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2017 M2 Career Seminar

Co-taught by Anastasia Bezarianos and Wendy Mackay

The goal of the M2 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 panel discussions with people from different career paths in HCI. 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 "[2017 Career Seminar]" 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:

Subject: [2017 M2 Career] Assignment <number> <assignment name>
Example: Subject: [2017 Career Seminar] 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: 11 September 2017

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

Session 2: 18 September 2017

Handout | Assignment #3: Attach:2017_Career_Assignment_3.pdf Δ Find and Review a paper (due on 25/09)

Session 3: 25 September 2017

Handout | Assignment #4: Attach:2017_Career_Assignment_4.pdf Δ Letter of Recommendation request (due on 09/10)

Session 4: 2 October 2017

Session 5: 9 October 2017

Slides | Writing a research paper Attach:2017_Career_Lecture_5_slides-v2.pdf Δ
Handout | Assignment #5: Attach:2017_Career_Assignment_5.pdf Δ Abstract and citation (due on 23/10)

Session 6: 16 October 2017

Slides | Giving a talk Attach:2017_Career_Lecture_6.pdf Δ. Final presentation is due on 13th of Nov

Session 7: 23 October 2017

No class on 30 October 2017 | Bootcamp

No class on 30 October 2017 | Bootcamp

No class on 13 November 2017 | Exams

Session 8: 20 November 2017| Final presentations

(Session 9 onwards): TBA