Another ETRA just wrapped up. This was the 5th since 2000 and it seems to be getting better every time, even though attendance (~100) and paper submissions (~45) may have plateaued. The quality of the papers has improved a great deal over the years, however. There are a number of very bright grad students responsible for this, so I'm hopeful that they'll continue with eye tracking and keep the momentum going. The cover pic shows just one example of this work, in this case the development of a one-point calibration technique for gaze tracking of infants. Infants are particularly troublesome eye tracking subjects since their attention span for staring at calibration dots is quite short.
Of course it's not all work. Conference attendees require nourishment, and as is typical, large groups often form to go off in search of sustenance. This can be problematic with reservations, however, requiring the group to wander from place to place in search of open table space. I think restaurants refer to this as "getting slammed" when a group of 20 people manage to get in through the door. The first night (pic at left) we finally found a pub with enough space to sit us all. Outside. And it was cold. The waitress just managed to clear out a group of 15 or so people when we showed up. Eventually we all got our food (good stuff too) and finished off our meals in our coats. The next night we got smart and called ahead. Oleg, the guy across from me, called in reservations and found us an excellent place for dinner. He also got us a good place the next night, where a live band played after dinner. I could have stayed in Savannah Saturday night, but I was by then too tired and wanted to get the 5 hr drive home overwith. I am now "decompressing" on the couch after a quiet, long night's sleep. Saturday we're off to Florence!