FEEDBACK ON THE 3rd (Aerodyne Oct. 2002) AMS USERS' MEETING

This page is part of the Aerosol MS web pages, and is maintained by Jose-Luis Jimenez



BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE FEEDBACK [as interpreted by Jose]
  • There were 41 attendees to the 2002 AMS Users' Meeting. 16 have replied to the feedback questionnaire so far

  • Everyone thought that the meeting was very useful or extremely useful


  • Almost everyone plans to come to next year's users' meeting


  • Almost everyone plans or hopes to come to the AAAR Meeting 2003 in Anaheim (for some people this is contingent on having funding, time, and/or results). That would be the main forum for presenting the results of the different users. However everyone agrees that a selected set of projects should be discussed at the AMS Users' Meeting, since these presentations motivated some of the best discussions.

  • Several people suggest having the AMS Users' Meeting in California (perhaps at Caltech) right after AAAR 2003, rather than having everyone fly accross the country to Massachusetts.

  • The length of the meeting should be kept no longer than 3 days, maybe shorter.

  • It may be a good idea to have a mini-training (e.g. 2 hrs.) for new users before the main meeting starts, in order to bring the new users up to speed.

  • There is support for having more specialized sub-meetings at the end of the main meeting, for those interested in specific topics. This would also allow to make the main meeting a bit shorter.

  • We have to keep better on schedule next year

  • Some users think that making 'live' demonstrations with the instrument on-line did not work well

  • Many people felt that there were too many user presentations of research results, and that it would be impossible to do it that way next year. Some suggestions include:

    • 1) having an 'invited' speaker from each application area present their results and use their question period as a (long) forum to discuss all similar applications (e.g. aircraft experiments, ground experiments...)

    • 2) Inviting speakers that have done something novel with the intrument

    • 3) Having one user collect the work for each application area, and give a summary presentation of the work of all users in that area.

    • 4) Put up a table with all of the projects, and have each user stand up and describe the project and what they learned in a couple of minutes (without slides)



DETAILED COMMENTS FROM THE USERS
  1. What is your overall rating (0: not useful at all to 5: extremely useful) of the AMS users' meeting?

    • This was the most useful meeting I have ever been to (2 people)


    • 5, extremely useful (11 people)


    • 4, very useful (3 people)

  2. What would be the RIGHT DURATION of the next (2003) AMS Users' Meeting from your point of view? (e.g. 2 days, 3 days, 5 days...)

    • 3 days (8 people)


    • 2-3 days (3 people)


    • 2 days + 'special sessions' on the third day about stuff not everyone is interested in (2 people).


    • 2.5 days. Sun, Mon, Tues am. A 1/2 day for travel at the end is very useful. This also means that I only miss one lecture.


    • I think 3 was about right. After that it'd either get counter-productive or people would start having nervous breakdowns.

  3. What TOPICS do you wish we had covered, but we did not? Or what aspects did we cover in TOO LITTLE detail?

    • Nothing (7 people)


    • Good balance. Excellent idea to put the technology topics first and the research presentations later. Sorry that I missed the wrap up.


    • Too novice to talk about this


    • Knowing that there were new users in the meeting as well, I think it was a balanced program.


    • Although this wasn't a training session, I would have benefited from a brief run-through on the analysis software.


    • I think we could have spent more time on hardware stuff like new hardware upgrades/developments.


    • Analysis concepts, application of James code


    • About right I think, we need to involve new users but if the users meetng is to be useful we really need to spend time tackling the issues that we are all facing


    • Typical problems about machine when in the field measurement. Things to do and not to do, and how to recover if things go bad.

  4. What TOPICS (e.g. hardware upgrades, analysis software, user presentations...) did we cover in TOO MUCH detail?

    • Nothing (3 people)


    • Too many user presentations of their research projects (4 people)


    • The presentations may have contained too much detail - especially if we are considering that there will be a much larger group next year. Perhaps the individual group reports on research could be focused more on the specific problems/solutions that they encountered with the instrument or unusual uses of it?


    • Perhaps hardware updgrades. The precise details of the fragmentation table were too much for this meeting, or perhaps they could be presented in a different manner rather than using the table itself. Also some of the more specific applications, although all very interesting, were less useful than some of the issues that cut across all users - such as how to interpret internal vs external mixing.


    • The only bad presentations were the ones that tried to do live hardware or software demonstrations. It's actually more difficult to do a good live demonstration than to make a PowerPoint presentation with screen shots. And I don't think that the _very_ latest (i.e. night before the presentation) updates should be covered except as 'future work'.


    • I think some basic operational procedures were repetitive for those who have used the instrument. (like how to do mult-calibration or mass-calib or follow the worksheet...). On the other hand, maybe it was necessary to cover them for the new users.


    • Too much time on fragmentation table as a large group.


    • The discussion about the correction factors/mass concentration calculation was a little lengthy. I think it was very (!) useful and important, but maybe not everybody was interested in it in that much detail. Especially when the AMS community grows, discussions like this are probably not possible anymore with all people.


    • Differences among each machine and each version of software.

