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Doctoral Symposium Chair: Doug Lea, doc_symp@oopsla.acm.org
Submissions due date: 20 July 2001
Notification of acceptance or rejection: 5 August 2001

OOPSLA 2001 will provide a selected group of doctoral students with a forum in which to present their work and to obtain guidance from university and industry researchers as well as the other symposium participants. The goal of the symposium is to expose the students to external helpful but critical peers before their defense in order to improve upon their thesis work, as well as giving points of advice for job interviews. Past symposia have benefited the participants greatly and their responses had been unanimously quite positive.

Potential mentors include past Chairs and Program Committee members of OOPSLA, ECOOP, etc. Their mission is not only to be constructively critical about the current status of the work, but also to give advice to where the work should further focus and stress, the future direction for successful completion of the doctoral work, as well as some points of advice for job interviews. In past symposia, some mentors have attained close research relationships with the then doctoral students, who have gone on to become established researchers themselves, resulting in a continuum of research collaborations.

Who Should Apply
Doctoral students who are within one year of thesis completion are invited to apply. Each applicant should have an approved committee and topic. We are looking for students who are advanced enough to have a specific research proposal and some preliminary results, but with sufficient time remaining to thesis completion to benefit from the symposium experience.  A brief letter of recommendation from the student's thesis advisor is also required. Selections will be made based upon the contents of the application.

Symposium Organization
At the Doctoral Symposium, a group of 8 to 10 selected student participants present their research in a closed workshop format to each other and a group of 4 to 5 mentors. Due to the mentoring nature of the event, it is only open to those selected for participation. The presentation consists of:

  • a two minute overview stating the most critical issues of the research
  • a twenty minute description of the research that must be structured in the following manner:
    • Problem Description (What is the exact problem that this research attempts to address? What are the limitations or failings of current knowledge, methods or technologies that this research will resolve? How significant is this problem?)
    • Goal Statement (What new knowledge, methods, or technologies will this research generate? How will these developments solve the identified problem?)
    • Approach to be Used (What are the planned experiments, prototypes, or studies that will be done to achieve the stated goal? How will achievement of the goal be demonstrated and the contribution of the work be measured?)
  • a question and answer period of approximately  twenty to thirty minutes involved the student, the mentors, and other participating students.

The two major parts of the presentation will be strictly timed. Questions and interaction will generally not be allowed during the presentation.

The symposium participants will have a two-page short paper published in the Conference Companion proceedings, and are also strongly advised to have a poster at the Poster session. Participating in the Poster sessions allows the student to receive additional feedback and suggestions on the dissertation work, develop contacts for further interaction, and gain experience in communicating with other professionals.

The participants will also receive a certificate of participation.

Support For Student Participants
Students selected as participants will receive reimbursement for conference-related expenses, including travel, conference registration, two nights of lodging, and some benefits of a student volunteer. On the other hand, although simultaneous applications to both the Doctoral Symposium and the Student Volunteer program are permitted, a student will lose his Student Volunteer status should he be accepted as a Doctoral Symposium participant. This is to allow as much student participation as possible under OOPSLA sponsorship. Student application status to the Student Volunteer program do not affect their chances of selection for Doctoral Symposium, and vice versa.

Submission Process

Applications  must be submitted no later than 20 July 2001, but earlier is strongly recommended. Applications may be modified up to the submission deadline.

For additional information, clarification, or questions, please contact the Doctoral Symposium Chair, Doug Lea, doc_symp@oopsla.acm.org.

Questions And Information
Answers to some frequently asked questions and other late-breaking information may be found at the Doctoral Symposium FAQ page For further information or questions (but not submissions), please contact the symposium chair:

Doug Lea
Dept. of Computer Science
SUNY Oswego
Oswego NY 13126
Email: doc_symp@oopsla.acm.org

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