Monday, May 12, 2003

The Nerd Shot

Many years ago I was commuting home on the train with my wife and one of her colleagues. I showed them the group picture from a Dagstuhl I had attended that they recently sent me. My wife and her friend spent much of the train ride laughing at the collection of nerdly looking people in the photo. Ever since then we have jokingly called a conference group picture the nerd shot.

Computer scientists, especially in Europe, love to take pictures of other computer scientists. Problem is computer scientists are not particularly photogenic nor, for the most part, are they good photographers. The worst is the group photo, where we are herded like cattle to some enclosed place where we stand until all the strays are rounded up and finally the photo is taken, sometimes several times by several people.

Some things have changed over time. Most photos are now taken digitally and get posted quickly, sometimes before the conference is over. My kids enjoy playing "Where's Daddy?" especially if I am out of town. But still the group photo experience remains the same.

I was talking to my wife on the phone at the last Dagstuhl and told her it was time for the nerd shot. She said I should fix my hair and I replied "What? You want me to stand out?"

Without further adieu here is that nerd shot.

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