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Doctoral Symposium

Important Dates
Deadline for submissions: July 2, 2007
Notification of acceptance or rejection: July 23, 2007
Deadline for camera-ready copy: July 30, 2007
Conference starts: October 21, 2007

The OOPSLA 2006 Doctoral Symposium provides useful guidance for the completion of the dissertation research and initiation of a research career. The symposium consists of a dinner, followed by a full-day workshop (exact dates TBA). The Symposium will provide an interactive forum for doctoral students in one of two phases in their doctoral progress, apprentices and proposers:

Apprentices are students who are just beginning their research, are not ready to actually make a research proposal, but are interested in learning about structuring research and getting some research ideas. Apprentices serve as observers during the symposium, can attend the symposium dinner, and will participate in critiquing and providing feedback to the proposers. To apply to be an apprentice, your advisor must send a letter of recommendation to the track chair by June 30, 2007. Up to four Apprentices will be selected.

Proposers are students who have progressed far enough in their research to have an Idea Paper and a structured proposal, but will not be defending their dissertation in the next 12 months, so have enough time to incorporate the advice and suggestions discussed in the symposium.

Doctoral students who are at least one year away from dissertation completion and have an approved committee and topic are invited to apply as Proposers. These students should be advanced enough to have a specific research proposal and some preliminary results with enough time remaining to benefit from the symposium experience.

Submission Process
Electronic submission of proposals is required through the OOPSLA submission system.

To be considered as an Apprentice, your advisor must send a letter of recommendation to the track chair by June 30, 2007. Up to four Apprentices will be chosen.

To apply as a Proposer, please submit a two-three page description of your dissertation research, mirroring the topics of the presentation defined below. Additionally, your advisor must send a brief statement of your dissertation progress to date and a statement of recommendation to the track chair by June 30, 2006. Up to eight Proposers will be selected. Proposers are expected to attend the symposium dinner and to participate in the workshop for the entire day.

Symposium Details At the workshop, presentations will consists of the following:

  • a two-minute overview stating the most critical issues of the research (the elevator talk)
  • a separate, strictly-timed 20-minute description of their research, which must be structured as follows:
    • Description of Purpose -- What exact problem, issue, or question does this research address, and why does it matter? What limitations or failings of current understanding, knowledge, methods, or technologies does this research resolve?
    • Goals -- What new understanding, knowledge, methods, or technologies will this research generate?
    • Approach -- What experiments, prototypes, or studies are being performed done to achieve the stated goal? How will they be measured, evaluated and validated?

Each symposium Proposer will have a two-page short paper published in the OOPSLA Companion. Proposers are strongly advised to have a poster at the OOPSLA Poster session and to participate in the ACM Student Research Competition. These vehicles provide the student with an opportunity for additional feedback and suggestions on their dissertation work, contacts for further interaction, and experience in communicating with other professionals.

For More Information For additional information, clarification, or questions, please contact the Doctoral Symposium chair, Elisa Baniassad, at

Program Committee

  • Elisa Baniassad (chair), The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Jonathan Aldrich, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Siobhan Clarke, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Todd Millstein, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • James Noble, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Martin Rinard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Douglas C. Schmidt, Vanderbilt University, USA