DAC is only a couple of years younger to me. I was a young student at USC when I had the opportunity to attend DAC in Annaheim, CA, in 1988. It was a big moment for me when my paper was accepted for presentation at DAC - the moment was even more special since it was the 25th year of DAC. Those were the days when authors had to work extra hard to prepare the "camera-ready" copy on special stationery that the conference organizers used to provide. I remember feeling a sense of pride when my paper appeared in the silver-colored proceedings - it was the silver jubilee year for DAC. I still possess my copy!
I remember the adventurous bus ride from Los Angeles to Anaheim and back! I recall being freaked out by the suspicious looking characters at the bus stop and boarding the next bus that came along, just to feel safe!
I have good memories of my technical session. Prof. Rutenbar was helping his student rehearse his presentation. My session chair, Jonathan Rose, handed a gadget into my hand just before my presentation began. I believe it was the first time I had ever used the laser pointer! I have great memories of attending technical talks, panel discussions, and keynote talks. I remember winning a giant-size umbrella in one of the exhibit booths.
I also attended a couple of other DACs later - the one in Los Angeles was great fun. A bunch of Ph.D. students drove from LA to Las Vegas. DAC provided us the funding for attending the conference. My friend and co-Ph.D.-student King Ho won a couple of hundred dollars at the gambling table in Vegas, whereas my Ph.D. supervisor lost an equal amount! "Who should I pay you RA-ship next month?" I remember my supervisor asking my "lucky" friend.
There was another DAC that I attended in Florida along with my fellow Ph.D. students and my supervisor (Sarma). Again, great memories!
I owe my gratitude to DAC not only for the learning I received. I was also a winner of a DAC scholarship, which helped me during my Ph.D. years. I suppose there are thousands of others like me who have benefited from DAC in more than one way.
After a long gap, I once again look forward to attending DAC in 2013. It will be a special feeling to attend the 50th DAC for someone who also attended the 25th one!