Having arrived in 2018, on the occasion of the 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists, in addition to my own talk on the latest results of my PhD work, I proudly introduced my master student and appreciated collaborator Shirin Esmaeili Bijarsari to the stage of the experimental psychology community. Since I had a lot of encouragement from my academic supervisors back then, I strive to pass the same experience to students under my supervision. She did very well at her poster and received quite encouraging feedback that helped her to proceed in her project. I am even more proud that she immediately performed her next appearence on the scientific stage at the 51st Congress of the German Psychological Society in Frankfurt in September.
Flamenco, Alhambra and great advice
The 2nd International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Granada was the first international conference that I attended since starting my PhD, and this experience particularly increased my confidence in presenting my results at an international stage to a broader audience. Moreover, the conference attendance really fostered the development of my scientific network, particularly during the social events. Such was even more the case within a speed mentoring session, which had been organized by the related society for “Women in Cognitive Science” and took place right before the conference started. All social events were really impressive, since the organizers had put a lot of effort into providing us unforgettable experiences. The welcome reception included a typical flamenco show that was truly amazing, another event comprised an exclusive guided tour through the Alhambra, which usually has a long waiting list for tourists, and the conference dinner took place in the beautiful Alhambra Gardens. In addition to getting familiar with the beauty of these places, during all events I could chat with interesting and important people in my field, discuss my research and get helpful advice that supported me in proceeding within my PhD project.
Organizing a symposium
When contributing to a conference, one possibility besides submitting an individual talk or poster is to organize an entire session, mostly called “symposium” or “work group” or something similar. On the occasion of the 58th Conference of Experimental Psychologists in Heidelberg, I decided to organize my first symposium that covered the topic of “Extending experimental cognitive research with ACT-R”. In addition to my own talk, I had invited former colleagues from Berlin and a colleague from Heidelberg. I also received very kind and encouraging support by Professor Verena Nitsch, who had provided a fascinating guest lecture at CrossWorlds just a few month before.
Starting the stony path of PhD
With 2015, new challenges emerged that involved a quite ambitious application procedure and a relocation from Berlin to Chemnitz, after I successfully got the desired PhD position in the Research Training Group CrossWorlds. Right from the beginning, I was eager to jumped into my research and make progress in my project. To get valuable advice already at this stage, my conference history continued by attending the Summer School Human Factors, organized by colleagues from the chair of Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics at TU Berlin. It was really helpful to present my ideas within a focus group and get feedback from my former academic teachers Professor Manfred Thüring and Professor Dietrich Manzey. As a further highlight, the informal conclusion involved a round of blacklight minigolf.
Before the year ended, I could visit Berlin again for the 11th Berlin Workshop Human-Machine Systems. I also introduced my PhD project there and participated in amazing social events. Most impressive, we did a boat trip at the river Spree while enjoying a traditional Berlin buffet and listening to exciting historical facts.
Entering the scientific stage
The year 2013 turned out to be a really important year for me. Not only did I step into academic teaching as a tutor at the chair of Human Machine-Systems at TU Berlin, but I also gave my scientific debut at the 55th Conference of Experimental Psychologists in Vienna. My first English conference talk addressed the core findings of my bachelor thesis and would not have happenend without the encouragement of my great supervisor Professor Günter Daniel Rey (who would also become my PhD advisor). I still enthuse about the beautiful university building and the marvelous city, thus I am very grateful that I had this option!