FEEDBACK ON THE 5th (Georgia Tech, Oct. 2004) AMS USERS' MEETING

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



Brief Summary of the Feedback (by Jose)
  • RESPONSES: 32 people who attended the meeting replied to the feedback questionnaire. This represents a ~60% response rate from the ~55 users that attended the meeting. 2 people who did not attend pitched in on the location issue for next year.

  • OVERALL RATING: 56% gave the meeting a 5/5, 38% a 4/5, and 6% a 3/5.

  • INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER USERS: almost everyone was very happy about the interactions with other users during the meeting.

  • MOST IMPORTANT THING PEOPLE LEARNT: for many people the most important thing was the bounce/CE issue, followed by data analysis software, the analysis of the organics, and getting a general perspective on what is well/not well understood about the AMS.

  • TOPICS COVERED IN TOO LITTLE DETAIL: the topics that more people wanted more detail on were calibrations/corrections/uncertainties/CE. A few other topics were also mentioned (see below).

  • TOPICS COVERED IN TOO MUCH DETAIL: several people mentioned the data analysis tutorial or some aspect of it. The flow rate / airbeam correction and a few other topics were also mentioned here (see below).

  • POSTER SESSIONS: people unanimously liked the poster sessions and thought they should be done again. Several people indicated that there was too little time to see the posters, though several others thought the time was ok.

  • MORE USEFUL ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS: the fact that almost everyone stayed at the same hotels facilitated informal interactions. The wireless internet, and the room for the first two days of the meeting were very appreciated as well.

  • LESS USEFUL ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS: various aspects of Doug's software tutorial were mentioned here (length, lack of organization...). A few other items were also mentioned (see below).

  • INCREASING USER PARTICIPATION: the main suggestions included emphasizing the posters sessions a bit more, or allowing more time for discussions or an "open mike" period. Several people thought that the level of user participation was ok.

  • MEETING FEE FOR 2005: everyone thought that charging a fee for the meeting would be reasonable. Several people indicated that if the fee exceeds $100 it may turn some people away from the meeting, while others thought that $100 would still be cheap.

  • LOCATION FOR 2005:
    • Location, location, location! This is a very important factor for attendance. 14 people (44%) indicated that they are only likely to attend at some location(s), while 11 (34%) indicated that they would attend independently of the location. This is especially important for the students in the various groups.
    • It was basically a tie between EAC and AAAR, with 15 and 16 people favoring each alternative.
    • The least favoured alternative would be to have the meeting in the US but not coupled with AAAR or another major conference: only 8 people liked it vs. 10 people who explicitly said they did not favor it. Many people said that this alternative would reduce attendance.

  • GENERAL PLAN FOR 2005: most people agreed with the proposed plan for next year.

  • SUGGESTIONS FOR 2005: there were a few suggestions, mostly dealing with designing or following the schedule better.

  • OTHER COMMENTS: people were very grateful to Tim and Manjula for the great job they did in organizing the meeting this year.



Summary of the individual responses
  1. What is your OVERALL RATING (0: not useful at all to 5: extremely useful) of the AMS users' meeting?

    • 5 (18 people)
    • 4 (12 people)
    • 3 (2 people)
    • 4 (sorry - for benefit of Jose 4.351567823173251 !!!! - only having fun late at night when I should be home!!!)
    • It is an extremely open forum to discuss the good, bad and ugly.
    • I thought it was very useful, even though I haven't had much experience with the AMS yet. And, it was not "the most boring day of my life", either! : )

  2. How would you describe your INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER AMS USERS during the meeting?

    • Very important and productive. It remains a very nice group.
    • 5
    • 4
    • Informative
    • It was great. As a new user, I learned a lot about the issues from the veterans.
    • Very good.
    • Open exchange of info with others.
    • met a variety of people who i have heard others talk about. Meeting and talking to all these people helped put my work into perspective.
    • Casual and friendly- a very personable bunch
    • Very open and supportive group.
    • Excellent
    • Mostly friendly and casual.
    • Great, the community is full of some really great people.
    • Good, quite a cozy little group.
    • Very helpful
    • Lively exchange of experiences and knowledge; fun to talk to those folks.
    • Quite well.
    • very useful und interesting.
    • Not enough, mainly because we were in another hotel than most of the others...
    • Excellent. Very beneficial to keep in touch.
    • Very useful and informative.
    • Sufficient. The poster session is a good idea to interact with others though time was not enough short. It was a good experience for me to discuss our results with Jose and Pete, sitting side by side. I wish I could have had more discussion with Doug and John since I could seldom see them in face to face
    • Good, if a little disordered.
    • Very positive and a willingness to share useful information.
    • Excellent. Had lots of time to catch up and find out what others are doing.
    • Very relaxed; some discussions on research, with lots of socializing in between!
    • Great!
    • Excellent
    • The AMS users meeting has a very collaborative and interactive feel that I found very valuable.
    • Eveyone I spoke to was very positive and helpful
    • There were good interactions with many users. e.g., SOA (OOA) analysis (Qi), Light scattering (Eben), Tof-AMS (Frank).
    • AMS Users Meeting gives the unique opportunity for all of us to gather and discuss current issues. Interactions are very good. Especially useful are post- meeting discussions when we can have a hands-on approach and talk directly to person / people we are not able to meet with regularly.

