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2016 Career Seminar

The goal of the M2 Career Seminar (used to be called Research Seminar/Formation à la Recherche) is to introduce Masters (and Ph.D.) students to a career in research and innovation.

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 HCI researchers, the other with current Ph.D. students and post-docs. We will also visit our some of our HCI labs. If you have suggestions for other topics, lecturers or activities, such as lab visits, please let me know.

We wish this seminar had been available to us when I was starting my research career, and I hope that you enjoy it. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue a career in research 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 feel uncomfortable speaking English, you are welcome to ask questions in French and we will translate for the non-French speakers.

If you cannot come to class for some reason, please let me know in advance. Please put "2016 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:

To: and
Subject: 2016 Seminar Assignment <number> <assignment name>
Example: Subject: 2016 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: 12 September 2016

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

Session 3: 3 October 2016

Session 4: 10 October 2016

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

Session 5: 31 October 2016

No class on 7 November 2016 | Bootcamp

Session 6: 14 November 2016

Session 7: 21 November 2016| Final presentations