I went to my first SIAM conference last week.
It was SIAM GD/SPM 2015, on Geometric & Physical Modeling, and it was right in my wheelhouse.
I only went on the last day, but I was exposed so many interesting ideas applicable to 3D printing and modeling.
It was exactly the section of computer graphics and mathematics that I love.
I saw some great talks, but one in particular I really liked was by Ryan Schmidt from Autodesk Research. He works on Meshmixer and talked about underlying representations of 3D models for almost all applications. If he’s right, and the future of CAD representation is meshes, maybe Blender could be leveraged and extended to be a really neat CAD tool.
Anyhoo, SIAM GP/SPM was probably the most intellectually inspiring conference I’ve been to. However, being very academic, it has some drawbacks. The registration was super costly (compared to other non-academic software conferences I’ve been to). None of the talks were recorded so those not at the conference can’t benefit from the presentations. As for diversity, out of ~70 people in a room, less than 10 people were women.
Overall, I had a great time and learned a lot. I hope SIAM gets better and perhaps I’ll go again next year!