  3. What is the most important thing that you learned during the AMS users' meeting?

    • How much things change in this community in 1 year.
    • Who the other users are and what they are up to.
    • The results of recent work about quantification with the AMS (Peter Liu's, Tim Onasch's, Alex's...) and how it all fits together. Also what other users have done with the AMS in the last year, which helps us interpret our results and avoid duplication/competition with what other people are already doing.
    • Additions to James' analysis program. Discussion on collection efficiency, particularly issues related to bounce.
    • Bounce issue, data interpretation re m44 / OAA ratio and partioning of ambient Mass spectruim into two components.
    • Issues with collection efficiency and how different groups were going about tackling the problems.
    • Learning what people have been doing and what the new developments of the technique are.
    • Collection efficiency -> bounce; light scattering probe;POA - OOA; remap tool in JA's program; pressure controlled aircraft inlet; polydisperse mass calibration.
    • Particle bounce and flowrate issues.
    • Qi's method for separating the organic spectra
    • Some of the quarks of James analysis.
    • I feel that I have a better perspective for analyzing our AMS data.
    • Details of various calibrations.
    • Recent understanding of CE.
    • There were several things during the analysis tutorial that were very useful, and I found the hardware updates particularly useful as well.
    • Changes in the data analysis software.
    • How the AB and flow rate corrections affect the data analysis.
    • Software details; most have observed strange things in the collection efficiency; particle bounce is the taking the "bad boy" position which the beam width had last year.
    • The CE is still under the microscope and the jury is still out.
    • That we have to do more measurements to get information about CE.
    • That I'm not the only one who is confused!
    • CE of dried aerosols due to oven bounce very important.
    • Don't eat dodgy food at Atlanta restaurants! To be serious - to catch up on the current leading issues regarding AMS useage and instrumental properties (eg its bounce not dispersion stupid!) to appreciate recent instrument and software developments - and in my case to have a refresher in analysis basics (but this might change by next year).
    • Doug's tutorial. I learned something again and again. Howevr, I sometimes lost my attention when the detailed discussion is going on.
    • We need to be a lot more careful about our volume definitions - and this goes beyond the AMS work.
    • That there is a lot to learn and working as a community allow us to make significant advances much more quickly.
    • What the AMS is good for, what some of its limitations are, and also what the next steps in research will be (there's still a lot of work to be done...and I mean that in a good way!).
    • How to do corrections using James's program.
    • Everything was important.
    • That there is still a lot to learn about how this instrument performs.
    • Particle bouncing issue. I think it is a big improvent of understanding what is going on in the AMS chamber.
    • The most useful was to see AMS community progress.

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

    • None (12 people)
    • ToF-AMS (2 people)
    • We heard/talked a lot of major instrumentation issues / improvements, which are absolutely relevant. But I also think it might be justified to have some time allocated to discussing the science, e.g., brainstorming new applications and present new findings ...
    • Collection efficiencies have been coverd in too little detail.
    • I missed the hardware upgrades lectures!!!
    • I wish we would have discussed the overall errors associated with the AMS measurements in more detail.
    • A bit more about the field projects that the AMS has participated in would be helpful, maybe a discussion of problems experienced and how to most effectively troubleshoot.
    • I think collection efficiency is the biggest issue with the AMS. It would have been interesting to take every campaign or lab study that had a independent mass measurement and review the "history" of CE. At science meetings we want to emphasize the good aspects of our data. The users meeting is a chance to bring out the dirty laundry that we can discuss among ourselves.
    • I thought a reminder on recommended calibration procedures would have been good.
    • I might have missed some more of the operational discussion (especially cals) from the entire group by leaving Monday morning. If not, more of that would be helpful.
    • Future work planned by the various groups.
    • The stability of electron multiplier, and its affect on the results.
    • I would have wished to learn more about HOW the corrections are applied by the analysis tookit, not only which buttons I have to press to apply them.
    • I think more detail, particularly in the TOF data tutorial would have been useful.
    • On the whole most things covered - the important issues in about the right kind of detail. Perhaps more on aircraft deployment issues/technicalities (maybe a subgroup meeting on this), .... (and of course definitely more detailed discussion on precise terminology! - Jose! However, I do appreciate that this is important - and in particular to get it consistently used in our community).
    • I wish I would have had more discussion with some of the typical results in urban, regional and remote site.
    • What people are currently doing research-wise, although that was sort of covered in the poster session.
    • It became clear that the way the calibrations are performed is one of the most important aspects, so perhaps we should have had a longer discussion on the key points during calibrations.
    • I think you covered all the topics I can think of, but I wish you could have spent more time on the work being done on organic aerosols
    • I thought most topics were covered in sufficient detail given the time constraints.
    • Data analysis tutorial by Doug is brilliant. I would cover data analysis slightly differently, and would give a more general description of calibrations / corrections / data analysis. Then, people can ask about the details during free, working time of the meeting.