  5. What ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS (e.g. length, organization of presentations, etc.) of the meeting did you find MOST USEFUL?

    • Organizing presentations into related groups was useful for continuity (3 people).


    • not sure exactly what is meant by this. overall i thought that the organization was good, although there may have been some overlapping.


    • Good location. Group dinners were great. Box lunches also good. Nice to have internet access, though I didn't try it.


    • It was good to cover technical issues first before going to presentations.


    • I thought everything was well done.


    • I think the length of the meeting was just fine. I think the organization of the meeting was very good!


    • It was good to give each speaker a fixed time frame. Good to fix the ending time (by booking a table in restaurant).


    • Balzers/Pfeiffer attendance following hardware upgrade discussion


    • Being a new user, I found topics on technique issues and "Best practice" AMS operating procedures are most useful


    • The time allowed to simply mingle and chat. And the free coffee.


    • I think it was very useful to not constrain the discussions at the end of the presentations. Some presentations generated more questions & debate, and some of the most interesting conversations happened at that point. However we need to reduce the number of presentations, because otherwise the overflowing presentations eat away all of our time and we all get very tired.

    • The length, and also the fact that every one has enough time to do his or her presentation even though the time schedule was nor respected.

  6. What ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS of the meeting did you find LEAST USEFUL?

    • Nothing (8 people)


    • Need to keep better on schedule. Let's hope that the AMS results are more accurate than the meeting times ;)


    • Speakers did not keep to schedule


    • Scheduling of "buffer time" that was really not available due to inability to adhere to the schedule. I had hoped to talk with more people but was unable to (including you!). Also, the meeting went too long into the evening interfering with dinner, I get tired these days.....


    • You are too gentle to ask this.


    • On the 2nd day that we were talking about the technical issues, there were a lot of things that needed to be discussed and we really couldn't go any slower, but I think it was a bit long and tiring. Maybe next year, if the basic topics aren't covered, we'll have less to discuss and can afford to go slower.


    • Some of the intro stuff for new users but its necessary to maintain inclusivity

  7. Do you have any SUGGESTIONS for the organization of next year's meeting?

    • Let's encourage the users to present their results at AAAR conference and not to repeat their talk on the users meeting (5 people).

    • We should collect the AAAR presentations on the web page.


    • I'm not sure what would be a better way to do this (maybe there isn't) but it seemed to me that some of the updates at the beginning of the meeting came too soon in the program.


    • Making demonstrations 'live' is counter productive, so the meeting could be anywhere next year. It would be better to have it on the same coast or general region as AAAR to reduce travel time and expense. If Anaheim is too expensive, how about Caltech, ASU, or Boulder?


    • [Someone from Japan]: Is it possible to have AMS users meeting at California? It would save my time and cost.


    • Maybe we could have the meeting in California. This will save everyone a lot of travel time and money, since we will all be there after the AAAR meeting anyway. Caltech could be a definite posibility, it's just 40 miles from the location of the AAAR meeting, they should be able to host us for free (since they would save their own travel costs and more of their people could attend), and they have an reasonably state-of-the-art AMS that could be used for demos if needed

    • I think its a good idea to have lots of buffer time as was done in this years meeting - it leaves room for discussion which was quite useful this year.


    • May be split it in a part everybody is interested in and a part for specialists - possibly not every USER is interested in details how James' Program has to be further developed and other very special things. - This is especially true, if the community is growing and people who mainly want to use the instrument and not develop it are joining the group.


    • Summarize users' talks under main topics like aircraft/clouds/urban studies/exhaust/lab work etc... let one "topic speaker" give these summaries


    • most people were unable to meet the 10 min presentation limit for presenting their work. We could just put up a table which summarizes what everyone is doing and each person could say in a few words (without the projector) what the key finding/issue is). We could stop here or as a group we could decide which selected topics (no all) we want to hear more of. All persons should come prepared with a presentation to discuss their work.


    • The classification of the scientific presentations at this year's meeting was nice but the presentations could be more condensed and targeted for the next year's meeting. In my opinion, since this meeting is targeted for the AMS users, in addition to reporting scientific results and findings, presentations need to more or less focus on technical issues, which are usually not elaborated when presenting at a scientific conference. From my point of view, I like to hear people explicitly discuss 1) what's new about their application with the AMS; 2) how did the AMS perform; 3) are there any precautions with using the AMS for this given study; 4) what problems did they encounter during the study and what approaches did they (are they going to) take to solve the problems; 5) some novel approaches for data analysis and interpretation; and so on.


    • Next year we cannot possibly have each participant tell us all what they have been doing with their AMS it would take far too long. To reiterate my suggeston at the meeting. We should group activities into research output areas: say urban measurements, aircraft measurements, , remote measurements, laboratory studies, aerosol-cloud interactions, Eddy correlation etc, nominate a rapporteur for each area and ask individuals to synthesise and summarise the activities of those interested n each of these areas.


    • Add some time for general discussion, because the agenda was so packed we ended up going from hotel to our meeting chairs, eating there, listening to the pm talks and going to the restaurant. his was necessary but left little time for interaction esp. with people you had not yet met.


