I have been involved with DAC for many years as a vendor and I have certainly had my fair share of DAC moments good and bad (and no, they weren't all at the Denali party!). However, I have to admit that my true DAC moment came when I joined the volunteer community supporting the conference.
What an eye opener that was! As an exhibitor I had really no clue as to how much work is involved to orchestrate this conference. Just think about just the technical sessions for a minute, which are organized by the Technical Program Committee (TPC). Every single DAC paper is reviewed by at least 5 different people so when DAC talks about a record number of paper submissions you can just do the math to arrive at the numbers of reviews involved. Needless to say, the reviews are blind, avoiding any possible conflict between reviewers and authors. Each TPC member reads and reviews between 25 and 30 papers between December 20 and mid-January. Goodbye holidays! And I’m not even taking additional interactions for author clarifications into account.
Further, the TPC is only one of the many volunteer groups shaping the conference. The user/designer track has its own User Track Committee reviewing submissions. The conference and pavilion panels are overseen by the Panel Committee, and tutorials by a Tutorial Committee. All volunteers.
While all these preparations happen during the DAC year (July-June) we have a couple of volunteer groups promoting DAC throughout the year to vendors, potential presenters, and attendees. This work continues during DAC, when the Executive Committee (EC) and Industry Liaison Committee (ILC) members walk the conference and exhibit floor to answer questions, direct people and check in on exhibitors.
As I said earlier, when I joined the volunteer community I was blown away and I believe that all those guys working on the program for our 50th DAC in Austin, including our fantastic local Austin Committee, deserve our gratitude. In total, over 200 volunteers staff all the committees that make DAC a success each year.
This made me chose a moment of gratitude for all the DAC volunteers as my special DAC moment. What’s yours?
Anne Cirkel, Mentor Graphics and EDAC Liaison to DAC