  5. What TOPICS did we cover in TOO MUCH detail?

    • None (10 people)
    • Some time could have been saved by distributing the tutorial data, pre-loaded into pxp. There is now a lot of overlap between meetings in subsequent years, but I am not sure how to avoid this. Doug's introductory talk the first night confused many. It may have been more useful towards the end of the 2.5 days, rather than at the beginning.
    • When the topic became covered in too much detail, I stopped paying attention, and can't really recall how many times I did that, and what the topics were.
    • Some extra talks on other non AMS issues could be left out.
    • The tutorial dragged on a bit much. I think it is a very useful discussion (esp. as a new user) but I think much more could be fit into the time if the person in charge helped to keep it moving.
    • Doug's tutorial on James Allan's toolbox.
    • Software tutorial.
    • To many side discussions during presentations that took away from the discussion at hand.
    • Doug got bogged down in too much detail on occasion.
    • I thought in the grand scheme of things, the discussion on perfecting non-integer MS stick calculation of James' program was too detailed.
    • Nothing, more detail is better.
    • Good coverage of mostly everything.
    • Not enough time.
    • I think there was too much repeat from the previous year regarding mass calcs in the data tutorial - this can be done very quickly at the beginning of the tutorial and then move onto other things eg. TOF - which has never been taught in any detail, and also examining a couple of different datasets with regard to interpretation.
    • Not sure - its a question of balance - which I think was pretty good.
    • All the topics were well chosen. But I lost my attention to some of the detailed discussion.
    • The whole volume and flow thing (I was partly to blame for that one - sorry).
    • I think things that were bulk of meeting (like data analysis tutorial) were necessary. Although the data analysis tutorial was geared more toward beginners, so maybe compress a little for next year.
    • Mass vs. volume flow rate.
    • We talked a little too long about the flow correction to the AB. This is important-- but someone should have figured it out and set everybody straight instead of us all hashing it out for an hour.
    • There might have been a bit too much time spent going over the fairly basic parts of the data analysis program. I thought the discussion of newer/more advanced features was good, though.
    • Data analysis tutorial. Overall, I think it is very useful for all users. But some topics may not be informative for the users who took part in the users meeting before.
    • Certain parts of data analysis.

  6. What did you think of the POSTER SESSIONS? Were they useful? Should we have them again next year?

    • Yes.
    • Yes, useful. I don't think extra time in afternoon is needed. Lunch and coffee breaks provide enough time, but people should be advised that poster viewing should take place during this time, so that they are available for discussion.
    • I thought the poster sessions were good, but they kept getting postponed, and that took away from their effectiveness.
    • Posters where useful but I found there wasn't a very active poster climate. Suggest poster session occurs during a "happy hour" with refreshments to fuel interaction and discussion.
    • Very useful - esp. for getting to know other users. I don't think there has to be formal poster sessions. I think doing it during lunch and coffee breaks would be sufficient.
    • They were wonderful, but I only went through maybe a quarter of the posters. But I don't really see how possible it will be to lengthen the poster sessions.
    • Yes. They were very useful. Not all users could attend AAAR, and we had no time for users talks at the users meeting.
    • Useful, do it again.
    • I think they were useful, but we need to allow more time for the viewing.
    • Yeah, they were useful.
    • Yes. Some of the posters were also presented orally. I don't think we necessarily needed the later.
    • Very useful.
    • It was good since not everybody has had a chance to see all the AMS presentations/posters during AAAR.
    • The poster sessions were a great idea and should definitely be done again.
    • Yes and Yes.
    • YES! They were very useful! But we could have spent more time discussing them.
    • Yes, but give them the time sceduled!
    • It will be more useful if a e-version of the poster will be available before hand for all the attendants.
    • Unfortunately there was almost no time for poster session Nr. 1. I think it is very useful, especially if there is not much time for every user to discuss his AMS problems.
    • Yes, I think they were useful; it would have been better, if the time schedule for the poster sessions would have been kept more strictly.
    • Very useful, should have them again.
    • I don't often appreciate lots of posters - even at conferences. I think they should remain though - as you can always look at the those that contain the things of interest to you - it also provides a break and something to look at during breaks.
    • Very useful. We should have them again.
    • Yes, but having formal time for them seemed like a bit of an exercise in futility. I got a better look at them when I was having my lunch.
    • Useful and yes.
    • I thought they were very useful and allowed more individual interaction. Should definitely include this next year.
    • I liked the poster sessions a lot. I thought they were very useful, and you should have them next year (maybe just have more time to look at them).
    • I thought the posters were a great idea, since this is how people can find out about what others are doing. We did not have enough time for the poster sessions though, and this was too bad.
    • Useful. Yes for next year poster presentation.
    • Yes. I didn't get to see all the posters at AAAR, so I appreciated another chance to see them at the users meeting. I think a bit more time for poster sessions would be good -- they kind of got squeezed out by schedule over-runs.
    • A great idea. The poster sessions helped to stimulate more in depth conversations about individual group's work.
    • Poster session is very useful, and gives an overview of current progress and work in AMS community. Yes, we should have poster session again next year.

  7. What ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS (e.g. order of topics, location...) of the meeting did you find MOST USEFUL?