    • Try and make sure that people stick to their times better when presenting their own research.


    • Joint paper issue;We have not got our machine yet, so we do not have any results yet. UMIST and your group are miles ahead of the beginners like us. Please remember that each group is in the different stage though we are in the same AMS user group.The purpose of the paper is not clear to me. Compilation of the results or study the indirect efect of aerosol with the inclusion of model people?


    • I think it would be good idea to start next year's meeting with a mini-training for the new users attending. E.g., they could meet for training 8-10 AM, and then the main meeting would start at 10 AM. That may allow them to follow the main meeting better.

    • Keep it the same

    • I really think that the presentation of research results led to some of the more interesting discussions - we talked about applying James's software and other techniques to real data and some useful lessons/ideas emerged. So, we should have _some_ research results at these meetings. Maybe limit presentations to _one_ slide since we're all pretty familiar with background/motivation etc.

  8. If Aerodyne provided regular 3-5 day long TRAININGS on the AMS for NEW USERS, would you (or new users from your group) be likely to attend?

    • Yes (1 person)


    • I wouldn't, but I would send a new user to attend it (2 people).


    • Probably not (2 people)


    • I would not attend, however I think that it would be extremely useful for a new user to have a training session available. The Users meeting does not seem like a good place to try and learn about the instrument or software for the first time. Then, everyone who attends the user's meeting would be mostly on the same page as far as knowledge of the instrument and software.


    • It depends on the content of the training compared with the manuals. Many new users will be 1st or 2nd year grad students who can't get away from classes and quals until the summer. I'd prefer Aerodyne to spend the time on an excellent manual (already in progress) so students could learn in the lab at their own pace. This would also be much less expensive for everyone. Also, based on my own (bad) experience, not every grad student is suited to running the AMS. I will only invest in training students at Aerodyne who have demonstrated interest and aptitude in the lab. That said, time at Aerodyne to disassemble, calibrate, and trouble shoot AMSs is invaluable to keeping the instruments going in the field. So, I recommend small group training for intermediate users who already know the principles and have operated a running AMS. This would involve hands-on training to take apart, reassemble, and calibrate an AMS. My guess is that a student:AMS ratio of 4:1 would be the maximum effective ratio.


    • Not me, assuming on the the instrument we have now.


    • If [my advisors] get any new students, I'll encourage them to go.


    • No. But if there was training on Igor I would be interested.


    • [A person from Aerodyne]: I think this sort of thing will only work if we have a steady stream of orders. We would need instruments in house and as ARIs goal is to deliver them rather than keep them around (available for a training session) it will be difficult to schedule.


    • It depends, possibly if I have costs etc I can write it into student costs when they begin their study, if thats the case I would


    • From Japan, it would be very difficult to join the training due the expense of time and cost though I agree that it would be very useful.
  9. We decided that AAAR will be the place where users are expected to present their scientific results, before the AMS Users' meeting. It is clear from discussions at the AMS Users' meeting, as well as from the feedback replies that I have gotten so far, that presenting most of the results ONLY at AAAR will be the only way to go. Thus most of the results from the different groups will NOT be presented at the AMS Users' Meeting. Still, I realize that attending AAAR is a significant time commitment and expense, so I wanted to ask the following two questions:

    Are you (and people from your group, please give me an estimated number) likely to attend AAAR 2003? (Anaheim, California, near Disneyland)

    • Yes (2 attendees from my group)

    • Yes (2-3 attendees from my group)

    • Yes (2-5 attendees from my group)

    • Most likely

    • Probably

    • Don't know yet, but I hope so


    • God knows, somewhere between 1 and 4 attendees from my group.


    • I would like to go to AAAR if I obtain any results. We do not know it until next summer.


    • Probably just me.
  10. AAAR may want to invite me [= Jose] to present a Aerosol MS tutorial again, but they are not sure whether enough people will sign up if I do it in 2003, given that I did it in 2002. In that context, would you (and people from your group) attend a (greatly improved ;-) Aerosol MS tutorial at AAAR 2003, if it was offered?

    • Yes, 1-3 attendees from my group


    • Yes, I guess 1-3 attendees.


    • I think if it's gonna be different than this year's, I'll come:)


    • Although I would like it very much to attend the tutorial, it is likely that I might have the chance to see the rehearsal :)


    • Probably yes, if I can go to AAAR (2 people)


    • Great go for it, if we have someone who has not yet seen it I will strongly recommend they attend if they're at the AAAR.


    • Depends on how much it cost and if it clashed with anything. It was a very good tutorial, but would it be worth seeing twice?


    • Maybe


    • Yes, if I attend the meeting

    • I'd send a student to this if one went to AAAR.

  11. Any other COMMENTS that you want to add?

    • Thank you to Manjula and Jose for a well organized and fruitful users meeting (8 people with more or less similar wording).


    • Doctor Ji, thank you again for organizing it. It was really a great meeting ;)


    • Great Job !!!


    • I volunteer to take the notes again.