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Symposium Mechanics

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Symposium Development has some related information. It would be good to merge the relevant information in these two pages — although this page is now out of date with latest RDWG agreements on how to run most Symposia.


The symposium will have the following format:

  • Each presenter will have x minutes;
  • Before the symposium, three questions will be prepared for each presenter;
  • Of the three questions, one question will be the same for all presenters -- they will be asked to relate their work to the research questions stated in the symposium call;
  • The other two questions will be specific to their paper; and
  • Each presenter will be first asked to answer these questions and then there will time for the symposium participants to ask their questions to the presenters.


Time allocated to each Paper = ((Total time - 10 minutes)*0.66) / papers per seminar

Time allocated to Discussion = ((Total time - 10 minutes)*0.33)

Time-wise the symposium will be structured as follows:

  1. Welcome (5 minutes - Symposium chairs)
  2. Paper-1 (x minutes)
  3. Paper-2 (x minutes)
  4. Paper-n (x minutes)
  5. Discussion (y minutes)
  6. Closing (5 minutes - Symposium chairs)


  • One chair to lead the symposium discussion
  • Two or more (ideally) room moderators to help with IRC/Zakim channel mechanics
  • One or more editors/* to filter and create cross cutting questions during the symposium for the end discussion (coordinate with chairs during the symposium)

Systems to be Used

  • For personal code:
    • see if can set it up so people only join after they've entered personal code
    • if not, say in the e-mail that you won't be prompted for your for personal ID code, but you need to enter it anyway
  • would be nice if we could correct captioning on the fly like IRC s/hard wooord/hard word/ -- although not a priority
  • have the beep at 4:45 or so, instead of 5 mins, so they have time to wrap up before 5.


  • Provide feedback when people join - at least background music if no one is speaking.

For presenters

  • Ask presenters to join 10 minutes early for sound checks. Tell them ahead of time that they need a very good connection. [? can we require land line -- it's still less expensive than travelling to a conference]
  • Perhaps give presenters some questions ahead of time.
  • Have presenters watch the captioning to see when they are audible (that will both avoid the "can you hear me?" as well as when the captioner is typing "(inaudible)")