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Navigating a Professional Meeting

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  1. Navigating a Professional Meeting Maria Gini Dept of CSE, University of Minnesota

  2. My background • Faculty at the University of Minnesota for more than 20 years • 40 faculty in the Department • Large undergraduate program (~550 students, 130 graduates/year) and large graduate program (~200 PhD students, 15-20 graduates/year) • Research in AI, robotics, multi-agent systems

  3. Outline • We will start with basic information on professional meetings: • How to decide where to submit a paper? • What to do when a paper is rejected? • What when it is accepted? • We will work through different scenarios and ask you to play different roles • Not much talk by me • some acting by everyone!

  4. How to decide where to submit a paper? • There are many types of meetings: • Workshops • Symposia • Conferences (national or international) • Society conferences (ACM, IEEE, SIAM, AAAI, etc) and for profit conferences • Your advisor is the best judge of the quality of the conference and the relevance of your work to it. • One important caveat: do not submit unless you plan on attending if your paper is accepted

  5. What to do when a paper is rejected? • Rejections hurt, but forget your pride and take constructive actions. • Learn from the reviewers comments. • Discuss with your advisor what to do next.

  6. What to do when a paper is accepted? • Be happy and celebrate your accomplishments! • Plan for final revisions and final submission of your paper. • Make plans for attending the conference and presenting your work.

  7. Act I: ask your advisor to attend a conference to present your paper • Two roles: • Student • Advisor • Work in pairs using the first role you are assigned • We will then switch roles • We will wrap this up with some discussion

  8. Prepare for the conference • Prepare your talk • Prepare your presentation (powerpoint or pdf) • Make sure it looks professional (no spelling errors, no funny color combinations, no funny fonts, large enough fonts) • Practice your presentation • In front of a mirror. Time yourself, look at your body language. • To a group of fellow students. Look at them as you talk. Learn to understand your audience. Learn to answer questions. • To your advisor • Have a backup of the talk (memory stick)

  9. Prepare to interact with researchers • Prepare your elevator pitch • Be ready to give a longer more technical description of your work • Be ready to talk about your career plans

  10. Act II: interact with other researchers at the conference • Two roles: • Student • Researcher • Work in pairs using the first role you are assigned • We will then switch roles • We will wrap this up with some discussion

  11. Other professional interactions • A faculty in an area close to your research is visiting your department and giving a talk. What shall you do? • A fresh PhD is interviewing for a faculty opening in your department. As part of the interview the candidate is giving a talk and meeting with graduate students. Shall you attend?

  12. For more information email: gini@cs.umn.edu http://www.cs.umn.edu/~gini