OOPSLA panels have consistently been among the best-attended and well-received attractions at the conference. The best panels offer an engaging, entertaining, and informative examination of a timely topic from a variety of viewpoints. OOPSLA panels offer a unique forum to spotlight emerging issues. They also give the OOPSLA community a way to tackle controversial and divisive topics head-on in a fun, interactive way that can shed welcome light on the issues we all must deal with.
Panels come in many shapes and sizes. Some formats that have worked well in the past include:
While we will continue to accept proposals based on traditional formats, we encourage you to be creative and innovative as well.
Part of the enduring appeal of OOPSLA panels is that they showcase the opinions of leading researchers and industry leaders. This is a tradition we will continue to uphold. We also hope, however, to move beyond the usual gurus and gadflies, and feature a broader cross-section of the OOPSLA community in this year's panel program. Panelists need not be experts; dispatches from the trenches are at least as enlightening as the latest sound bites from the usual suspects.
Panels that have the potential for audience interaction can be particularly effective. For example, an extensive audience question and answer period, a fishbowl, a roaming microphone for soliciting audience feedback and questions, audience submitted questions that the moderator poses to the panelists, or any other format that engages the audience in an active way.
OOPSLA panels can address topics that cover any theme that could be of interest to the OOPSLA community, which includes software researchers and practitioners.
Panel topic must have some element of controversy and/or novelty. OOPSLA audiences prefer a certain degree of discordance among the positions of the panelists. Hence, you are encouraged to seek out panelists with contrasting opinions. Panels where all the panelists agree are generally not interesting. All panelists need not, however, have starkly contrasting opinions; a panel where everyone agrees on an idea, but for different reasons, can be successful.
If there is an issue that periodically generates lots of discussion and controversy in your workplace or on a (computing-related) discussion list, you may be able to shape that issue into a panel discussion topic. (Be sure that you can find panelists who will take different sides of the argument!)
If you would like to submit a panel, but are not confident you'll be able to populate it yourself, let us know in the submission--we may be able to help.
Some areas that are possible candidates for a panel include (but are certainly not limited to):
Electronic submission of proposals is required through the OOPSLA submission system.
For additional information, clarifications, or questions, please contact the Panels chair, Russ Rufer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.