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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Churches and Cathedrals

What a week! After the Demo on Tuesday my whole team was pretty tapped. We went to the Church Brew Works to recover... What better way than enjoying a beer at church : ) After the couple talks on Wednesday we met up with professor Yang Cai at his lab at CMU. One of his students showed us around the campus (very nice!). The buildings were extremely old and well kept, and the receptionist in the CS building was a roboceptionist, a good mix of old and new. We got to play with the lab's eye tracking system (see the picture in Flckr). If you look at a spot on the screen for 5 seconds or longer, that spot gets selected. We headed over to the Cathedral of Learning to find 42 stories of classrooms and lounges for students to study in etc. After spending some time taking pictures of the main entrance, we headed inside to find a gorgeous foyer that required more photo-taking time (thank God for digital). We finally headed up the network of elevators that you have to take to get to the top, each one only went up 10 floors or so. Once at the top we stumbled into a group of U Pitt students in what must have been a student lounge. I overheard them talking about their experiences interning at the hospital and noticed that one of the guys had his shirt off... "Very odd" I thought, "Where's the gym?" I didn't ask of course, but after checking out the view from the top of Pittsburgh, we headed down and met a nice woman in the elevator that explained the shirtless guy... he had climbed the 42 stories of stairs for exercise. Looking back at the week, I couldn't have asked for a better first AAAI. I met a whole community of people with similar interests and got to see a glimpse of a beautiful city and two universities. Thanks to everyone who helped make AAAI a success!