Monday, June 29, 2009

China - Day 3

**My blogs for China days 1-5 were posted by my sister who was able to access China for some reason blocks that site, and so the blogs were copied and pasted from my Facebook Notes.**

Today was a very long day. I felt as if it was never going to end. we woke up early and headed down to breakfast before we were suppose to leave for the conference. Today the conference was being held at Sun-Yat Sen University. We all boarded a bus which took us over to the university, with of course getting lost along the way. Rob and I laughed and said, 'is this really happening?'.

The conference was pretty much all day. There was a keynote speaker from Southern Florida who spoke on Design Science for Information Systems. Basically it is a way how to organize your research into a paper. Rob told me that his advisor at Arizona thinks that Design Science is a load of crap, so Rob was not too interested in the speaker. He knew who the guy was though as he has had to send emails to him when he was at Arizona.

Let me tell you that there are two different types of research in the Information Systems field. 1) Behavioral, 2) Technical. Rob's type of research and way of thinking is on the technical side due to the fact that he actually does the experiments to prove that the hypothesis works. Where as the Behavioral side is more of the way of "well i think x+y=z" but yet never proves that it actually works. Rob gets frustrated because the two are very different and that the top tiered journals that Rob would love to publish in are all Behavioral. He said that his papers get rejected every time due to them not understanding what Rob is talking about.

The first session of presentations was after the keynote speaker. Rob presented in the first session. He was the second one out of his group (the conference broke up into two different rooms). The first guy who presented had very poor English and was very hard to understand. he read straight from the slide and read every formula that was presented on the PowerPoint slide. It was brutal.

Rob then got up there and pretty much blew everyone out of way. He, of course, had one of the expert type of facilitator for his presentation and was asked some pretty hard questions. The presentation on his stock analysis was pretty good. Interesting...even though it was a bit over my head. The third presentation was on websites and the different websites that different classes of people go to. for example the older generation tended to use for a longer time compared to people who were btwn 18-29 years old. I asked where Myspace or even Facebook would fit into their research as both old and young people use Facebook. the answer i got from the presenter was, "well this paper was written back in 2004 when Facebook and Myspace were not widely used." They never really answered the question completely.

After that we took a short walk over to lunch at a very good seafood place. It was traditional Chinese style where all dishes were placed on a Lazy Susan and you just picked what you wanted for your own plate. I tried deep friend oysters, duck, some type of beef meal, a steamed bun which had a pork onion filling, some type of fish, and something else. No rice served at lunch.

Then it was back to the university for the second half of the sessions. One of the presentations we sat in on was spoken all in mandarin. I was pretty bored as both presentations were not that good to listen to.

Around 6pm we headed over take a river boat cruise. once again the bus driver got lost and had started out going the wrong way. the dinner cruise was OK, i guess. i think i was more tired than anything and just wanted to be back at the hotel room. it was another Chinese buffet.

On the way back to the hotel the bus driver really got lost and about 5 other Chinese people were helping the bus driver to get back to the hotel. rob and i both looked at each other and said, "i am so done with Asia!! i have no desire to come back anytime soon." We are both hoping that Beijing will be a lot nicer. i am looking forward to leaving this place on Monday and head to Beijing.

tomorrow...we are not too sure what we will do. we may just hang out here at the hotel. guangzhou is not very friendly for foreigners, like beijing is. rob calls this down here "backwoods china" where not a whole lot of people will help you understand the language. their mentality is, "why are you here? you are different compared to me." tomorrow is the second day of the conference but Rob said that there are no presentations that sound interesting for him. so we will see what tomorrow holds.

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