Saturday, March 01, 2008

PC meeting at Stanford

I arrived in San Jose yesterday afternoon. After checking in to the hotel, I toured Stanford University's beautiful campus and downtown Palo Alto. I'll post some photos later.

Right now I'm sitting in a program committee meeting in Gates Hall (photo below). We're going one-by-one through the submitted papers to JCDL 2008 and determining which will be accepted or rejected.

This is my first time in such a meeting, and it's really interesting to participate in this process. There are some incredibly intelligent people in this room (don't those laptops make us look smart?), and their standards are high. There are few papers that leave the room unscathed... we're shooting for a 30% acceptance rate.

Here are a few points that have come up over and over:
  • Does this paper adequately cite prior work in the field?
  • If a new technique is being introduced, has it been compared in an experiment with other known techniques, and does it show a significant improvement?
  • Is a new idea being introduced and tested, or is this just a cursory look at a topic?
  • Is this paper significantly different than previous work? (In some cases papers have been submitted that are only modestly different from the author's previously published papers.)

Gotta get back to the meeting...

Photos from Stanford: Gates Hall (left), one of the first Google servers used to calculate PageRank (center), massive number of CS Ph.D. students (right). Other photos at Flickr.