    • Everything was fine.
    • Wireless = good. Order of topics was fine, but the schedule was kind of thrown out early on...
    • Location / cost
    • I was happy with everything. I also greatly appreciate the amount of time and efforts Tim and Manjula have put in to organize this meeting.
    • The hotels were perfect and thanks to those who did the work in finding them.
    • That we stayed in the same hotel, could easily walk to the meeting rooms as a group and could meet up after to discuss things.
    • Right after AAAR, and at the same location/city.
    • The way and the order in which we had the discussions made sense and I think it all went very smoothly. It was very nice that we were in a walking distance to the meeting place.
    • If the data tutorial had been done initially (with perhaps an overview and some more background information), it could have helped those of who are not advanced AMS users to better follow the more advanced discussions. The focused presentations for Sunday and Monday on specific issues were an excellent way to go.
    • Location was good; close to hotel and on college campus with lots of facilities and wireless.
    • Having the meeting close to the hotel, healthy food available at the meeting, plenty of space for people in the auditorium and for posters in the atrium.
    • Having software in the beginning rather than in the end of the meeting was very good.
    • The time table is a really good thing.
    • The order of the topics like they should have appeared would have been good...
    • Location of hotel so walking to meeting is very useful. I don't think its necessary to tie the AMS users meeting to a conference.
    • Again found most aspects good this year (as usual). Flexible agenda which is loosely adhered to is good - acts as a guide rather than obstacle - allows discussion to progress along the user defined priority lines - guided by the presenters. Apart from the science aspects... It's always useful to have wifi internet to have instant access to data etc. during meeting. Meeting rooms good. Meeting place was within a reasonable distance of accommodation this year- last day was better of course in terms of closeness (worse in terms on internet). Also better access to pc power this year.
    • Tim organized AMS Mtg very well. One point; we need a wireless connection to internet as long as possible.
    • Staying at the same place was conducive to more interaction and discussions.
    • I thought the meeting was very well organized and included clear directions on where to go and what was going on.
    • I liked the fact that we were all in the same hotel together, and all walked as a group to the meeting places. It allowed for more opportunities to talk with other users, in a more informal atmosphere. I also liked having the software tutorial first thing; it made it easier to understand some things that were discussed later.
    • The location was very good and it was nice that we had wireless internet.
    • Order of topics was fine. The location and logistics were very fine.
    • Order of topics was fine. Location was extremely good (thanks to Georgia Tech people), especially during first 2 days of the meeting. It really helps a lot to have such a good room for the meeting. Food was very good too.

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

    • None (16 people)
    • I didn't have a WIFI card :-).
    • I'd really like it if we could leave the building for lunch or something. Staying in the same place for as long as we did really wears people out. There were some eating places within walking distance, and a little exercise never hurts...
    • Location wise, the second (stadium) room wasn't too comfortable and hard for all to hear and see. The lunch venue was great, tho.
    • Maps.
    • I think that if we could maintain a more strict schedule with regard to time it would faciliate the flow of the meeting. This doesn't mean that you couldn't have Doug lead a discussion based section of time for an afternoon, or an entire day, just schedule it so that he has to stop at a known time and maybe that will encourage him to optimize his efficiency moving through the data analysis.
    • Doug shot-gunning through a series of very advanced issues right off the bat, and then continuing for the whole next morning, left me feeling as though he was not interested in including everyone in the discussion.
    • Things that were covered on the last day (overview/updates of acquisition software, status of hardware development, new analysis (Qi's stuff) should be covered near the beginning when everyone is there. These are short presentations, but they are essential to keeping everyone in the community informed on the state-of-the art, and if it doesn't happen here, it won't happen anywhere else. Some of the other discussions (e.g. flowrate, IE, bounce, etc.) are long and involved and should be put off until after all of the other essential things are covered. Not saying these issues aren't very important for everyone to recognize, but they have a tendency to turn into very long discussion/debate. This would be fine, except when it leaves the other things to the end after some have left and is rushed even for those who are still there.
    • The meeting room in the stadium was bad - poor viewing, poor acoustics need to make sure there are enough Veggie lunches, and where were the pastries/cookies?! I really depend on the sugar rush (along with the caffeine) to keep me going at these things!
    • Since we ended up working after dinner anyways: why not have that in the scedule right away.
    • Can not figure out the answer for this one.
    • That the time schedule was skipped. I think Doug confused almost everybody in the first two days. You should plan more time for Doug talking!
    • Tutorial - need to go through more organized and faster. Tips on how to use Igor for non-Igor users useful eg. graphing, data masking etc. Although I'm not requesting a tutorial on Igor, I think some tips would be beneficial to alot of people, even Igor users.
    • Not much to complain about here so I will anyway...Didn't like the lunches much - even ones I could eat (thanks for sorting this out Tim/Manjula) - but would prefer access to real sandwichs or lunches eg sandwich bar/Subway etc - more like at Hyatt hotel. - or like at Caltech. ......hmmmmm - do you think there is a theme developing here??
    • It should be more punctual and time keeping, though I can accept some flexibility.
    • Doug's tutorial is getting really repetitive for me - but then I would say that.
    • One big software tutorial. It probably would have been better splitting up the software tutorial into two different sections, one for the beginning users, and one for the more advances users. I think both groups would be able to get more out of it that way.

