On November 14, 2015, I had the honor of presenting a paper at the 2015 Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities & Computer Science at the University of Chicago. My paper titled, CarrinaCongress: Information Visualization Techniques to Compare Online Identities of the Members of Congress, was presented during the session on Algorithm Approaches and came directly from one of the chapters in my dissertation.

I have given talks at several conferences and workshops, but because of the deeply personal nature of this specific research, I found myself somewhat nervous. This was also the first time I publicly discussed my dissertation research, except for a Brown Bag talk at Illinois Tech the week before.

Despite my fears, the conference went rather well. The attendees and other speakers asked some great questions and provided me with helpful feedback. Furthermore, I got several positive messages of support on Twitter.

After the day’s events, the conference held a small reception where I was approached by one of the amazing keynote speakers, Tara McPherson. “I loved your talk, by the way,” she kindly said. I was both flattered and taken aback. I had found her keynote to be fascinating yet here she was complimenting me. I thank her and let her know of my mutual admiration and respect. After the conference, we followed one another on Twitter.

I would say the day ended on a high note.