I’ve just returned from Melbourne where I presented a paper at The 9th International Conference on Knowledge-Based Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems (KES 2005) and visited some relatives. The trip served to reinforce how much I like Melbourne. The conference venue was quite spiffy (Hilton on the Park), though there was lots of audio interference between some of the rooms. Conference attendees who registered as students (like me) didn’t get a copy of the proceedings in hard or soft copy (although I’m glad I didn’t get the hard copy, which came in four LNCS volumes), nor did their fee provide entrance to the cocktail party of conference dinner. This turned out okay because I found the really nice little restaurant that Karen and I went to last time (corner of Little Collins St and Block Place). There was an awesome mariachi band playing. Those guys totally rocked. The food was great too.

I saw the part of the National Gallery of Victoria that Karen and I didn’t get to see last time. There was a temporary exhibition of about 100 pieces from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, but I’d already seen them all with Karen when we visited Holland earlier in the year. There was also an exhibition of some of Albrecht Dürer’s sketches. I was impressed by some of the pieces the gallery has managed to procure for its permanent collection. There were several paintings by Rubens (though Rubens was so prolific that his pieces seem to be everywhere) and Rembrandt as well as a Monet.

All in all a good trip. I didn’t get to meet Rhys because he’s galavanting around South East Asia on business again.