The five-day meeting has brought me a lot.
1) Deepened my understanding about my research through presentations and discussions with researchers with different backgrounds but working in fields relevant to my research.
2) Practiced how to present and communicate effectively to both experts in my fields and "laymen" with other research specialty.
3) Practiced scientific writing and news writing by attending the MRS Science Writing workshop and serving as a blogger.
4) Extended my professional network. I've interviewed leading figures in my research fields and was also able to discuss with other talented graduate students.
5) Met MRS organizers who I would never see in my life if I didn't decide to come. Chats with session organizers and meeting organizers as well as MRS website administrator revealed numerous behind-the-scenes stories, adding unique elements to my meeting experience.
If you are one of the graduate students who are reading this post but didn't get a chance to involve this time, I would encourage you to attend the MRS Fall Meeting at Boston in this Nov.