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2016 MR2 Career Seminar

Co-taught with Anastasia Bezarianos

The goal of the MR2 Career Seminar is to introduce Masters (and Ph.D.) students to a career in HCI, either in research, in industry or as an entrepreneur.

This course is essential if you plan to apply for a Ph.D. grant, either at the Université Paris-Saclay, or elsewhere. However, the course is also relevant for anyone who plans to join a startup, to conduct research at Inria, CNRS, or an industrial research laboratory, or to work in any international organization.

We will emphasize technical writing and communication in English, with a series of exercises, both in class and as homework assignments. You will also receive practical training, including how to choose a research topic, how to search, review and cite the research literature, how to organize and write a research paper and how to present your research project.

We will discuss the politics of research, including the publication process, deciding where to publish, choosing a doctoral program, cultural differences in research, different types of research careers, as well as plagarism and research ethics.

The second part of the course will involve guest lecturers to cover diverse topics, such as last year's: How to manage your advisor, Alan Turing and Bibliometrics. We will set up at least two panel discussions, one with the heads of the three Masters programs and the head of the U. Paris-Sud Doctoral School, the other with current Ph.D. students and post-docs. If you have suggestions for other topics, lecturers or activities, such as lab visits, please let me know.

Our goal is to help you make an informed decision about a career in Human Computer Interaction and to prepare you for an excellent internship next spring.


The Career seminar requires your presence: 50% of your grade is based on your attendance and in-class participation.\\
If you cannot come to class for some reason, please let us know in advance. Please put "2016 MCS" in the subject line.

Homework assignments make up the other 50% of your grade. To receive credit, you must:
1. Send us an email by the due date, as follows:

To: and cc
Subject: 2016 MCS Assignment <number> <assignment name>
Example: Subject: MCS Assignment #1 Best Paper Report

2. Bring a printed paper copy in class, including the above information, especially your name!

3. Important Check we have recorded your work, this will affect your grade.

Readings and Handouts

The following book is a classic that has taught several generations of native English speakers to write clearly and well. It has the advantage of being very short and clearly written. You can buy the book, or download an on-line version:

Elements of Style (Strunk and White):

The following is a useful essay on how to write a better research paper:

Everyone Can Write Better (Clark):

If you would like to take a coursera course, which involves registering first, try this:
Coursera - Writing in the Sciences

Stanford - Writing in the Sciences


Session 1: 12 September 2015

Slides | Introduction
Handout | Assignment #1: Find and read a 'best paper'
Handout | Assignment #2: Research Notebook

No class on 19 September 2016

Session 2: 26 September 2016

Slides | Reviewing Papers
Handout | Assignment #3: Find and Review a paper (due on 10/10)

Session 3: 3 October 2016

Slides | Career planning
Handout | Assignment #4: Letter of Recommendation request (due on 14/10)

Session 4: 10 October 2016

Slides | Technical writing

Session 5: 17 October 2016

Slides | Writing a research paper
Handout | Assignment #5: Abstract and citation (due on 21/11)
Remember, that Assignment 4 is also due on 21/11.

No class on 24 October 2016 | Anastasia and Wendy at conferences

No class 31 October 2016 | le pont for La Toussaint

No class on 7 November 2016 | Bootcamp

No class on 14 November 2016 | Exams

Session 6: 21 November 2016

Slides | Giving a talk

Session 7: 28 November 2016| Final presentations

(Session 8): 5 December 2016| LRI lab visit

Indicate here before 2/12 @ 14:00 if you want to attend

Seminar: 16 January 2017 @ 10am in D204 | Michel Beaudouin-Laffon on Bibliometrics