Another fun SODA activity: getting to (belatedly) congratulate Susanne Albers on her Leibniz Prize in person. I had the great pleasure of working with Susanne early in our careers, and I'm thrilled to see her get this kind of recognition, which she greatly deserves. (A paper of hers I remember greatly enjoying was On Randomized Online Scheduling, if you're looking for a starting point to check out her work.) And 2.5 million euros is real money, particularly at the current exchange rate!
After my queries, Susanne politely explained to me that the money could not actually be used to buy a house, but was for research. I suggested that now was a very good time to ask for a raise. More banter followed. Certainly, one of the pleasures of conferences is catching up with colleagues in distant places. Congratulations Susanne!