  9. What can we do to increase USER PARTICIPATION?

    • No suggestions (7 people)
    • Agreed, most people were remarkably quiet, but given the range of degrees of expertise & experience it is expected that some are absorbing information, while other actively contribute. I guess this is to be expected and difficult to avoid.
    • Emphasize the poster session a bit more.
    • The participation rate and enthusiasm have already been amazingly high!
    • I thought that a lot of useres had been there ???; don't charge a fee; keep it in connection with a conference.
    • Funny hats.
    • Maybe ask every group that is attending to provide a brief explanation of what it is they are doing in the lab/field.
    • Have a section devoted to updates from each of the groups, have them talk about their experiences with the AMS and future plans for the instrument briefly.
    • I suggest word of mouth advertising. Take the list of users not attending. See what users know these people and have them talk it up.
    • I thought we had at least one person per group of AMS users (maybe with the exception of Jon Allen's group)!!! That's very good, isn't it?!
    • Something that was done on Monday that was not done on Friday, Saturday or Sunday was that several times someone stopped a discussion briefly to say, "to make sure everyone knows what we're talking about, ..." and then give a quick synopsis of the relevant background information so that those of us not already aware of the issue would have some context and some way to understand what was being discussed. What I would really have loved to see was for this type of thing to be formalized. The prime example would be for Doug to make a background slide for each of the issues he went through on Friday night and Saturday morning that explained the background info behind each of the results slides that he showed, rather than just showing the results. Maybe it's just me, but by his just showing the results, I'd say that I was able to understand the importance of only about half of the results and I was frustrated that no one was taking the time to try to explain the other half.
    • What, Manjula and Tim want to have to find a place that can provide dinner for 100 people next time?
    • Give everyone enough time after the presentations to discuss the issues, not just ask questions.
    • Donīt think there is a need to.
    • There are at least two groups of attendants: one is at more advanced level, the other is at less advanced level. The active participation of the senior scientist is more important and productive and they have been very active already.
    • Hard to say, I think the user participation always depends on the place and money.
    • ???
    • Don't think this is a problem.
    • Not sure we need to increase user participation. Thought it was about right. Relevant people spoke at relevant times. If you are trying to increase numbers of attendees - this is different and I think this will be governed by instrument groups/users - which will increase with time anyway. The problem might become the opposite issue, how to maintain a useful workshop interaction if numbers become too high ie is there a critical mass beyond which interaction is reduced? In any case I don't think just because people attend they all have to get up and present - everyone has an opportunity to get involved in the discussions and present their ideas etc in any case.
    • Poster and oral session of their own results.
    • Difficult to do with such a wide range of user experience and interests. Maybe an 'open mike' period where people can bring up issues they have. Although this will probably just involve the same people that always speak up.
    • I think user participation is already really good. It seems like someone from almost all the groups gave a mini-presentation on the research they've been doing this past year.
    • Perhaps breaking the group into a few smaller groups during the analysis part, where a few people (Tim, Manjula, other) walk around and supervise each smaller group to see that everyone is keeping up.
    • It's probably hard to have more user participation given the time constraints. I think the poster session is an efficient way for users to talk about their specific interest/projects/concerns.
    • You might be able to shorten the period a bit. For the usres from foreign countries (like me), it costs a lot and takes time to attend both AAAR and users meeting.
    • I believe the users participation is very high, i.e. most of the AMS users make an effort to come or stay additional several days after AAAR.

  10. Costs are running up. To maximize time, we need to provide food/etc., but cannot afford to cover all costs. Would you be OK with a reasonable CONFERENCE FEE for next year (e.g. $100/person)?

    • Yes (16 people)
    • I guess this cannot be avoided given the increase in participant numbers.
    • I am fine with this. That's actually pretty cheap.
    • Sounds fair.
    • This is absolutely justified.
    • 50 to 100 $ are ok, but attendance may be higher without a fee.
    • hmmm. Ask my advisor, it's his money.
    • Yes, I think it's reasonable to have a small conference fee for future meetings.
    • Sure. If real tutorials are given, such a fee would be completely justified.
    • Yes, reasonable being the key word (~$100 should be the maximum, not the baseline) If it’s costing more than that, then it would be preferable to just have the meeting near to some food places and let people get there own. Of course, you will have to be very strict on the break times if that happened lest we have 2 hour discussions going on across the street.
    • It is only fair.
    • I think that would be okay, but this would also lead to a decrease of USER Participation.
    • Yes of course - but I might complain even more about food then!!!
    • Yes. As long as you provide a reasonable food, I feel that I should pay for it.
    • That's peanuts compared to the AAAR, so sure.
    • Yes- $100 is nothing. I was surprised it was free to begin with!
    • Yes, I think there should be a conference fee. It is getting too expensive to organize this meeting. I suggest a 100$ fee for next year meeting.
    • It would be better to make it clear what kind of items the users need to cover.

  11. There are three options FOR NEXT YEAR's (2004) AMS Users' Meeting.
    (a) One alternative is to have the meeting in Juelich (Germany) after the European Aerosol Conference (EAC). The EAC will take place in Gent, Belgium approx. Aug. 29-Sep 2, 2005. Juelich is 2-hrs by car from Gent.

