Need4Speed Doctoral Symposium in Aulanko

Need for Speed programme arranged its second annual doctoral symposium and four grad students from the pervasive computing participated in the event. This year, the symposium was held in Aulanko, Hämeenlinna from 9th to 10th of March.

As the whole N4S project is now approaching its end, the symposium was also a lot smaller than what it was last year. This wasn’t all bad though — the agenda got a lot more focused and I’m sure each participant’s hopes and expectations got through much easier.

Overall, this year’s main intention was on getting tangible results before the project is completely shut down. This in mind, we divided the two-day event into two specific parts. On the first day, we tried to find out ways to support the writing of on-going research papers. The second day’s focus was on supporting the writing and finalizing of the introductory parts of our thesis works.

Participants of the event

Participants of the event

At least for us, both of the days had a great amount to offer. Of course it’s always really difficult to “stop doing the real work” when you have a super interesting paper to write and the deadline is coming up 🙂 But in this case, the focus of the first day actually got to expand the viewpoints and even the research approach of our current research papers.

Many of the participants were already in the finalizing stage of their thesis work, and so the second day was a great opportunity to look at already published theses and evaluate them together with other students and instructors. Writing our own works is eventually in front of each of us, and so this kind of a study on the tables of contents etc. was important when we start to design our own publications.

Among the participants, there were also grad students from the industry and so it was a great chance to collaborate and get get opinions from a different perspective. As always, the official agenda and “action points” are only part of the benefits in this type of events, and one of the more significant things is the networking experiences and contacts that everyone receives. As the first day included the working groups for writing papers together, we got to spend that with industrial partners. Likewise, on the second day we studied the contents of published theses in randomized pairs, and so it was easy to get to know new people at the same time.

The setting in Aulanko provided a great environment for the symposium, the weather was nice and the topics discussed were interesting. The symposium was seen as a great event where the intermingling of people from different universities was the key. From this an idea to create a larger software engineering PhD student community was born. An event where PhD students can share their experiences and coach each other is of course a key in creating such community. As communication tools for keeping touch in between such events is needed as well, we started a slack channel for this. So join us there!

Sampo Suonsyrjä and Henri Terho

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