Author: Nitish Nagesh (University of California, Irvine, USA)
Editor: Yoko Yamakata (University of Tokyo, Japan)
Conference website: https://2022.acmmm.org
Date: Oct 10 - 14, 2021
Place: Lisbon, Portugal (Hybrid Conference)
General Chairs: João Magalhães (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal), Alberto del Bimbo (Università di Firenze, Italy), Shin'ichi Satoh (National Institute of Informatics, Japan), Nicu Sebe (University of Trento, Italy)
Nitish Nagesh (@nitish_nagesh) is a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science department, the University of California, Irvine, USA. He has been awarded as Best Social Media Reporter of ACM Multimedia 2022 conference. To celebrate this award, Nitish Nagesh reported on his wonderful experience at ACM Multimedia 2022 as follows.
I was excited when our paper “World Food Atlas for Food Navigation” was accepted to the Multimedia Assisted Dietary Management Workshop (MADiMA). Being held in conjunction with ACM Multimedia 2022, the premier multimedia conference was the icing on the cake. It being in Lisbon, Portugal was the cherry on top of the cake. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It is fitting to describe a multimedia conference experience report through pictures.
Prof. Ramesh Jain organized an informal meetup at the Choupana Caffe based on the advice of Joao Magalhaes, general chair of ACMMM 2022. It was great to meet researchers working on food computing including Prof. Yoko Yamakata, Prof. Agnieszka, Maija Kale. It was great to also have the company of students and professors from Singapore Management University including Prof. Chong Wah along with Prof. Phoebe Chen. Since this was the first in-person conference for many folks, we had great conversations over waffles, pear salad and watermelon mint juice!
The MADiMA workshop and the Cooking and Eating Activities (CEA) workshop had stellar keynote speakers and presentations about topics ranging from adherence to a mediterranean diet to mental health estimation through food images.
The workshop was at the Lisbon Congress Center. It was a treat to watch the sun shine brightly on the congress center in the morning and the mellow sunset only a few minutes away near the Tagus Estuary rendering an orangish hue to the red bridge overlooking the train tracks below.
After a great set of presentations, the MADIMA and CEA workshop was drawn to a close with a group picture, of one large family of people who love food and want to help people enjoy food while maintaining their health goals. A huge shout out to the workshop chairs Prof. Stavroula Mougiakakou, Prof. Keiji Yanai, Prof. Dario Allegra and Prof. Yoko Yamakata. (I tried my best to include a photo where everyone looks good!)
All work and no play makes us dull people! And all research with no food makes us hungry people! We had a post-workshop dinner at an authentic Portuguese restaurant. The food was great and it was a delightful evening because of the surprise treat from the professors!
Prof. Jain’s Ph.D. talk was inspiring as he shared his personal journey that led him to focus on healthcare. He urged students in the multimedia community to pursue multimodal healthcare research as he shared his insights on building a personal health navigator.
I had signed up to be a mentee for the Ph.D. school Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. We asked Prof. Ming Dong questions about his time at graduate school, balancing teaching and research responsibilities, tips on maximizing research output and strategies to cope with rejections. He was candid in his responses and emphasized the need to focus on incremental progress while striving to do impactful research. I must thank Prof. Wei Tsang and other organizers for their leadership in organizing a first-of-its-kind session.
In between running around oral sessions, poster presentations, keynote talks, networking, grabbing lunch, and enjoying Portuguese Tart, we managed to have fun while volunteering. Huge credit to the students and staff (the Rafael’s, the Diogo’s, the David’s, the Gustavo’s, the Pedro’s) from Nova university for doing the heavy lifting to ensure a smooth online, hybrid and in-person experience!
It was a pleasure to watch Prof. Alan Smeaton deliver an inspiring speech about the journey of information retrieval and multimedia. The community congratulates you once again on the Technical Achievement Award – more power to you, Alan!
The highlight of the conference was the grand banquet at Centro Cultural de Belém. There could not have been a better climax to the gala event than the Fado music. One aspect of Fado music symbolizes longing where the spouse sings a melancholy when her partner sets sail on long voyages. It is accompanied by the unique 12 string guitar and is sung very close to the audience to heighten the intimacy. I could fully relate to the artists’ melody and rhythms since I had been longing to see my family and friends back home, whom I have not visited for the past three years due to the pandemic. Another tune described the beauty of Lisbon in superlatives including the sun shining the brightest compared to any other part of the world. There was a happy ending to the tune when the artists recreated the moment of joy after the war was over and everyone was merry again. It reinvigorated a fresh hope and breathed a new lease of life into our cluttered worlds. For once, I was truly present in the moment!