Sun 15 - Fri 20 November 2020 Online Conference

The 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 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.

John Vlissides Award

This year, the John Vlissides Award will be presented to a doctoral student participating in the SPLASH Doctoral Symposium showing significant promise in applied software research.

All doctoral candidates participating in the SPLASH Doctoral Symposium are eligible. The award includes a prize of $2,000.

This award was established by SIGPLAN in 2008 in recognition of the contributions to computer science that John Vlissides made during his lifetime, thanks to generous contributions from the following companies, individuals, and organizations: IBM, Addison-Wesley, William Pugh, and SIGPLAN.

Related Student Events at SPLASH

Participants to the Doctoral Symposium are highly encouraged to submit a poster to the SPLASH Poster session, and to engage in the ACM Student Research Competition. These related events are opportunities for additional feedback and suggestions on their dissertation work, contacts for further interaction, and experience in communicating with other professionals.

Note that parallel submission of the same research description to both the Doctoral Symposium and the ACM Student Research Competition is permitted. If the proposal ends up being accepted to both events, then there will only be (at most) one publication in the ACM Digital Library; the author should pick which event it corresponds to.

More Information

For additional information, clarification, or answers to questions please contact the Doctoral Symposium co-chairs Yvonne Coady and Matthias Hauswirth.

Call for Submissions

We invite students to submit a structured proposal of their dissertation research. At the symposium, presentations will consist of the following:

  • Two-minute overview stating the most critical issues of the research (the “elevator talk”).
  • A separate (strictly-timed) presentation slot for the description of the proposer’s research. The duration of this slot should be around 30-40 minutes, with 1/3 of the time dedicated to questions from the committee and audience. The exact duration will depend on the number of accepted presentations and will be announced in due time.

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 two main aspects of your experiment:

  1. Hypothesis: What would be the main research result? What would be the secondary research results? Phrase these as primary and secondary hypothesis.

  2. Experimental Setup: How are you going to set up your experiments to test these hypotheses? What are the variables in these experiments? How do you plan to control these variables for an unbiased experimental result?

Submission Format and Process

To apply for the doctoral symposium, please submit a description of your dissertation research, following the structure of research description described above, on the submission website: https://splash20ds.hotcrp.com/ by July 15, 2020, 23:59 AoE. Your advisor must also send a brief statement of your dissertation progress to date and a statement of recommendation to the Doctoral Symposium co-chairs Yvonne Coady and Matthias Hauswirth by July 15, 2020, 23:59 AoE. Please have your advisor use the following e-mail subject: [SPLASH ’20 Doctoral Symposium Recommendation for first-name last-name].

Submissions should use the ACM SIGPLAN acmart style. See http://www.sigplan.org/Resources/Author/. Please use the provided double-column LaTeX or Word templates. Your submission should not exceed 3 pages, including references and appendices (if applicable).

Regardless of the length of your submission, your presentation should be sufficiently detailed to describe your dissertation research. The students whose proposals are selected for presentation are expected to participate in the event for the entire day.

The proceedings of the Doctoral Symposium will appear in the SPLASH Companion, published in the ACM Digital Library.

Questions? Use the SPLASH Doctoral Symposium contact form.