Several conferences feature demo sessions and doctoral symposia. Besides publishing these in the conferences' proceedings do these two offer advantages? What is the additional value of these two types over normal conference papers especially in computer science?

1 Answer 1


My experience is with Computer Science conferences. Some have a multi-day Doctoral Symposium associated with them. The advantage of them is that you get both some experience in presenting your work and some useful feedback on it. The ones I was associated with have a review selection process so you get some feedback at that point and then were run symposium style, not presentation to a large audience. Other students and a few professors would listen to your presentation and try to give you feedback and ideas.

I don't believe that the symposia published the work of the students. This was pre-doctoral research in progress. The purpose wasn't publication, but advancement.

While I wasn't the symposium chair at any of these (part of overall committee), one of my close colleagues was the chair at one of them. I only heard of good experiences. Note that they aren't intended for finished/polished work, but for work in progress where additional ideas might be welcomed.

I'll also note that our doctoral program at the university used the same idea of symposium presentation with our own doctoral students. Once monthly, students would discuss their work with the other students and the advisors of most of them in an all day seminar. Each student would have a bit of time to report on progess and problems. This was very helpful, especially to those who were struggling a bit with the research as the ideas for progress were usually pretty helpful.

I see no reason that this wouldn't transfer to most other fields. Even when I was a student of mathematics, my professor had a weekly symposium for his own students. A few other faculty would also attend. But this, for the most part, wasn't student presentations, but rather discussions of mutual interest on which the (few) students were currently working.

  • thanks especially for emphasizing the symposia aren't specifically for finished work. Very comprehensive and useful response !
    – SyCode
    Aug 4, 2018 at 20:27
  • @SyCode See: 2018.splashcon.org/track/splash-2018-Doctoral-Symposium
    – Buffy
    Aug 4, 2018 at 20:28
  • awesome stuff ! Thank you for sharing, the guidelines for writing the proposal are inspiring !
    – SyCode
    Aug 4, 2018 at 20:51
  • Hi @Buffy, do you have some ideas about demo sessions, are they similar to doctoral symposia or probably for practically-focused doctorates?
    – SyCode
    Aug 6, 2018 at 10:04
  • @SyCode Other than poster sessions I don't have any experience. I'll guess that they are NOT like doctoral symposia, though. At least I wouldn't guess that from the name. Look at the conference "call".
    – Buffy
    Aug 6, 2018 at 10:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .