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Fri 19 - Fri 26 October 2012 Tucson, Arizona, United States

The SPLASH Doctoral Symposium provides students with useful guidance for completing their dissertation research and beginning their research careers. The Symposium will provide an interactive forum for doctoral students in one of two phases:

  • Apprentices, 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; and,

  • Proposers, who have progressed far enough in their research to have a structured proposal, but will not be defending their dissertation in the next 12 months

Call for Contributions

Symposium Logistics

At the symposium, presentations will consist 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 proposer's research.

Structure of Research Description

The research description in your submission and in your symposium presentation must be structured as follows:

  • Motivation: Why do we care about the problem and the results? If the problem isn't obviously interesting it might be better to put motivation first; but if your work is incremental progress on a problem that is widely recognized as important, then it is probably better to put the problem section first to indicate which piece of the larger problem you are breaking off to work on. This section should include the importance of your work, the difficulty of the area, and the impact it might have if successful.

  • Problem: What exact problem, issue, or question does this research address? What limitations or failings of current understanding, knowledge, methods, or technologies does this research resolve? You should position your work with respect to related ideas in this section.

  • Approach: How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? What new understanding, knowledge, methods, or technologies will this research generate?

  • Evaluation Methodology: In writing the evaluation methodology section of your submission, we encourage you to emphasize on two main aspects of your experiment. Hypothesis - What would be the main research result? What would be the secondary research results? Phrase these as primary and secondary hypothesis. Experiment Setup - How are you going to setup your experiments that will test these hypothesis? What are the variables in this experiment? How do you plan to control these variables for an unbiased experimental result?

Submission Format and Process

  • Electronic submission of proposals is required via e-mail by July 9, 2012. Please use the following e-mail subject: [SPLASH'12 Doctoral Symposium Apprentice]. Up to four Apprentices will be chosen.

  • To apply as a Proposer, please send a three page (hard limit) description of your dissertation research, mirroring the structure of research description defined above by July 9,2012. Please use the following e-mail subject: [SPLASH'12 Doctoral Symposium Proposer Submission]. Your advisor must also send a brief statement of your dissertation progress to date and a statement of recommendation by July 9, 2012. Please have your advisor use the following e-mail subject: [SPLASH'12 Doctoral Symposium Proposer Recommendation for "first-name" "last-name"]. 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.

Each symposium Proposer will have a three-page short paper published in the SPLASH Companion.


Proposers are strongly advised to have a poster at the SPLASH 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 answers to questions please contact the Doctoral Symposium Chair, Hridesh Rajan.