Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Conference I Won't Be Attending

Here is some conference spam I recently received:


Re: INVITATION for oral presentation at ICCE-17th Hawaii, USA

Upon review of your expertise in composite and nanotechnology of materials or physics/chemistry of materials/devices, and metals and concrete research, it gives me pleasure to invite you to orally present a paper at the coming 17th Annual International Conference on Composites or Nano Engineering, ICCE-17, July 26-31, 2009 in Hawaii, USA.. This is a truly “international” conference held in the USA, where the majority of the participants are from outside USA. The topic is broad to include almost all science and engineering, due to the emphasis of interdisciplinary research in nanotechnology.

The ICCE-17 Hawaii Call for Papers has received overwhelming responses of over 600 abstracts. The emphasis of the conference is to

(1) to learn the state of the art in hot topics where funding exists, such as Biomedical and Nano research on multifunctional materials and structures,

(2) provide a forum of exchange of ideas between Chemists, Physicists, Biologists, Engineers, mathematicians and mechanicians, to promote interdisciplinary approach to Nano/Biomedical/ Composites Technology,

(3) encourage participants to conduct interdisciplinary joint research and write joint research proposals

The venue hotel rate is being negotiated (prices falling due to recession), and the venue hotel and the island will be announced soon. The conference web is,

www.uno.edu/~engr/composite

These ICCE-17 detailed abstracts will be reviewed and appear as short papers in World Journal of Engineering, upon payment of registration fee and attendance of ICCE-17. Further, “all” full length version of these short papers, with paper title change, will be reviewed and published in WJOE or in Composites B journal. Thus, all participants will have two journal papers as a benefit of coming to ICCE-17 Hawaii. Due to budgetary constraints, we are unable to offer financial assistance.

Looking forward to seeing you in Hawaii.

Yours sincerely,

David Hui, Ph.D.,
Chairman ICCE-17 Hawaii, USA
Professor of Mechanical Engineering Univ of New Orleans
Editor-in-Chief, Composites Part B:
Doctor Honoris Causa (Italy, Nov. 2008, Vietnam, Dec. 2006, Ukraine, Nov. 2004)
dhui@uno.edu


This invitation has many signs of bogosity:

1. It was sent to an old address I set up 15 years ago for a conference and have not used since, a clear sign the author has used some spam service.

2. It falsely claims that I have been invited because of my "expertise in composite and nanotechnology of materials or physics/chemistry of materials/devices, and metals and concrete research", all fields that I have never done any research in. Also note the wide variety of unrelated topics listed as the theme of the conference -- this is quite unusual for a legitimate conference.

3. It has random grammatical errors and punctuation inconsistencies, such as capitalizing "Chemists" but not capitalizing "mathematicians", and putting "all" in quotes.

4. The author lists his honorary doctorates.

Sorry, I won't be going to this conference.

11 comments:

Barry said...

You can find David Hui's phone number on the University of New Orleans College of Engineering Faculty page (google it). You could call him.

D. Swart said...

I should hope that publishing two journal papers for the price of one is an atypical selling point for conferences.

Is it a common practice, or is it another reason to be wary?

nihalparkar said...

The website for the conference appears to be a single page dummy, with no further links. I think someone has tried to play a prank using the (publicly available) details of a real faculty member.

I recollect having got a similar email that addressed me as "Dear Prof. Dr. Parkar" for a conference in cuba (chemistrycuba.com) that has a much more elaborate website, but still appears to be shady.

Carlos said...

Thus, all participants will have two journal papers as a benefit of coming to ICCE-17 Hawaii. So you get two journal papers for going to Hawaii? Sounds good to me! :)

At least I hadn't heard of ICCE before. It seems I get spam for the "World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics" every other month. Sometimes it comes under different guises, such as AG (Academic Globalization), IMETI (International Multi-Conference on Engineering and Technological Innovation), and MEI (Management, Engineering and Informatics). I'm lucky that they're dumb enough to always include the same physical address in the email, so spam filters easily catch it. (And yes, the guy that organizes these is a crackpot)

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

It actually reason #4 that I find appalling: there seems to be a negative correlation between (1) the number of decorations appended at the end of an academic's name [such as honorary degrees, titles of prestige, etc] and (2) his/her real abilities.

In the UK, the more letters you attach to your name, the more "important" you become. As an example, Prof. Xyz Qwertyuiop, CBE, Hon DSc, MA, FFA, FIA, FSS, FIMA may be an impressive list of letters, but, in reality, it may mean that this person has no PhD.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

In the UK, the more letters you attach to your name, the more "important" you become.

Here's an opportunity to become more important by adding an FCD to your name.

Mark Perakh said...

There is a funny thing about this invitation: Dr. D. Hui has listed his honoris causa degrees, including one from Ukraine (without specifying the institution that has awarded that degree. If his name "Hui" is transliterated into cyrillic letters, in Ukrainian it is a word which is a vulgar version of the word for penis. Surely this should have caused a lot of amusement among those Ukrainians who awarded that honorary degree. It probably was the first time they ever honored a "hui" with a degree.

visitorX said...

what would happen if you actually attend the conference?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

visitorX:

Nothing would happen, except I'd be out the $500 registration fee and I'd waste my time attending a conference in an area I know nothing about.

Scientific conferences are usually open to anyone who registers; it's not like it's some big secret.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is this:

1. Why did they invite you to a conference on electronics? Do you work in the area?

2. Why should a conference call itself "truly international"? Is this usual?

Anonymous said...

Please go here and read about David Hui: http://www.aais.pku.edu.cn/En_Article.asp?ArticleID=556
This post is from Peking University, the top one in China!!!