ecoop08 22nd European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming
July 7th - 11th 2008, Paphos, Cyprus



ECOOP 2008 Doctoral Symposium and PhD Student Workshop


The 2008 Doctoral Symposium and PhD Student Workshop provides a forum for both early and late-stage PhD students to present their research and get detailed feedback and advice. The main objectives of this event are:

  1. to allow PhD students to practice clearly writing and effectively presenting their proposed research;
  2. to get constructive feedback from other researchers;
  3. to build bridges for potential research collaboration;
  4. to contribute to the conference goals through interaction with other researchers at the main conference.

The 18th edition of the Doctoral Symposium and PhD Workshop will be held as part of ECOOP 2008 in Paphos, Cyprus. As the name suggests, this is a two-session event: a Doctoral Symposium and a PhD Workshop.

Event Format

This is a full-day event of interactive presentations. Morning and early afternoon will be dedicated to the Doctoral Symposium, with late afternoon dedicated to the PhD Workshop. Besides the formal presentations, there will be plenty of opportunities for informal interactions during lunch and (possibly) dinner. It is planned that, like in 2007, members of the academic panel will give short presentations on a variety of topics related to doing research.

Important Dates

April 1, 2008 - Deadline for Proposals. Submission is now closed.

April 30, 2008 - Notification of acceptance

If accepted for presentation, the student's advisor must email the chair no later than June 30 and confirm that the advisor attended at least one of the student's presentation rehearsals.

July 8, 2008 - Doctoral Symposium and PhD Workshop

Doctoral Symposium

The goal of the doctoral symposium session is to provide PhD students with useful feedback towards the successful completion of their dissertation research. Each student is assigned an academic panel, based on the specifics of that student's research. The student will give a presentation of 15-20 minutes (exact time will be announced later), followed by 15-20 minutes of questions and feedback. The experience is meant to mimic a "mini-" defense interview. Aside from the actual feedback, this helps the student gain familiarity with the style and mechanics of such an interview (advisors of student presenters will not be allowed to attend their student's presentations).

Eligibility Criteria

To participate, the students should be far enough in their research to be able to present:

  • the importance of the problem
  • a clear research proposal
  • some preliminary work/results
  • an evaluation plan

The students should still have at least 12 months before defending their dissertation. We believe that students that are defending within a year would not be able to incorporate the feedback they receive.

To participate, please submit:

  • a 3-4 page abstract in the llncs format.
  • a letter from your advisor. This letter should include an assessment of the current status of your dissertation research and an expected date for dissertation submission. The advisor should e-mail this letter to Mark Hills.

The abstract should focus on the following:

  1. problem description:
    • what is the problem?
    • what is the significance of this problem?
    • why the current state of the art can not solve this problem?
  2. goal statement:
    • what is the goal of your research?
    • what artifacts (tools, theories, methods) will be produced, and how do they address the stated problem? How are the artifacts going to help reach the stated goal?
  3. method:
    • what experiments, prototypes, or studies need to be produced/executed?
    • what is the validation strategy? How will it demonstrate that the goal was reached?

Note that this is not a typical technical paper submission, and that the focus is not on technical details, but rather on research method.

Each submission will be reviewed by at least three members of the committee.

Here is an example of an abstract from a past symposium.

PhD Students Workshop

This session is addressed primarily to PhD students in the early stages of their PhD work. The goal is to allow participants to present their research ideas and obtain feedback from the rest of the workshop attendees. Each participant will give a 10-15 minute presentation, followed by 10-15 minutes of discussions (exact times will be announced later).

To participate, please submit:

  • 6-10 page position paper in the llncs format, presenting your idea or current work;
  • a support letter from your advisor. The advisor should e-mail this letter to Mark Hills.

The position paper should contain (at least):

  • a problem description;
  • a detailed sketch of a proposed approach;
  • related work.

As this is earlier-stage research, it is not necessary to have concrete results from this research presented in the paper. Instead, the goal of the paper is to inform the reader of a (well-motivated) problem and to present a high level (possible) solution.

Financial Support

AITO, the sponsoring organization for ECOOP, has agreed to support attendees of the symposium and workshop by reimbursing 60% of conference-related expenses. This includes expenses such as conference registration, travel to and from the conference site (cabs, airfare, etc), lodging, and meals. At past ECOOPs, it has also been possible to sign up as a student volunteer to help additionally defray expenses. It is possible to do so again this year: more information is available at the following page. Note that the deadline for applying to be a volunteer is the same as the deadline for submitting to the symposium and workshop, April 1st, so you should not plan to wait to find out if your submission is accepted first before applying.


Marwan Abi-Antoun, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

Eric Bodden, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Giovanni Falcone, Universitat Mannheim, Germany

Mark Hills (chair and organizer), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), USA

Haidar Jabbar, Anna University, Chennai, India

Ciera Jaspan, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

Romain Robbes, Universita della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Lugano, Switzerland

Ilie Savga, Technische Universitat Dresden, Germany

Michel Soares, Technische Universiteit Delft, The Netherlands

Academic Panel

Jonathan Aldrich, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

Erik Ernst, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Todd Millstein, University of California Los Angeles, USA

James Noble, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Jeremy G. Siek, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA


Start Event Primary/Secondary Investigator
9:00 Opening (Mark Hills)
9:10 An Exception Handling Framework (Nikolas Nehmer) Todd Millstein, Jeremy Siek
9:50 Inspirational talk: Don't give up! (Jeremy Siek)
10:05 First Class Relationships for Object-Oriented Languages (Stephen Nelson) Jonathan Aldrich, Jeremy Siek
10:45 A Metadata-Based Components Model (Eduardo Guerra) Todd Millstein, Erik Ernst
11:30 Coffee Break
12:00 Language Features, Patterns, and Models for Interactive Software (Brian Chin) Jeremy Siek, Jonathan Aldrich
12:40 Methodology for Requirements Engineering in Model-Based Projects for Reactive Automotive Software (Niklas Mellegard) Erik Ernst, James Noble
13:10 Inspirational talk: The Other Side of the Coin (Erik Ernst)
13:30 Lunch
14:30 Inspirational talk: Advice to PhD Students (Eric Jul)
15:00 Inspirational talk: TBA (Jonathan Aldrich)
15:15 Towards a Formal, Diagrammatic Framework for MDA (Adrian Rutle) James Noble, Todd Millstein
15:55 Inspirational talk: Research Advice from John Lennon (Todd Millstein)
16:10 Formalising Dynamic Languages (Alex Holkner) Erik Ernst, Jonathan Aldrich
16:50 Concern-Sensitive Heuristic Assessment of Aspect-Oriented Design (Eduardo Figueiredo) James Noble, Erik Ernst
17:30 Retrospective, choosing next year's committee, closing (Mark Hills)

Previous Experiences

"The ECOOP Doctoral Symposium was a remarkable event. It was an honor to get feedback on my personal thesis topic from such well-established researchers in the field. Their comments not only encouraged me to continue with my thesis work but also gave me valuable feedback on how to refine my concrete topic and bring the overall topic into shape. In addition, I found the other students' talks to be some of the most interesting ones at ECOOP. Some of them were very inspiring even for my own work. Overall, my participation in the symposium will certainly have a great positive effect on my thesis. Apart from that it was a fun day which made me meet many interesting people."
- Eric Bodden, participant DS ECOOP'07

Page maintained by Mark Hills. Last modified: 5 July 2008