Submitting for SATURN 2013

In collaboration with IEEE Software magazine, this year’s SATURN software architecture conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 29, to May 3, 2013. The Call for Submissions is open through January 7, 2013. We welcome three different types of submissions: conference presentations, tutorials, and lightning talks (a brand-new offering for SATURN 2013). For more information on proposals and how to submit one, please visit the SATURN 2013 website: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/saturn/2013/call-for-submissions

We know that there is no shortage of new ideas and experience within the architecture community, but we recognize that sometimes the most difficult part of preparing a submission can be organizing your ideas and getting started.  With that in mind, the SATURN 2013 conference team has prepared some helpful tips and guidance for shaping a concise and informative submission.

Step 1: Organize

  • Construct a general idea, concept, or knowledge bit that you wish to convey—what should the audience take away from this presentation? What objective do you wish to accomplish?
  • Know your audience. Consideration of attendees’ background knowledge or lack thereof is important when relaying more technical information (tip: SATURN is a practitioner-focused conference). Dedicate some time to explain the addressed problem . Be sure to brainstorm and include applicable examples of your central idea. This helps  reviewers and conference attendees to transform confusion into comprehension.
  • Consider the Who-What-Where-Why-How of your work:
    • Who are the stakeholders and what are their concerns
    • What did you learn or discover?  What was confirmed or refuted?
    • In which setting did this work take place? Where would this information be most relevant?
    • Why was this conducted? What lessons did you learn?
    • How do your insights alter the status quo?

Step 2: Condense

  • Now that you have a foundation of information, condense all topic-relevant answers to form an outline of your abstract. A good abstract includes the following five points:
    1. the context of the work,
    2. the concrete practical problem addressed,
    3. an argumentation why a new idea was needed or why a solution was chosen,
    4. your actual idea or solution, and
    5. a discussion of its benefits, drawbacks, and implications.
  • Be wary of redundant information; concision and clarity are the heart of a successful submission.

Step 3: Assemble

  • Your abstract should be between 150-1500 words, depending on your submission type. For the conference presentation or tutorial session, the 500-word mark is an accepted middle ground. The 5-minute lightning talk proposal should be no more than 150 words and should also include your full set of presentation slides.
  • Be sure your submission addresses the effect these findings have on the given subject. What can we conclude from this information?
  • Once the abstract has been assembled, consider the takeaway value. Step back and ask: What should the audience retain from my presentation? Review the proposal and ensure that the desired knowledge is in fact included.

Step 4: Title

  • The phrase that is read first should be written last. Assembling the abstract before the title allows you to re-familiarize yourself with a condensed version of your research. This way of thinking can help you construct a to-the-point sentence that summarizes your key ideas.
  • Remember, just as the abstract is a summary of what you learned, your title is the summary of your abstract.
  • There is a time and place for wit and humor, but your abstract title may not be the best time and place. Prioritize clarity and coherence—the audience should be able to understand precisely what will be discussed. The goal is to generate interest in your presentation.

The SATURN 2013 conference team looks forward to reviewing the high-quality work of our community.

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