MAYA – Meeting of ALMA Young Astronomers – First Edition
From March 2 to 4, 2022, the first Meeting of ALMA Young Astronomers (MAYA) took place fully online. The conference was dedicated to undergraduate and PhD students as well as postdocs. The goal of the meeting was to allow participants to share their ALMA projects in an open and friendly atmosphere, interact with other participants and staff from the ARC nodes, and potentially trigger new collaborations and projects.
The organising committee received more than 150 registrations and more than 90 submitted abstracts for the program. In the end, the program covered all types of astronomical subjects from solar observations to distant galaxies as well as two invited talks about the history of ALMA and the European ARC network. The presentations were recorded and are available in the MAYA playlist on the European ALMA Regional Centre Network YouTube channel. Participants who were not awarded presentation time during the conference were given the opportunity to pre-record their talks and upload them to the same playlist.
The high quality of the presentations and the friendly interaction in the Q&A time after each talk as well as on Slack was impressive. Besides the presentations, the meeting offered ample time for the participants to get to know each other in Zoom breakout rooms and during the social evenings. A quiz with ALMA trivia questions added a playful tone to some of the breaks.
An overwhelming 93% of participants who filled the feedback survey were overall satisfied with the meeting, making this first MAYA conference a great success! The survey participants stated that they most enjoyed the variety of the program and the early career attendees. More than 90% of the survey participants are interested in participating in the next MAYA event in 2023!