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One question I get asked a lot is should students present at conference. In fact it is often more of a statement of intent rather than a question about whether it is useful. The answer, however, is not as clear as many students believe.
The basic issue is that there are many, many conferences these days, with low thresholds to entry or idiosyncratic selection based on the preferences of the organizer rather than quality. Presenting at a conference is not a big plus on your resume and for some people, who do a great deal of it without producing other work, it can raise questions about priorities. That is not to say it is a bad thing to do but it is not the unmitigated positive that some might assume.
Of course, there are good reasons students make such presentations.
These days there is such an information overload that there is a real question about whether one needs an additional information forum, however.
Of course students also ask about attending a conference and that raises a number of related questions:
In the current period with so many channels of communication my sense is that the idea of the conference needs to be rethought. Asking serious questions about how useful such venues are is a good first step for students.