The ICSE Doctoral Consortium

By Mark Marchukov

Ten outstanding Ph.D. students participated today in the doctoral consortium chaired by Michael Young of Purdue University. The consortium is a workshop of Ph.D. students in software engineering. Doctoral students presented and discussed their research goals, methods, and results. This is the first consortium held in conjunction with ICSE, but the concept is borrowed from other conferences in fields like computer-human interaction and requirements engineering, where it has been quite successful.

The participants were selected from 39 applicants on the basis of submitted abstracts and the recommendations of faculty advisors. They are: Mark Astley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Fernando Brito e Abreu, University of Lisbon; Nancy Day, University of British Columbia; Rob DeLine, Carnegie-Mellon University; Jane Hayes, George Mason University; Luis Nakano, University of Virginia; John Penix, University of Cincinnati. Ten out of 39 is quite selective; the organizers had to turn away many students who could have contributed to and benefited from the consortium. However, they felt that the kind of close interaction they were after could only be achieved in a small group. Moreover, every student who submitted an abstract received useful, constructive written feedback. Faculty advisors of the student participants were welcome to attend, but had to observe a "gag rule" when their advisees were presenting. In addition to the doctoral consortium organizing committee (J. Atlee, S. Kaplan, T. Tamai, G. Murphy, and M. Young), a few experts in the fields represented by the student participants will be invited to participate.

The point of the doctoral consortium is to provide useful guidance at an early stage to help students plan their dissertation research and prepare a research career. The consortium should help them in wrestling with issues including sound evaluation in their research, as well as practical issues such as how to recruit for a research career.

The proceedings of the doctoral consortium will be published electronically on the ICSE web page. Also, check the poster session for posters presented by the student participants.

The tradition of doctoral consortia at ICSE will continue. Tetsuo Tamai is chairing a doctoral consortium to be held in conjunction with ICSE 98. Applications for the 1998 doctoral consortium are due on November 1, 1997.