FAIRS'08 is intended to allow PhD and MRes/MPhil students working on AI related projects to present their research and receive feedback from senior scholars in the field and for discussion with other Forum attendees. The forum is aimed at those who have either completed a Master's degree in an AI field and who are interested in progressing to a PhD, or are current doctoral or research Masters students. It will give students the opportunity to receive feedback in addition to the supervisory arrangements at their own institution, and so applicants should be at a stage of work where feedback and participation in the Forum will not be too late to offer useful support. Student presentations should include an overview of their research, but should also raise issues related to the conduct of the PhD, which will lead to discussion in workshop sessions. Students not wishing to present work are also welcome to participate in the Forum.
The programme will begin at 10.30 a.m. to reduce the need for attendees to stay in Cambridge on Sunday night. (If modestly priced accommodation is required, Cambridge Youth Hostel (see www.yha.org.uk) has bed and breakfast from £13.95 a night - please make your own reservation and payment arrangements). Registration for the Forum will open at 10.30 a.m. on Monday, but participants who cannot arrive before the 11.00 a.m. start are encouraged to come straight to the Forum venue.
The programme for the Forum will include four approximately 1.5 hour structured sessions. After the welcome messages, the Forum begins with a workshop session - "Getting a PhD - Doing Good Research", led by experts in the AI field with extensive experience of supporting and examining PhD students. During the lunch break students are encouraged to discuss their research with other Forum attendees. The afternoon session (1315-1445) will see the participants split into two working groups (early or later stage of PhD), each lead by a session chair and supported by an academic. Presenting students will have 10 minutes to deliver a PowerPoint presentation of their work and issues related to pursuing PhD research, followed by feedback from the academic and discussion with their peers. This is followed by a panel session (1500-1630) allowing participants to put their questions about PhD research to a panel of academics, recent PhD students, and industrial representatives.
At the mid-afternoon and end-of-afternoon coffee breaks, students are again encouraged discuss their research with other attendees, and for an important opportunity for networking within the AI community.
The evening session (from 1645) is a lighthearted (but useful!) session on how to Survive Your Viva. This session and the Forum as a whole will close at 1815.
Students attending the Forum are of course invited to subsequently participate in the main AI-2008 conference (i.e., December 9th -11th 2008). A discounted Student Rate is available for student delegates at the conference. The Forum will be a stand-alone programme which will take place the day before the other conference workshops and tutorials being held on December 9th. Full details are at www.bcs-sgai.org/ai2008.