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40 Awesome Conferences for Forward-Thinking Professors


These days, there's an academic conference out there for just about any interest. From studying the social and cultural ramifications of Jersey Shore to exploring the latest breakthroughs in genetic engineering, there's no end to what the enterprising professor (or college student) can find. While many conferences may look to the past, many more are looking to the future, examining education, social structures, sexuality, religion, and other topics from a modern, and sometimes even future-looking, point of view. If you're looking to learn, share, and present on the cutting edge, consider checking out one of these amazing academic get-togethers. You may just find one that's a perfect match for your latest paper or research interests.

Education

Learn more about the leading edge of teaching at these innovative conferences.

  1. Heartland eLearning Conference

    Head to the University of Central Oklahoma to take part in this conference all about the rapidly evolving world of e-learning. Talks touch on topics like social media, technology literacy, the future of e-learning, and much more.

  2. SITE & Teacher Education International Conference

    The Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education hosts this yearly conference to explore ideas related to educational technology. Even cooler? Professors and experts can present their papers virtually, letting even those who don't have the time or money to travel participate.

  3. The Future of Higher Education

    Sponsored by the Center for Public Scholarship, this conference focuses on where higher education is headed in the future; an important topic for anyone working in the field to learn more about. From technology to global awareness, participants will get a chance to explore the college campus and learning experience of the coming decade.

  4. Technology for Education

    The International Association of Science and Technology for Development is holding this year's conference in Dallas, bringing in a wealth of professors, teachers, and technology professionals to speak about issues like open education, e-learning, and disruptive innovation, among other topics.

  5. Learning Solutions Conference and Expo

    Can't get enough of technology in your college classroom? This conference may be right up your alley. It centers on presenting a variety of ways educators can better use both new and proven technologies to teach online and in the classroom.

  6. EARLI

    EARLI stands for European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction. As you might imagine, the organizations conference brings together educators and researchers from around the world to talk about the latest theories and practices that are changing the modern classroom.

  7. IADIS Mobile Learning International Conference

    Mobile learning is a hot topic right now in education circles and probably will be for some time. The IADIS conference is the perfect opportunity to learn more about just what mobile technology means for teachers and student, with presentations on everything from the theoretical aspects of it to real implementations of software and technology in teaching.

  8. STEMtech Conference

    Teaching STEM subjects can be difficult, but quite rewarding when done right. Whether you teach math, engineering, biology, telecommunications, or any other STEM topic, you'll find presentations and information through this conference that can help improve your teaching and draw more students into STEM fields.

  9. SXSWedu

    While not quite as cool as Austin's similarly named arts festival SXSW, this education conference isn't your usual education conference. It focuses on technology and 21st century practices, and can be a great asset to any educator today and in future courses.

  10. Big Ideas Fest

    Have big ideas? Whether you're delving into your own cutting-edge research or just want to stay up-to-speed on what others are doing, the Big Ideas Fest is the place to learn about some of the most amazing innovations in education today.

Technology

Check out one of these tech-focused conferences to learn more about everything from video games to clean energy.

  1. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

    Technology is most effective when it takes the human user into account, and that's just what this high-tech conference focuses on exploring. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, presenters and attendees will discuss just about everything related to human-computer interaction and human-focused technology.

  2. IDEA's Campus Energy Conference

    Much of the talk that goes on about green energy takes place on a much larger scale, but this conference homes in on issues that are central to energy consumption and production just on the college campus which can be a great way to learn about ways professors and students can push for environmental changes on their own college campuses in the future.

  3. The Carnegie Conference

    Focused on higher education, this conference is a must-see for professors interested in marketing their programs, research, courses, colleges, or even their own personal brand through social media with greater confidence. While geared towards college administrators, it can still be a valuable learning experience for anyone hoping to learn more about social media marketing.

  4. Cloud Intelligence Conference

    These days, just about everything is connected to cloud computing in some way or another so it just makes sense to learn more about it if you want to stay technology-savvy. This conference covers just about everything related to the topic, and for those interested in research and a wider application of cloud technologies, it can be an eye-opening experience.

  5. Human-Computer Interaction

    IASTED holds a conference each year related to issues of human interaction with computer systems. Like the ACM conference, attendees will get a chance to delve deeper into the technical, design, and even philosophical ideas that arise when computers and human beings meet.

  6. Turing 2012: International Conference on Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

    Alan Turing is considered one of the founding fathers of modern day computer technology, but his work didn't just influence computer science. Presenters at this conference hail from a wide range of fields, including philosophy, mathematics, cryptography, biology, and psychology.

  7. Constructing Worlds

    Is it possible to create our own worlds? What does it mean to do so? This conference explores ideas of world making, breaking, existence, and sensing in the real, virtual, interior, and exterior spheres.

  8. Virtual World Conference

    A bit narrower than the Constructing Worlds conference, this meet up focuses on the worlds we build in the virtual realm. The conference itself exists in a virtual world, bringing together participants in Second Life to talk about the ways these virtual spaces can be used for education, business, and research collaboration.

  9. BlogWorld & New Media Expo

    These days, you can't do much online without coming across a blog. Blogs have also become a valuable tool in teaching and learning, not to mention research, so knowing more about the technology and other new media tools can be incredibly valuable for a 21st century professor. This conference offers that, with speakers hailing from the blogging, IT, business, and marketing worlds.