    (b) A second alternative would be to have the AMS meeting in Austin, Texas on Fri. Oct. 21-Mon. Oct. 24th, with Monday being a full day. AAAR will take place in Austin, Texas, October 17 - 21, 2005. We would try to arrange for UT Austin to host the meeting.
    (c) Some people have suggested that we should decouple the Users Meeting from AAAR or the EAC, because people attending AAAR are too tired during the Users Meeting. Thus a third option would be to have the meeting at some other time, e.g. mid-November.
    Which of these dates and tentative locations would you prefer? Under which of the three options are you sure/likely/unlikely/sure not/ to attend next year's meeting? If there are people in your group that did not attend this years' meeting, please ask them what they prefer, and give their names and preferences in your response.


    • The AAAR or EAC conferences are not really more tiring than normal work ... My preferred option is Juelich. Would allow us to present AMS work in front of alternative audience. The transport should be well organised and economical, though.Someone from our group would attend in any case. If it were in Europe we would attend with greater number than if it were in the US.
    • I can see the point of not having the users' meeting connected to AAAR or EAC, but from a cost perspective, this really makes the most sense. Unless the users' meeting were someplace within driving distance of home, I couldn't afford to send my group to make presentations at AAAR/EAC as well as to attend the users' meeting. I don't want to have to make that choice. Yep, we are all tired after a conference, but when aren't we tired? At least, I am always tired! My vote is to continue to couple it to AAAR - and I choose AAAR over EAC for solely a cost reason since we are already in the US. I realize that this is somewhat unfair to our European colleagues. What fraction of our colleagues are based at European institutions? If it is 1 of 5, for example, perhaps, 1 out of every 5 meetings could be held in conjunction with EAC rather than AAAR? That then raises the point of managing costs for our Asian colleagues, too.
    • Honestly decoupling the meeting from a conference would increase the utility of the meeting in terms of absorption of information, however, it would likely increase the cost significantly. I would prefer if it was decoupled, even though this is more expensive. I would likely attend regardless of where and when the meeting is.
    • I am likely to attend if the meeting is in the US, and unlikely if it is in Europe.
    • I think that decoupling the users' meeting from AAAR/EAC would reduce attendance a lot, since it would be hard for many people to justify traveling to an additional meeting. I prefer AAAR to the EAC.
    • I prefer after AAAR in Austin. I may be able to go if the meeting is combined with the EAC. Decoupling the meeting from a major conference is a very bad idea in my opinion, as the disadvantages of this option would far outweigh the advantages. Specifically I think it would reduce attendance to the Users Meeting a lot.
    • I would vote for option c and then option b. The Europe option would be more attractive if it were easier to get to. Perhaps Manchester?
    • I prefer Austin and at time right after AAAR. I am not exactly sure if I will go if for option a (not because I don't want to go to Europe or Germany). For the other 2 choices, I will very likely to attend. But I would vote against decoupling the AMSUM and AAAR since that means two trips instead of one and can be more time consuming.
    • We prefer (a), (b) would be ok, (c) is cleary the least attractive option (travel costs) and too much travelling. Let's do option (b) in 2006, there is no EAC, only the international aerosol conference at St Paul. I understood that the users meeting had to be BEFORE EAC due to the Gordon conference?. Three other users from my group who did not come this year also prefer (a).
    • (a) not sure; (b) yes indeed; (c) dunno
    • My vote goes surely to Juelich! I am not able to provide answers to the rest of the questionnaire since I was not able to attend this year's meeting.
    • I think decoupling the meeting from other conference is a good idea. I did not attend AAAR this year (I did last year), and I feel I got more out of the meeting this year because I wasn't so tired from the previous week. I would still attend the meeting regardless of what choice was made.
    • Option a = #1 but I would also be able to handle options b and c.
    • I would prefer option c so that the meeting doesn't go over the weekend. November seems like a relatively slack meeting month as well. I would rate myself as "likely to attend" if option a or b is selected.
    • (b) is the best option for me. (c) will work for me too. I probably have to skip the meeting if it will be held in Juelich, since I have to get a VISA for both Germany and USA. The paperwork for foreign travel at my institution is also overwhelming.
    • Options (b) and (c) will definitely work out for me. Of course I would prefer option (a) since it gives us a chance to interact more with the European scientists, but the possibility of me going to the EAC/AMS meetings in Europe would depend on the group I'll be working with next year!!
    • Personally, I'd love to have an excuse to go to Europe, but honestly, any of the options are acceptable. I'm sure you've already realized this, but I'll just mention that you may want to keep in mind that we did lose about half of the audience on Monday simply due to travel schedules. I'm not sure how this could be avoided, but I thought that I would point it out.
    • C is bad, it will just be an extra trip that could not be justified, especially in November when we're approaching the end of the semester when life is too busy. Sure not to go. B, under the current financial situation of the group would be best. Likely I will have at least one student, maybe more, going with me to AAAR and the users meeting next year if this is the place. Likely to go. A, right now would simply be too expensive. I might be able to weasel an international travel grant out of my institution to go, but that's not a sure thing, and even if I did, no students would attend with me. Unlikely to go.
    • I will go no matter when or where it is. Option "C" might be better to have as a separate meeting at Aerodyne to allow more time if people want to stay longer. With the other options, it's hard for me to be away from home for so long. That said, option "A" is my second choice - I probably won't attend the EAC meeting, but still go to the Users' meeting if it's in Juelich. Option "B" is my third choice since I have to go to the AAAR meeting and having the Users' meeting at the end would make it a very long trip away from home for me.
    • Option a!
    • Sure to make to (b). Sure not to make to other two.
    • I am for the alternative (a), but I do not think that I will participate at the User's Meeting next year. I am then just a poor PhD student, who is not working with the AMS!;-)
    • Defenitely (a)! If the meeting is decoupled from a conference and takes place in the USA I will likely not be able to come (because of the extra costs of the flight). If it takes place in or near Germany this doesn't matter.
    • Prefer Europe with the EAC.
    • Personally I prefer (b), but in the interests of people who have so far found it impossible to attend (and I think we all know to whom I am referring!! a certain middle eastern organic man possibly comes to mind) I think I have to vote for (a). (c) is an alternative - but I think many would find it difficult to justify funding travel to a different continent without a conference being attached to the users meeting (plus the extra time too). I would probably manage to attend if it was a, b or c but realistically would be more likely to attend if a or b.
    • I can attend both a) and b), but difficult for c). If you decouple the AMS Mtg to the conference, it is difficult for me to come to USA or Europe. It is easy to go abroad to attend a "well known" conference. I prefer going Europe. One serious reason is that October is the time for proposal in Japan. I am very busy for writing proposal now. I prefer having the AMS Mtg at August - September period.
    • Option (a) would get my vote. I think that while it is a bit of an information overload, there is a lot to be said for combining it with a specialist conference like the AAAR of EAC because it means that you can be better focused on the issues at hand. I would also say have it in Germany, because it means I don't have to travel as far and the beer would probably be better than Texas. That and Rami would get to go.
    • A B and C in that order and I am likely to attend under A and B and maybe C.
    • I'm not sure about next year's meeting. Having it associated with an 'official' meeting makes it easier to justify going, but it is very tiring. I'm afraid I can't give a definitive answer.
    • I would prefer Germany, but I know I couldn't afford to go, plus, I'll be on my honeymoon. It doesn't really matter if it's after AAAR, or sometime during November, which ever is more convenient for everyone else.
    • I will probably go either way.
    • I have no preference to where the next meeting will be held. However, it is reasonable to have the next meeting in Europe.
    • I think it's better to couple the users meeting with another conference so that people only have to make one trip. If the meeting is decoupled from a meeting, would it be at Aerodyne? I doubt that I would be able to go to Europe for this, especially right at the start of the school year, but that's my own personal situation.
    • I'd prefer to have the meeting after AAAR again, but would probably be able to attend wherever/whenever it's held.
    • I'll likely attend if the meeting is in Austin. Unlikely if in Europe or in the US but not with AAAR.
    • Options a) and b) are preferable ones. Even though the pace of the AMS Users meeting is very fast, probably more people will come to the AMS users meeting that is immediately after one of the major aerosol conferences.

