A real highlight of the conference was the workshop on Predicting and Improving Text Readability (PITR). This was a small workshop, with maybe 10-20 people at any one time. During the course of the day I gave both a poster and an oral presentation. The people there were working in very similar areas to mine and I got such valuable feedback on my work, and was able to understand and discuss other people's research with them.
I really enjoyed the conference experience and I will definitely be looking to attend another conference in the forthcoming season (as much as time and funding might allow!). I have some work on automatic thesaurus generation that I am looking to write up and submit to either LREC or EACL. Their submission dates are close together (15th and 18th October respectively), so I will likely submit the same paper to both to increase my odds of acceptance.
The next big hurdle in my academic career is my progression interview on 4th August. According to the supporting documentation:
"The student has been working for 18 months on research. It should be possible at this point to determine whether they are capable of achieving at the research project they are attempting"Which sounds terrifying. I'm currently choosing not to stress about it, whilst they technically have the option to throw me out at this point, the chances of them doing so are very low. I'm required to present a short (1000 word) report and give a 10 minute talk. I already have the talk roughly planned out in my mind, although I've not put any slides together as of yet.