Middleware 2008 edition:9 location:Leuven, Belgium date:1 December 2008
Following the success of the past symposia in this series, this year's Middleware Doctoral Symposium (MDS) continues to support doctoral students in an early stage of their PhD track. MDS'08 provided doctoral students with opportunities to present their work, obtain early feedback from senior researchers in the field, and meet other students at a similar stage in their careers.
The program committee was composed by experienced researchers from either academia or industry. The goal of the symposium is to expose students to helpful feedback on their current work and to suggestions about possible future directions and focus.
Together with the program committee, I am convinced that a forum like MDS'08 enables doctoral students to interact with experts in the middleware community, providing an exciting context to inspire next-generation researchers to contribute to the development of middleware technologies.
The symposium was organized as a full-day event consisting of paper presentations, informal discussions, and a half-day training session on presentation techniques. Each paper session was devoted to the presentation of papers that focus on a common research domain. Each presentation was followed by a mini-panel between the presenter, a mock thesis committee and the audience, led by the session chair. This format was found to yield lively and productive discussions, as well as constructive feedback on the doctoral research.
Next to paper presentations, MDS'08 focused on strengthening the awareness of key skills that are necessary to (1) successfully finish PhD research and (2) create substantial added value in a further career (either in industry or in academia). In this way, the doctoral symposium provided a forum to present and discuss the competence portfolio that is expected from PhD researchers (and post-docs) by industry. It is clear that typical intellectual and academic competences are necessary but must be complemented by communication, management and leadership skills.
Balancing between research and communication skills was the focus for this year's Middleware Doctoral Symposium, held in Leuven (Belgium) in December 2008.