  12. The tentative ORGANIZATION FOR 2005 would be to have a ~2.5-3 day meeting, along the same lines of this year's meeting: start with an overview, then data analysis issues, then quantification issues, and end with hardware/software and other topics. We would also have again two poster sessions with the EAC or AAAR talks and posters, as well as other relevant posters. The meeting would stay focused on advanced and intermediate users, and would not be appropriate for new users unless they have extensive experience with instrumentation. What do you think of this plan? Do you want to suggest any major changes?

    • Sounds good (7 people)
    • The afternoon of the last day after the end of the formal meeting was great. It allowed us to talk in person with many people while looking at the data on people's computers. We solved or made progress in many issues that are much harder to deal with via email.
    • Sounds fine to me. In the event that the meeting is decoupled from a particular conference, it would be more important to have the poser session emphasized to maximize the communication in the community.
    • I think that is good (esp. since I hope to be an intermediate user by then!).
    • I completely agree with this plan.
    • I agree to this plan.
    • I think the schedule worked fine this year. One suggestion though, if the meeting is not intended for new users, maybe we don't need to discuss in detail basic aspects of James analysis program. It would then be sufficient to only go over its new features.
    • I like it, starting with an overview would be great. Giving real tutorials on how to do calibrations, how to integrate those calibrations into your data analysis, and then how to do the full data analysis would be really useful. By real tutorials, I would like to see a formal power point presentation that would run concurrently with the type of hands on tutorial that Doug gave on the data analysis with an example set of data. Yeah, that's a lot of work, but having something written down for us all to follow also ensures that when I go home, I have something to look back at for doing my real data analysis other than just my chicken scratch notes, which means there is a far smaller chance that I'm going to publish poorly calibrated or analyzed data.
    • Sounds fine, except as I said earlier, move hardware/software changes/developments to the beginning (after overview and data analysis) since they are critical for everyone to stay up-to-date about.
    • That sounds great! It could easily be 3 full days, with additional space available on an optional 4th day for the die hards who need/want extra time.
    • A good plan.
    • I think the focus for advanced and intermediate users is good. Changes just related to my comments about the tutorial. software/analysis issues as the instrument comes on-line with more groups.
    • Seems OK to me. Maybe next year there will be a reason to spend more time discussing new hardware - eg, ToF-AMS and corresponding software/analysis issues as the instrument comes on-line with more groups.
    • I agree your plan. It is better to focus on either new comer or on experienced user, and I am going to attend the experienced user class.
    • That sounds like a good plan. I think it would be a mistake to gear it towards beginners; that would not be a very effective use anyone's time.
    • Sounds good.
    • I think this schedule worked very well this year and should be continued.
    • I agree with the plan. I don't think the user's meeting is very helpful if you haven't used the AMS that much. I think the organization of the meeting is fine too.
    • I agree to this idea. But I would prefer 2 day meeting if possible.
    • I agree with the plan. This years, 5th AMS Users meeting was my second one, and this year I learned a lot.

