My Time at the 2018 APS March Meeting

This is a quick update from my trip to the 2018 APS March Meeting in Los Angeles, California at the beginning of March. I felt like I learned many lessons from my trip to the 2017 APS March Meeting and was able to apply them here. Chief among them, I realized that a large part of this conference is networking, whether that involves the formation of new relationships or the maintenance of old ones, so I got to enjoy myself more in meeting with old friends and collaborators and making some new connections as well; that also meant that I focused more on going to talks of immediate relevance to my research interests as well as my friends' talks to show them support, and I didn't worry about trying to fill each day by attending talks and sessions like I did last year. I was able to present my work this time too: I presented a model for vibrational contributions to radiative heat transfer and van der Waals interactions among molecules, along with interesting results in specific systems. This was in a session that included people from both the microscopic van der Waals and macroscopic Casimir communities, and while I was the only one who discussed heat transfer per se, I did get to see a nice mixture of the two communities, and some interesting discussions did come out of that. Overall, I had a great time, but I do think that as I progress further in my graduate research career, it may be good to not only continue to attend the APS March Meeting in the future but look into more specialized conferences too.