FEEDBACK ON THE 7th (Univ. of Minnesota, Sep. 2006) 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: 25 people replied to the whole questionnaire, and 5 more gave only their preference for a location in 2007. Thanks to everyone who replied!
- OVERALL RATING: 4.1, slightly down from 4.6 in 2005 and 4.5 in 2004. Overall people were happy with the meeting, although they had many comments and suggestions for improvement for next year.
- MOST IMPORTANT THING PEOPLE LEARNT:
- 7 people: Squirrel
- 5: the ToF-AMS data acquisition software & thresholding
- 5: various aspects of the AMS characterization
- 4: various hardware issues
- 3: ToF-AMS calibrations
- 3: what other groups are doing with the AMS
- 2: Jump mode
- 2: Q-AMS topics
- 2: meeting other users
- 1 each: the ToF-AMS and the HR-ToF-AMS.
- TOPICS COVERED IN TOO LITTLE DETAIL:
- 11 people: Squirrel
- 4: hardware
- several others on calibrations / troubleshooting / general operation and analysis tips.
- + a few other topics
- TOPICS COVERED IN TOO MUCH DETAIL:
- 16 people: nothing
- 2: Squirrel
- 2: Doug's detailed preferences and tangents.
- + a few other topics
- MORE USEFUL ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS: most people were very happy about the organization. Specifically:
- 7 people mentioned the nice location and closeness to the hotel, and the fact that all users were at the same hotel
- 7: the convenience of the provided lunch and coffee breaks, and the longer coffee breaks
- 3: schedule
- 3: wireless internet
- 2: real-time posting of presentations
- 2: that the meeting was after rather than before AAAR
- 2: that breakfast was available at the hotel.
- LESS USEFUL ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS:
- 12 people: nothing
- 6: various aspects of the schedule that could have been handled better
- 2: more tables
- 2: the coffee breaks were too long
- 1: the mix of beginning and advanced users is too hard to deal with.
- SUGGESTIONS FOR 2006: There were many suggestions.
- 6 people: breaking up the meeting in some way, especially start with separate sessions for beginners, also parallel sessions or smaller working groups, and separating the discussions for developers vs. users
- 5: more time for user input / discussions / Q&A periods, instead of presentations
- 5: name tags or an attendees' list
- 1: shorter coffee breaks.
- OTHER COMMENTS: There were a few comments, about focusing more on following the schedule, about asking Doug to prepare his presentations more, and about a few other topics.
- LOCATION FOR 2006:
- Option 1(after AAAR): 17 people
- Option 2 (after EAC): 12 people
- No opinion: 1 person
Summary of the individual responses
- What is your overall rating (0: not useful at all to 5: extremely useful) of the AMS users' meeting?
- 5 (7 people)
- 4.5 (2 people)
- 4 (10 people)
- 3.75 (1 person)
- 3.5 (2 people)
- 3 (2 people)
- 2 (1 person)
- It was a mix of discussions that were things I already know, some that I wanted to know, and some that were over my head or confusing.
- Great to see what people are up to and find out the nitty gritty of the ToF-AMS. Lots of good informal discussions during the coffee breaks.
- This was mostly a review of meetings we've had through the year, although some of it was new.
- What is the most important thing that you learned during the AMS
- 1. Eben's research on the world population, niceness, and interest in aerosol science. 2. IE calibration and Squirrel tutorials.
- The users' community is really great - but I knew that before...
- Jump mode operation and ToF analysis software
- HR-ToF-AMS related stuff.
- Details on the data analysis software.
- ToF-AMS data aquisition and Squirrel tutorial
- New hardware (pump controller, Varian V81); constant pressure inlet (different possibilities); lens design & transmission issues; detection limits for C-, V-, W-ToF; PMF,
- Thresholding, squirrel, IE tutorials/discussions were very useful.
- characteristics of our AMS and how they relate to prior instruments
excellent opportunity to meet others, esp from outside US
- Discussion of AMS fundamental processes during the SQUIRREL tutorial. Discussion of research in other AMS labs
- Overviews of new software, e.g., IE calibrations, ToF data acquisition and Squirrel.
- ToF-AMS hardware and software development and issues, basics of SQUIRREL
- The most valuable part of the meeting for me was making contacts with people.
- More details about the ToF-versions. Some details about q-AMS (High trough-put lens
that we have, is probably rubbish althoug we seem to have high collection efficiencies)
- That the quad is still heavily used by many users.
- Progress of ToF-AMS, Progress of others' research, Tim's opinion about CE.
- Update on current developments of hardware, software and instrument
- Thresholding things and single ion response / dynamic range
- I don't know yet.
- Is difficult to list specific things, but the discussions are always very useful and interesting because they deal with many important issues going on.
- What other users are doing with the AMS.
- Data acquisition and Doug's comments on various issues.
