Department of Computing Science
Active Seminar Attendee - Course for Doctoral Students in Computing Science
Umeå universitet


Active Seminar Attendee

Course responsible: director of doctoral studies (currently Frank Drewes).

Course Description


The purpose of this course is to let the student

  • gain a better overview of the field of Computer Science as a whole, rather than focussing exclusively on his/her own area of research,
  • train to listen to and reflect about talks, and
  • discover links between his/her own area of interest and those of others.


Every doctoral student at the Department of Computing Science is implicitly signed up for the course; you do not have to do anything except becoming active in one of the ways described below. At most 7.5 ECTS credits can be obtained in this course, by active participation in talks given at the department seminar, written reflections on such talks, and short informal conference reviews. Credits are reported into Ladok whenever 1.5 ECTS credits (40 hours of work) have been accumulated. Formally, this means that the course is divided into 5 parts.

Possible Activities

What follows is a description of the possible activities.

Active Seminar Attendee (3 h of work)  Listen to a regular talk given at the department seminar. Prepare yourself in advance by reading the abstract and briefly searching for additional information regarding the topic and the presenter. Write down some possible questions. During the presentation, try to extend your list by writing down more questions. Ask at least one of your questions. After the presentation, briefly write down the answer and indicate in one or two sentences whether (and, preferably, why) you think it was an appropriate answer. To get your efforts registered, send an email to the course responsible, containing the following:

  • the presentation attended,
  • your final list of questions, and
  • your notes regarding the answer(s) you received.

Reflecting Seminar Attendee (8 h of work)  Similar to Active Seminar Attendee, but you should also write down your reflections on the talk, normaly 1–2 pages. This should summarize the important aspects of the presentation from your own perspective and discuss possible connections to your research. Of course, it may also discuss pros and cons of the approach, etc., from your own point of view. Together with the material required from an Active Seminar Attendee, the reflections should be sent to the course respondible in PDF format, at most one week after the talk. The reflections will be made available on the course home page.

Conference Review (8 h of work)  Give a 15 min review of a conference you have attended for the doctoral students at the department (and anyone else interested). Discuss the current trends observed, and say a few words about interesting talks you listened to and people you met. The presentation should be given at the department's meeting rooms A and B during one of the morning breaks. All available doctoral students are expected to attend; the department will contribute with cookies or the like. Announce your talk by sending an email to a day before the presentation will be given.

Other presentations  There is room for other activities in the same spirit, e.g., reviews of books presented, written conference reviews or presentations of important papers written by others. What is important is that you do not merely present your own research and that it is suitable for all doctoral students at the department, i.e., it should not be too specialized. However, you must contact the course responsible and discuss your idea with him/her before going ahead.

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Department of Computing Science
Umeå University
The information on this page was modified 2009-07-08
Responsible for this page: F. Drewes
Address: SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Phone: 090-786 50 00
Fax: 090-786 61 26