Friday, 26 February 2010

Doctoral colloquium in Tampere

For the second time we organized an international doctoral colloquium on HCI - mainly with students from Germany and Finland. This year it was hosted at the University of Tampere. 10 students in different stages of their PhD presented their work and ideas. The first one was in Oulu.

Besides many scientific and technological topics we discussed the process of doing a PhD. I shared my experience of doing a PhD based on an extened version of Jakob Badram's fish model as well as with the PI-presentation model.

The fish: basically you start with a topic and it widens over time - till at some point you have to focus - and when you have focused and found the specific contribution you have to widen again a bit to cover the things you need for making it a coherent PhD-thesis. This applies to the technical skill set of the student as well as to the research topic. Pertti added a personal sanity graph - from the beginning when you think of how difficult a PhD is, to the middle were you think you know it all and everyone else in the research community has no clue, to the (hopefully) final stage where you get a objective view on your PhD (where you realize you made a contribution you can be proud of - but it is probably not going to change the whole world). It seemed that most people who have done a PhD in CS can relate to this graph…

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