- Shane's false amine detection
- about using JMS mode on Q-AMS
- What TOPICS do you wish we had covered, but we did not? What aspects
did we cover in TOO LITTLE detail?
- ToF-AMS analysis. The tutorial was too confusing.
- I think the Squirrel tutorial could have been structured more (less meandering discussion) and that the use of "more advanced users" as wandering helpers could have been encouraged more. Also, I think the list of steps that go into analyzing a data set should have been covered in more detail.
- Details on Balzer tuning and surface ionization control
- I feel I could be benefit more if there is more coverage on hardware
- Too little detail on the data analysis software.
- discussion on RIE determination, other calibration issues
- General "troubleshooting" issues, during measurements as well as during data evaluation
- My only real complaint was the amount of time left for the squirrel tutorial. I think less discussion about the pedantic and cosmetic details and more focus on actually running through the tutorial would have been extremely helpful. Not enough time was left to go through some of the corrections, particularly the baseline and m/z correction. I was left with the impression that these corrections are central to the operation of the ToF, but I didn't feel like a user came out of the tutorial with enough information to complete either correctly.
- Jump mode would have been clearer with the intro coming before Jonny's talk instead of after
- More Squirrel! (But more clear Squirrel.) Donna had a good idea about giving a "problem set" at the beginning of AAAR for people to mess around with in advance.
- "SOP" (or something like SOP: what to do and what not to do) when operating
W-ToF-AMS in the field, QA procedures for W-ToF-AMS
- I wish that the topic of how to optimally tune an instrument was discussed.
- CE, IE, AB; CE is still an important issue. I am wondering what IE/AB is used for others' experiments?
- I still think the users meeting should be structured in a way that new
users are a little less overwhelmed. E.g. having an introduction including
tutorials at the beginning. At the same time there could be another group
talking about technical details that might not be interesting for everybody.
Also - may be due to the large number of participants - I think it is a
pitty that almost no feedback comes from the users anymore - there is no
time for them to present interesting results from their research.
- Data acq routines/calculations are covered too little, especially with für V and W mode (how is the HR-mass spectra reduced to single masses
- It felt like we were rushing to cram in as many topics as necessary--I
would have been happier with fewer topics and more depth. The
Squirrel tutorial was great...more stuff like that?
- More detail on hardware operation and failures would have been useful. Also there was too little time for the Squirrel tutorial.
- Baseline correction using squirrel. I wish there were more time discussing tuning c-tof.
- If we're promoting collaboration, we could have even more presentations from users. Squirrel probably should have been given more time, although this would have probably required an additional day.
- None (6 people)
- What TOPICS did we cover in TOO MUCH detail?
- None (16 people)
- Data acquisition software, detection limits.
- No (We are limited by time and we just don't have enough time to cover every
important aspects in due detail)
- Software tutorial. It takes too long, and a written description will do the same. I think it will take Donna not more time to write a software description than it takes her to prepare a turorial.
- Some of the details on the PAH work were a little much.
- Doug's personal preferences about how things should be done in the software. Can't that be handled offline and/or in advance?
- Revisiting of old presentations from previous meetings.
- Some of Doug's tangents on very specific aspects of the data acquisition got to be a bit much.
- Some issues during the Squirrel tutorial. I would have preferred that we covered all the tabs in Squirrel and all the calibrations, rather than spending so much time in few details.
- What ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS (e.g. order of topics, location...) of
meeting did you find MOST USEFUL?
- Tim did an excellent job of keeping things moving and accommodating last minute changes.
- The internet access and real-time posting of presentations; the location of the hotel near the meeting room; the hotel being quite nice; breakfast being available at the hotel; and lunches and coffee being given at the meeting location. Also the fact that the AMS meeting followed the AAAR-IAC conference, rather than being before it.
- the location was great, and I liked the lunch boxes.
- Uploading talks to the web in almost real time is absolutely helpful; I
thought providing lunch helped save a lot of time for ALL of us; excellent!
- Everything was wonderful
- Lunch in house. Order of topics was good.
- Organization: AFTER conference (better than BEFORE conference). Length: 3 days are ok.
- Organization was generally good.
- Appreciated the reminders of the links between the quad and ToF instruments to link the first day to the rest of the meeting
- good location and well organized. Very nice to have most meals taken care of.
- With a few exceptions, order of topics seemed to flow logically.
Appreciated the close proximity of the hotel and conference room.
Having lunch on site was also very convenient.
- I liked the long coffee breaks -- good for talking to people informally. Also liked having the posters up.
- "Days Inn" Hotel was located very close to the campus
- A good wireless connection is always essential
- I thought the order of topics presented was well done, such that new users could be brought up to speed (at least to some extent).
- Good organization and location. Thanks for Tim, Manjula and Cameron.
