Ubicomp ISWC Doctoral School (DS)

Purpose and Format

The joint UbiComp / ISWC doctoral school is a unique opportunity for PhD students to present their key concepts and ideas to a premier scientific audience and to receive high-quality feedback from excellent external reviewers, a global scientific audience, and some of the best of their peers. Lively discussions, insights and novel ideas, and new opportunities for cooperation between research groups may emerge from your participation.

The PhD students will present, discuss and defend their work-in-progress or preliminary results in the ubiquitous computing or wearable computing fields at the doctoral colloquium.

The schedule for this one-day workshop includes

  • Elevator/Sales Pitch: the challenge of presenting the essence of the PhD work in just 3 minutes
  • Paper Presentations: presentations of the juried, published DC papers by the authors,
  • where the challenge is to provide maximum insight in a short amount of time, covering
    • the problem domain and specific problem(s) addressed
    • a brief overview of related work
    • the methodological approach chosen
    • the scientifically novel, original key concepts and corresponding hypothesis of the thesis
    • research carried out so far and planned ahead
    • evaluation methods and past / future steps
    • contribution in the field of ubiquitous computing
  • Structured Feedback: oral and written feedback by the expert panel and peers
  • General advice: best practices and tips of general use, mostly again by the expert panel members

Time Agenda
08.30 – 08:45 Welcome & Organizational Announcements
08.45 – 09.30 Elevator/Sales Pitches
09.30 – 10.30 Opening Keynote: “PhD in three years?!”,
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee Break / Elevator Pitch Practice
11.00 – 12.30 Presentations & Feedback 1-3
12.30 – 14.00 Lunch Break / Elevator Pitch Practice
14.00 – 15.30 Presentations & Feedback 4-6
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break / Elevator Pitch Practice
16.00 – 17.30 Presentations & Feedback 7-9
17.30 – 18.30 General Advice and Closing
19.30 - Doctoral School Dinner

Wirsthaus “Zum Seppl” bei der Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg
Hauptstraße 213
69117 Heidelberg


This year we had a record number of submissions and had to adhere strictly to our criteria. In order to improve the quality and the added value of the Doctoral School, the DC committee discussed the experience gained from previous Ubicomp Doctoral Schools and came to the conclusion that we should prefer sufficient time for each participant over a maximum of accepted participants. This way, we want to maximize the benefit that a participant can draw from the particular setup of a DC - as opposed to "just presenting another paper" (a paper which, in academic terms, would be of very limited value).

Given the limited time for the DC (one day), we could only accept a low number of papers. As a consequence, we had to imply very strict rules in light of the room for accepting papers. In particular, we considered not only the quality of the research presented, but also:

  • the point in time in the course of a PhD - Late enough such that the PhD has taken shape and valuable feedback can be given, early enough such that the advice can still have a major impact
  • the topical fit with Ubicomp - DC papers had to be even closer to the core of UbiComp than main papers
  • the description of the overall research plan - Proposed research should have an impact that goes way beyond one or few individual papers, but accomplishes the goals of a high quality PhD thesis in Ubicomp.

Participating PhD Students and Topics

Title Author / PhD Student
System Approach Towards Private Proximity Services Haus, Michael, TU Munich (Germany)
Physical Activity Classification Meeting Daily Life Conditions Awais, Muhammad, University of Bologna (Italy)
Ocular Symptom Detection using Smartphones Mariakakis, Alex, University of Washington (USA)
Intelligent Personal Guidance of Human Behavior Utilizing Anticipatory Models Meurisch, Christian, TU Darmstadt (Germany)
Investigating the Viability of Automated, Intuitive, and Contextual Insights for Chronic Disease Self-Management using Ubiquitous Computing Technologies Katz, Dmitri, The Open University (UK)
Are You (Not) Entertained? Estimating the state of a crowd in an event using wearable sensors Gedik, Ekin, TU Delft (The Netherlands)
Model Based and Service Oriented Interaction for Ubiquitous Environments Keller, Christine, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
Towards multimodal analysis of human behavior in crowded mingling scenarios using movement cues from wearable sensors and cameras Cabrera-Quirós, Laura, TU Delft (The Netherlands)
Wearable and Ambient Sensing for Well-being and Emotional Awareness in the Smart Workplace Hänsel, Katrin, Queen Mary University of London (UK)


The proceedings of the joint Ubicomp / ISWC 2016 doctoral colloquium can be found as part of the adjunct proceedings.


In order to ensure high quality feedback and lively discussions for every presentation, a panel of globally renowned experts with a strong background in PhD supervision was set up. It consists of

  • Prof. Anind K Dey, Carnegie Mellon University HCI Institute, US
  • Prof. Marc Langheinrich, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
  • Prof. Abdulmotaleb El Saddik, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Prof. Albrecht Schmidt, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Date and Venue

  • Date: September 13th, 2014, 8:30h CEST until 18.30h CEST
  • Venue: Kongresshaus Stadthalle Heidelberg (Main conference venue), Sebastian-Münster-Saal (see image below)

Doctoral School Chairs

  • Prof. René Mayrhofer, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
  • Prof. Max Mühlhäuser, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Prof. Nadir Weibel, University of California, San Diego

Contact: dcchairs2016@ubicomp.org