Conferences and various things


I’ve just finished a very busy term. It was my first term of proper teaching, which took up a lot more time than I was expecting. It seemed to go well though – I got some very positive feedback from the students, as well as some hilarious comments (“Iron your shirts!!!” being my favourite…).

I’ve also been planning two conferences that we’re holding at York this year. The AVA meeting is in a few weeks time on the 11th April. We’ve got some excellent talks lined up, and have just finalised the program. Also, the BACN meeting is taking place in September, so still plenty of time to submit abstracts for that.

Last week I was up in Glasgow, where I gave a talk in the optometry department at Glasgow Caledonian. I also went to an excellent gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where my old band played a few times about 15 years ago. We saw two bands from the 90s: Republica and Space. It looked like this:

Space at King Tut's

Space at King Tut’s

Other than that, I’ve had a couple of papers out this year, and am working on some more. I’m also anxiously awaiting news of a BBSRC grant proposal I put in back in September. I got some very positive reviews in January, and should hear next month whether it’s been funded. Fingers crossed!

New job, first month


So, at the beginning of the month I started working at York. It’s been a busy few weeks, meeting lots of people and finding out how things work. The department is great, people have been very friendly and welcoming. So far I’ve mostly been walking in to work, and the winter mornings have been (occasionally) lovely:

Mist on the Ouse

Mist on the Ouse

My new computers showed up this week and are nearly set up the way I want them. I managed to install Grace under OSX Mountain Lion, which was rather easier than I was expecting. The lab setup is coming together. I’ve now got two very sturdy Headspot chin rests all the way from Houston and a couple of height adjustable tables are on their way.

Also, excitingly, I ordered a small EEG device (EEG-SMT) from a Bulgarian company called Olimex. It’s a very basic open source design, but should hopefully be good enough for measuring VEPs with. It arrived on Friday, and I’ve managed to stream data from it into Matlab using the USB port (and the Psychtoolbox IOPort command). Working out how to interpret that data might take a little work, and I’ll likely produce a blog post once I’ve cracked it. I think the device has lots of potential if it produces clean enough data, and is easily affordable (at well under £200) for anyone interested.

At the start of this month I went to the EPS meeting in London. It was the first one I’ve been to and I really enjoyed it. There was much more vision on the program than I was expecting, and I met some really interesting people. I’ll definitely start going to more of the meetings and maybe also join the society.

Back from VSS, off to AVA


Last week I was at the VSS conference in Naples, Florida. Went on a boat, met lots of interesting people, and my poster went down well. It was fun!  Here are some photos.

For the first time, I had my poster printed onto fabric by It was great being able to fold it up in my luggage, instead of having to take a poster tube on lots of planes. The print quality is slightly below that of paper, but it’s a small sacrifice for the convenience, and it’s still more than readable. There were lots of other posters printed onto fabric this year, so I think it’s something that’s just about to go mainstream.

I saw lots of interesting birds, and this rather neat grating butterfly:

Something I noticed this year was the number of posters with QR codes. It’s neat – you just scan the code using a smart phone or iPad with a QR reader app, and it downloads a pdf of the poster. I recently upgraded to an iPad 3, which has a camera (unlike my first gen iPad), so I scanned a fair few that way. I’m off to an AVA conference in Cambridge next week, so I decided to include a QR code on my poster, created using Kaywa. It was a bit of a fiddle getting the code on the poster to point to the pdf of the poster, as I had to know the web address in advance of creating the code. Worked though 🙂

Paper accepted


Heard last night that we’ve had a paper accepted at iPerception, which is nice. Should be out in a few weeks, open access.

At the moment I’m working on a poster for a conference next week in Cardiff. Conference review and PDF of poster coming soon.