What to Wear at A Conference

What you wear says a lot about who you are, even for machine learning researchers. Fashion is just as important for the up and coming ML researcher as it is for a PR consultant. Follow these handy tips to help your career.

  1. It is most important to wear the right brand of clothing at a conference. The following are acceptable:
    1. For students: Gateway, Dell, or IBM. Must weigh more than 3kg and make a lot of noise, running an alpha release of Linux.
    2. For researchers: His big shot boss’s previous computer.
    3. For big shots: Sony Vaio (less than 1 year old), Apple G4 Titanium, or anything costing more than $5000 and weighing less that 1.5kg. In order that you be seen to be a “top guy” who is super productive, it is important that your laptop is always on (you should get a large capacity battery to allow this). Ideally you should at all times be in the middle of 1) writing a paper; 2) answering multiple emails; 3) writing some code; 4) running a big simulation. If wireless access is available you should be online and using it, especially whilst sitting in a talk.
  2. Other important fashion items are:
    1. Students: Conference proceedings, thick notebook, headset connected to Skype,  and a puzzled expression.
    2. Researchers: Name badge (so big shots can figure out who you are).
    3. Big Shots: Business cards, spa program, ski tickets, rental car keys.
  3. A special effect can be achieved if the conference is held at a spa or resort; you can turn up to talks wearing swimmers or a bathrobe.