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Posters 38
  • 02 May 2012 20:06:15

Here I host an archive of the posters I've presented at conferences or other events.

All these posters were created mainly with OO.o Impress, and the background images I modified using GIMP.

Poster on CRIB

RIKEN Open Campus, April 2010
         Simple CRIB schematic with photograph overlay (Download pdf)
                  (3DRotate was also used for production.)

Posters on 30S RI Beam Development (yeah sorry that took me four years)

Origins of Matter and Evolution of Galaxies 2010, March 2010, Osaka, Japan
         Poster title: 30S(α,p) in X-Ray Bursts at CRIB (Download pdf)
                  (Background image courtesy M. A. Garlick
                  [Published conference proceeding]

p-process Workshop, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, February 2009, Tokyo, Japan
         Poster title: 30S Beam to Study X-Ray Bursts (Download pdf)
                  (Background image courtesy Greg Martin

10th Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos, July 2008, Mackinac Island, Michigan, United States
         Poster title: 30S RI Beam Production & XRBs (Downlaod pdf)
                  (Background image credit: NASA and ESA hosted at Wikimedia Commons.)
                  [Published conference proceeding]

Frank N. Bash Symposium 2007: New Horizons in Astronomy, October 2007, Austin, Texas, United States
         Poster title: Radioactive 30S Beam to Study XRBs (Download pdf)
                  (Background image credit: KTH Royal Institute of Technology hosted by the Particle and Astroparticle Physics group.)
                  [Published conference proceeding]

Poster Making Guidelines

Here is a bit of my own philosophy on how to make a good poster.

0) If you don't want to make a poster, don't post anything! If you wanted a talk and got a poster slot instead, make a poster or withdraw. Do not print out slides for some old talk you gave and tape them to the wall! This makes you look stupid. Also, do not tape some pre-print paper up to the wall, either (but see rule #6 below). Talks, papers, and posters all have drastically different styles for a good reason. They are extremely different modes of communication, and are in no way at all compatible.

1) Make sure the poster size and orientation are correct. This means both from the venue and available printers! Resizing the poster after you start is a pain!

2) I like to choose my background image first. If you use something copyrighted, please get permission before you start!. (In the past I have not always been good about this.) Always cite the background image. Make sure the quality of the image is good as well for a large size. Typically, I will use GIMP to make the image nearly monochromatic, and then alter the contrast and brightness so that it is unobtrusive. Otherwise, for the title region, I use a color inversion so that I can use white text for the title and black text for the main contents.

3) Use fonts that can be clearly read. This means they should be large. They should contrast the background clearly. For work in physics, especially, one should use a font with serifs so that Roman letters are distinguished from any Arabic numerals. Make sure the title is very large (and thus it must be short) and suits your intended audience. It's usually better to choose a title with a large scope and appeal rather than being very specific. However, conference submissions often involve abstracts and more paper-styled titles (i.e. longer and more specific titles), which can lead to a conflict of interest here. One solution I tried, but do not recommend, is using a different title for each one (it's confusing!). I believe the best solution to this is to invent your abstract submission title so that the first section can be your MAIN poster title, and then the rest can be in smaller font on a second line as the subtitle or continuation. I'm going to try that for the first time this year, and I'll update this section to let you know how it goes.

4) Do not put an abstract. Posters themselves are little more than abstracts with bad grammar and pictures. No one wants to read your poster.

5) Keep text to a minimum. Avoid any prose or paragraphs, because probably no one will read your whole poster like that. One or two sentences at the top of each section is as much prose as you should use! Conversely, I've seen this rule abused, so do not make your whole poster a series of histograms where the only text is figure captions — that approach is still superior to the poster with thousands of words, but it's taking the rule too far!

6) If you have a paper pre-print, it's nice to hand it out at the poster session. This may also help you to minimize text on the poster. Don't hand them out like propaganda; you'll know the people who view your poster that may actually like to read your full paper later, or even reference your final publication!

7) Have a good selection of images. (This also relates to the caveat for abuse of Rule #5 I witnessed, since 12 identically formatted histograms is not eye-catching in the least.) Most people will only come talk to you and not read your poster, so you need things to point to for confusing ideas. Also make sure your image print quality is good. Never use jpeg images that have been compressed in any way — they will have nasty artifacts! Again, you should not be using copyrighted images without express permission. If you want to use a figure from a journal article showing data, I suggest using the GSys program; data itself is not copyrighted!

8) Always cite everything!

9) Put all co-author names and affiliations just like you would for a paper. I wince any time I see a poster with just the presenting author's name (unless it really is a single-authorship work, and then I'm impressed).

10) Make sure to put logos for any institutions or funding agencies. I like this at the bottom. Without these groups, your work would not be possible.

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