  10. WITI's Women and Technology Summit

    Whether you're a woman yourself or just want to push your female students to get into a technology field, this conference can be an great place to find inspirational people. The conference is loaded with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and important women (and men) in technology.

  11. FuturePlay

    This international academic conference focuses on the future of video game design and technology, focusing on topics like learning, gendered games, serious applications, and ways that games change and impact society.

  12. The Fully Networked Human

    What does it mean to be networked in today's world? This South African conference asks that question, presenting new research and technology that benefits, connects, and builds a human-centric virtual world on the web.

  13. International Conference on Control, Robotics and Cybernetics

    What's more futuristic and cutting-edge than robots? Not much! Head to this international conference to learn about the engineering, bio-tech, and computing research that's going into building some of the most amazing robots the world has ever seen.

Science

Whether you're a science professor or just have an interest in the subject, these conferences are exciting ways to learn more about the field.

  1. Starship Symposium

    It might sound like a symposium created just for crackpots, but this gathering of experts from astronautics and technology (as well as a few space geeks) is completely serious. Attendees will get a chance to play a role in learning about the next generation of space exploration, with the aim of traveling beyond our own solar system.

  2. The Amaz!ng Meeting

    Bringing in big names like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, this meeting of skeptics is all about critical thinking. Attendees won't find any magic or supernatural events here, with talks focused on the concrete evidence provided by science.

  3. Toward a Science of Consciousness

    Can we even begin to describe what consciousness is? Or how it affects the brain? There's much to learn and explore about the human mind, and this conference, bringing together top researchers on topics like comas, human psychology, theoretical physics, and neuroscience explores some of the most baffling and the most engaging facets of consciousness.

  4. Smart Fabrics

    Most of us don't give much thought to the fabrics we encounter in our daily lives, but those fabrics may undergo some big changes in the future. Forward-thinking professors can learn about the latest technological developments in smart fabrics from over 20 different expert speakers at this conference.

  5. World Congress: Brave New World? Genetic Engineering & Human Dignity

    Genetic engineering is a topic laden with tough philosophical and moral issues, which makes it a particularly rewarding topic for a conference. Visitors to this international conference will find in-depth discussions on the relationship of genetic engineering to issues like immortality, God, and spirituality.

Liberal and Fine Arts

From building visual literacy to creating the museum of the future to exploring sexual mores, these conferences address a wide range of modern liberal and fine arts issues.

  1. Global Conference on Visual Literacy

    We often don't give much thought to the myriad of images we have to decode and understand each day, but in many ways visual literacy is just as important as word-based literacy for navigating the modern world. At this conference, speakers and attendees from a wide range of fields will meet up to discuss visual literacy with regard to teaching, media, culture, technology, and more.

  2. Sex::Tech New Media, Youth & Sexual Health

    New studies have revealed that young people get a startling amount of their information about sex from pornography. This conference aims to make the web a smarter place to get information on sex for young people, and is a great place for professors working in fields like psychology, health care, and social work to learn more about ways new media can help in sex ed.

  3. International Conference on Prostitution

    Prostitution may be the oldest profession but it's also one of the most controversial ones. Head to this conference if you're willing to take a more even-handed look at prostitution, even hearing from those who work in the sex business themselves.

  4. The Future of Humanity Now

    Science fiction writers have longed dreamed up futures for humanity, some good, some bad, and some just plain strange. This conference takes a look at some of the ways machines, technology, virtual worlds, and even genetic engineering are changing what it means to be human today and years down the road.

  5. International Conference for Academic Disciplines

    It doesn't matter what you're researching, this conference, focused on research and learning itself, has a place for you. Participants can share their research, methods, and more and do a little sightseeing to boot.

  6. High-Tech Heritage

    Technology is playing a bigger role in how we view, share, research, and teach about history, but some think this might be changing how we see the past altogether Head to UMass Amherst to explore the concept of digital heritage alongside other academics, museologists, digital technologist, and community leaders.

  7. Transgender and Intersex in the Arts, Science and Society

    Those who are transgendered or intersex have long been misunderstood, shamed, and even attacked. Through this conference, scholars can take a look at the way these individuals have presented themselves and been presented by others by the arts, sciences, and in society.

  8. Transforming Museums

    As technology evolves, so must the museum and museology as a whole. Professors who'd like to learn more about using new technologies, ideas, and theories in museum presentations and education should head to this cutting-edge conference.

  9. The Future of the Book

    Will paper books one day fall by the wayside? Maybe not, but e-books are certainly gaining popularity, and anyone interested in the future of traditional texts will find this conference a fascinating place to learn more.

  10. Digital Methods and Tools for Historical Research

    Professors and students might not often stop to think about how much technology has changed how they do research. Yet changes in technology have revolutionized historical research, a topic this conference covers in great detail.

  11. Language in the Realm of Social Dynamics International Conference

    With technology, the world has become a smaller place than ever and globalization has done much to change language and learning. Check out this conference to learn more about how new technology, a connected world, and new perspectives have changed how language teaching and literacy research function.

  12. International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law

    While it might not deal with the kind of AI laws that Asimov imagined, this conference is still pretty cutting edge. Speakers will touch on topics related to the use of IT and AI to do law research, understand legal reasoning, and much more.

December 5th, 2011 written by Staff Writers

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