14 September 2010
14 September 2010
07 June 2010
07 June 2010

Graduate Consortium: Democratizing Computational Tools

People increasingly rely on computing for activities at home and work, but for many, it is no longer sufficient to use the scripted tasks supported by packaged software. Instead, many people now produce their own computational solutions, such as spreadsheets, web sites, educational media and simulations, automated business procedures, and scientific visualizations.

Unfortunately, the tools for creating these solutions often neglect the needs of disadvantaged users or smaller user groups. Supporting these groups effectively requires research not only from computer science, but also sociology, education, design, psychology, business, and other disciplines.

The goal of the VL/HCC graduate consortium is to bring together students from these different backgrounds and explore ways of democratizing access to information technology. This might involve increasing participation in programs that teach computational thinking, lowering the barriers to learning programming, or inventing approaches to programming in unexplored domains. It could also involve explaining the nature of computational thinking and the growing class divide that it represents.

Why you should participate...

Participating (deadline Friday, May 28th)

Who Can Participate
Current Ph.D. students are preferred, but M.S. students who intend to go on to pursue a Ph.D. may also apply. Students who have participated no more than once in previous VL/HCC graduate consortiums may also apply.

Application Process
Please send the following items by email to Andrew Begel (andrew.begel@microsoft.com) by Friday, May 28th, 2010 (11:59 pm PDT):

Applicants may be in different phases of their graduate work and the abstract should reflect this. For example:

The CV and abstract may be separate PDFs.

Selection Process
For one third of the participation slots, students who have participated once before will be given priority. The remaining slots will be given to students who are new to the event. Each student from the returning group will be linked with new students in a mentoring arrangement.

Selected students will be asked to prepare a poster for a poster session during the main conference. Details forthcoming.

Travel Support
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has granted funding to help cover student travel, lodging, registration, food, etc. Eligibility is limited to graduate students attending U.S. universities and research institutions (including both US and non-US citizens).

However, graduate students attending institutions from outside the U.S. can participate and are encouraged to obtain other forms of financial support.

The event will be a full day on Tuesday, September 21st, the day before the main conference. All participating students are expected to attend the main conference. All other conference attendees are invited to attend the event to listen to the presentations, interact with the participants, and add to the feedback available to the presenters. No additional sign-up process or registration fee is involved.

More details to come, including times, dates, locations, etc.


Panel Members and Organizers

Andrew J. Ko, University of Washington, USA
Judith Good, University of Sussex, UK
Andrew Begel, Microsoft Research, Redmond
Emmanuel Pietriga, INRIA, France

Leganés-Madrid, Spain
21-25 September 2010