- The location was well chosen - very close to the IAC and well reachable
from/to the airport. The overall organization was really good. It was
unfortunate that the internet access was hard to get on the first day, but
all in all everything was really well organized - this helped a lot for a
successful meeting. The common dinner was great!
- The 1 hour coffee breaks were great! I talked to more people than I
ever would have otherwise.
- Like the long coffee breaks and opportunities to talk to
people. However, the coffee breaks could be slightly shorter to give
more time for discussions as a group after and during presentations.
- The organization was by far the best this year of the meetings I've attended.
- good pairing of meeting and hotel location
- All being in the same hotel; being within walking distance to the meeting; having breakfast and lunch right there; wireless Internet;
- What ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECTS of the meeting did you find LEAST
- None (12 people)
- Again, the biggest issue is the mixture of advanced users and beginners. It may be time to formally distinguish between sessions that are designed for the beginners and the more advanced users, obviously with the beginner sessions happening before the advanced ones. Whether we make them separate days, or have two sessions happening simultaneously, whatever works. The point is that it is frustrating for the new user to be inundated with advanced topics before getting up to speed on them, just as it's boring for the advanced user to sit through basic explanations, and it would be nice to see this acknowledged in some way in the organization.
- Doug was allowed to break the schedule a bit too much. In some cases this seemed to be for sentimental reasons, to remind us of the contribution of certain groups to the AMS development.
- The time schedule. It was revised too often.
- I think the hour long breaks in the morning are too long, 30-min is
- The organization of the talks was not clear to me. If a schedule is prepared, we should try to better stick to it and not to squeeze in new talks that were not planned.
- The only problems with the organization were the trip to the dinner and some of the longer unscheduled talks.
- none (The only problems (network, taxis) were not under Aerodyne's control!)
- SQUIRREL Tutorial was scheduled for the last day
- It would have been good to have more tables and more reliable internet connection.
- The room should have had more tables (really minor issue!)
- Organisation was very fine, perhaps the schedule could be a little more strictly
- Too much information, too little time. It would have been better for
me if we'd had fewer topics and discussed them more thoroughly.
- schedule didn't get much stuck to, need to prioritize material a bit better
- Do you have any other SUGGESTIONS for the organization of next
- Having more time for user input and discussions on specific topics, perhaps with "breakout" groups. Also having a half-day introductory tutorial for the new users, with a condensed version of the training given at Aerodyne. The advanced users can meet with each other or work on something else while this is happening.
- I think there shouldn't be a tutorial, at least not in the way it was held in the last years. In my opinion it would be more useful to discuss corrections and diagnostics that need to be done for a 'complete analysis' in more detail. It's not necessary to show every step in Squirrel or the Q analysis software; directions in written form would be better.
- My only real comment would be to separate the tutorial-type and technical-type discussions. As an AMS user (as opposed to developer), the former is v useful but the latter is lengthy and largely too complicated to understand. I think it would be good for the community to have the opportunity to hear about the new developments and go thru the software without the extra layers of detail.
- Provide an attendees' list, with their expertise and main areas of interest
in AMS to promote interactions; would be particularly helpful for
- Clearer structure. Possibilities: a "new users session"; a "science" session where selected users (approx. 4) present new or special scientific results (preferably stuff that has not been presented at the conference); a "all instruments" section; a Q-AMS section; a ToF-AMS section
- Try to keep to the schedule. 15 minute talks shouldn't run an hour. Microphones for some of the quiet speakers.
- Night-owl working hours (10am or noon - 9pm or later!)
- This is a great chance to meet other users --- name tags would be useful for those of us who are new to the community.
- The schedule should include some question and answer periods. These could be general or focused on specific topics. Questions could be directed at speakers, or to the community as a whole.
- Name badgets with affilitaion would be very useful. The user community has become so large that it is impossible to remember all the faces.
- We should have name tags. I didn't know a lot of people, especially the younger ones.
- Allow more buffer time at the end of each day, in case presentations last
longer than planned
- Separate question and answer periods could be inserted to handle general questions.
- Stickers with name of each participant
- More of a discussion format and less of a presentation format? Maybe
it's too hard with that many people. Could we have some kind of
"working groups" type idea where people who are interested in the same
types of problems can sit together and discuss for a couple of hours?
For example, I would have liked to sit down with all the people who
were doing laboratory organics and talked. I think I did get to talk
to most of them eventually, but something more formal and structured
might have been helpful.
- The breaks were too long (1 hour).
- It may be good to start with the data analysis tutorials, so that people who are only interested in that don't have to sit through everything else.
- Parallel sessions for advanced and beginning users for one of the days, and full group meetings for the other days. This would mean advanced users don't necessarily have to listen to introductory issues, and beginning users don't have to sit through advanced topics which are likely not helpful.
