Poster Sessions Offer an Alternative

By Mike VanHilst

Finding the room marked Liberty C wasn't easy. But once I got there, I was rewarded by the opportunity to view 15 presentations and discuss details with the presenters on a one-on-one basis. I am referring, of course, to the ICSE Posters.

Many of the posters presented research in progress. The presenters were looking for feedback and discussion. That was certainly the case for the posters presented by the Ph.D. students in the Doctoral Consortium. But doctoral students weren't the only ones presenting posters.

The PROFES project, a European consortium with ESPRIT funding, chose to present their work as a poster. According to Morkku Oivo, who was standing beside the poster when I walked by, "our dissemination manager made the decision to present a poster." Part of the PROFES mission is to disseminate results.

Phyllis Frankl, of Polytechnic University in New York presented a talk in the Reliability session on Tuesday. But she chose to present results from her mutation testing research as a poster. "I thought it was more amenable to being presented visually than verbally."

Dr. N. Srinivas, of CG-Smith Software Limited, in Bangalore India, wanted to present his ideas on process discontinuities in a single poster and discuss them one-on-one, rather than as a series of slides in front of an audience. "Here we are talking one to another."

Due to the poor location resulting from a last minute change, turnout was light at all of the scheduled times. But the presenters I talked to said that they had good discussions with those attendees who did manage to find the room and came to see their posters.