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

    • Make sure that a hotel is chosen close to the meeting where we can all stay.
    • If it is in Juelich, include tour of the lab facilities.
    • Try to stick more to the schedule (or: make the schedule more realistic, i.e. give Doug enough time to talk).
    • My suggestion is if Doug provides another tutorial, that discussion during the tutorial should be limited. If an important topic is brought up, it should be noted and discussed at another time. It was very hard to stay focused on the tutorial when we continually broke away on side discussions. I feel the tutorial is useful, but not in its current form.
    • Not to be to cheeky, but really, trying to stick to the schedule would be great - and by that, I just mean the order of topics, running over time is ok, but presenting the advanced issues before the basic issues I don't think was the way to go.
    • Just to emphasise: it helps if meeting place is close to where we are staying (I like the idea of the meeting occuring where we stay) - because then we can be more flexible about how long we go on for etc if we are in deep discussion about an issue we want to continue with we can do so (although I realise there are arguments against this too - I though the length of working days this year was good too - ie didn't get too tired). And of course see comments above in 8 re: lunches !!
    • We were told that Monday would be a full day, but it ended up being short because so many people left early. It was a waste of time to stay another night in a hotel, so perhaps should plan to end at ~3pm on last day and go late a previous day as we did this time.
    • Follow the schedule more closely so we don't need to go till 8:30 on a Sunday night, or maybe just plan to stay that late to begin with. (I'm really not complaining...I had a great time!).
    • Since the schedule was so crammed, I would suggest moving the poster sessions to evening sessions with beer and wine Gordon Conference-style (add cost to meeting fee). This time can be informal and people can also sit around and talk about data. Also maybe mini-sessions could take place during these times for small groups to get together such as aircraft people or TOF people. Of course this requires a venue or hotel that will let us convene at night.

  14. Any other COMMENTS that you want to add about this or next year's meetings?

    • This was a wonderful meeting and I have learned a lot from it. Also, Alison has done a great job putting presentations and notes on the web.
    • Very enjoyable all-around.
    • Thanks to Tim, Manjula, and Jose for all the work in organizing the meeting!
    • Just one further thing on this idea of presenting recommended calibrations and data analysis stuff - personally, I have learned how to use an AMS through a hodge-podge of paper-reading, word-of-mouth teaching, and common sense. For me, it would really solidify a lot of things if a formal system were presented for how to use an AMS (calibration, analysis, etc.). I think such a thing can be presented without shutting down people's thinking about how to do things better, and coming up with new ways of doing things. I'll just throw this out there as an idea without really recommending it, but perhaps it's worth considering having the first day be solely for the purpose of teaching the new users, that way the advanced users would not necessarily feel obliged to even attend the first day. The other reason I stress this teaching of the calibration procedures is because I am not clear on what sort of instruction and support other people who have purchased an AMS are getting. It seems like it would be a great selling point to say that once a year we have a formalized set of tutorials so anyone can come learn how to use an AMS, and then we also talk about the latest and greatest developments during that same weekend. Anyway, just a thought. Feel free to write me back if you want to discuss anything in further detail.
    • Tim, you did an excellent job! Thanks for all your hard work!
    • I for my part did enjoy this years meeting very much! So thanks again for organizing!
    • Thanks again Tim, Manjula and Jose for the organization. I will soon send my poster as pdf File to you.
    • Please please can you arrange for me not to be ill during next years meeting (been ill 2 years in a row now - and IT'S NOT FAIR)! Finally, can I just make sure you all know that I thought this years meeting was great. Thanks for all the work you all put in to make it so. It's greatly appreciated - I certainly enjoyed the meeting a lot and got a lot out of it. Thanks again. (and Jose - sorry for the comments at your expense - but I know you can take it!! If you want training in this of course we can always arrange to lend you Jonny for a week!!!)
    • I would like to talk about my results with Doug since I did not have enough time to talk to him . In this sense, I should go to Aerodyne in a separete period though it is very difficult. Perhaps, this may be separate issue.
    • Here's a mad idea that I just had and haven't thought though properly yet... why doesn't someone start up a web based AMS discussion board? That would be the perfect place where we can thrash out the really anal stuff at our leisure (such as what symbols to use for 'collection efficiency'), meaning that the limited face to face discussion time we have at the user's meeting can be used more effectively.
    • The notes taken by some during the tutorial and posted in the web is a good idea.
    • As usual, it was a great meeting!
    • I think you guys did a great job planning it! Keep up the good work!
    • I thought the food was great -- it was nice to have snacks out that were on the healthier side.
    • Thank you very much again for your efforts in organizing the meeting!