondence with a dude from the engineering workshop, who I think was asking about applications of Blackwell & Fergurson to combinatorial optimization and aerodynamics.