- I like the impromptu discussion a lot. Granted it would
be great if the agenda were strictly followed. However, I think
discussion from various people such as Jose, John and Doug are very very
useful in a user workshop. Perhaps giving each topic more time and
schedule more discussion time will help balance presentation of results
and updates as well as discussion of on-going science and technology
- Yes. I know this is a topic that some of the organizers are deeply against, but I really feel as the community continues to grow there is more and more need for division of the users. As talk usually is based on having two concurrent sessions, I would like to propose an alternative to this idea. Basic elementary meeting topics could be covered for the first 0.5-1 day, where advanced users could either be meeting individually or anything else deemed appropriate. Therefore, I propose a pre-meeting for new users in order to give them a (possibly brief) introduction and place to ask more questions.
- firmer scheduling, perhaps some sort of more formal Q&A structure
(this because I feel that there's a bunch of stuff on Q-AMS operation
that I could have benefitted from, but since the emphasis was so much
on the TOF. May be the wrong venue, but maybe a pull out session for
- None (7 people)
- Any other COMMENTS that you want to add about this or next year's
- I think the point needs to be emphasized to Doug that the more time he puts into preparing, the more that everyone gets out of these meetings, plain and simple. This could potentially be fixed by delegating some of the presentation to someone with more time to prepare. I don't think that more prepared presentations will discourage discourage discussion, and if they do, structuring in designed open discussion periods could help with that.
- Ask attendees to list 2 or 3 subject areas in the registration form that
they like to see covered in the meeting (also serves as basis for the list
- I would like to see the meeting proceed more efficiently. I think that
the discussions are useful, but at the same time we stray too far in
directions that don't make efficient use of our short time. For
example, the ToF data analysis software is very important to understand
and I think there's a lot of confusion about this right now. It should
have been and should be at the next users meeting an area that we spend
some more time at. This will require a lot of discussion, but if we can
mediate this so we can keep on track it can be done more efficiently.
- have everyone introduce themselves at the start.
- I would like to stay in a nicer hotel :)
- No: It should be continued as it is, may be with little improvements in
- I'd like to learn more about data analysis and standard
or recommended operation procedures to make AMS more customer friendly
and user friendly.
- I think that this meeting was great. It was very useful and interesting but it did not feel as overwhelming as the previous ones I had attended (Caltech and Atlanta). The topics and talks were well organized.
- None (12 people)
- Next year's AMS Users Meeting could occur (1) after AAAR in Reno, Nevada (Sept. 23-28), (2) after the EAC (Sep 9-14, Salzburg, Austria). Which location & dates would work best for you? (The final decision will be made by Aerodyne, with input from the users such as the summary of responses to this questionnaire).
- after AAAR: total of 17 (13 people, plus 4 detailed responses below)
- After EAC: total of 12 (3 people, plus 9 detailed responses below)
- No preference: 1 person
- Detailed responses (already counted in the summary):
- I would be glad to help organize a conference in Reno/Tahoe. I know my way around the area very well, and I even have a few ideas about potential venues.
- After the EAC. Mainz or Munick would be good locations. The users' meeting location should alternate between Europe and USA, as there are many users from Europe...
- It would be easier for financial approval in Nevada.
- No preference scientifically, but for a US traveler, Europe seems more
attractive than Reno
- number 1 choise: in Europe after EAC --> that would give everyone who wants to participate the oportunity to come regardless of nationality...
- I'd prefer (2), but would very likely also come to Reno.
- Obviously I can't give you a feedback on the meeting but would like to
vote for the next meeting to be in Europe!
- I can't really comment on most of the questions about this years' meeting, but as for the location, I'd probably have to go with Austria, for the obvious reasons.
- The EAC would have the big advantage that Rami could also participate. From my group, some new people would come if it is in Europe. In the US,the number would be smaller.
- 1. After EAC Sep 9-14; 2. Before or After ICNAA Aug 13-17 held at Ireland, to which I am planning to go; 3. After AAAR Sept 23-28. Reason: a) We can have Rami in Europe.
b) I usually set a maintenance week at the end of September for our Q-AMS and other instruments in Cape Hedo, Okinawa . Sept 28-30 just after AAAR is a little bit inconvenient for me. c) Personally, I am not happy to pass the US immigration at the air port because a US imigration officer takes my fingerprints and photo of my face (This applies for all foreingers). In addition, the security investigation at the air port takes a long time to get in air plane though I understand the reason.
- I would prefer after the EAC in Europe. This would also help Rami to
attend - and many of our PhD students which could not go to the US.
- After AAAR as then I can hopefully bring all of my group (10 people). Otherwise I can only bring ~3 people. Of course for the Europeans the situation is reversed. It seems that this should be planned in a multi-year scheme. With Aerodyne and more of the users being in the US, it seems that having 2 meetings in the US for each 1 meeting in Europe would be fair.
- Salzburg, Austria sounds like a better location. However, practically speaking, it is easier to make to Reno. So my vote will be Reno.