November 1, 2013

Tips to attend OOPSLA with low budget

Are you a [under]grad student who is wondering how amazing it could be to attend a flagship conference such as OOPSLA? But, as a student, you might have a low budget, right? If so, I may have some tips to share with you.

In this year (2013) I attended my very first OOPSLA. It was awesome. I shared some stories on twitter. However, one of the things that made it so great was because I didn’t needed to pay anything. Neither my advisor.

How it could be possible?

I basically follow three steps: (i) submit a paper to ACM SRC, (ii) apply to be a student volunteer, and (iii) request PAC funding.

I’ll briefly describe these steps here.

  1. Consider submitting a paper to ACM SRC: One good reason to go to a conference is to give a talk about your reasearch (hopefully, in the main track of the conference). In this case, you will probably get money from your advisor/department/university. But, if you are on the early stages of your research, or if you got rejected, you can also consider submitting to the ACM SRC track. The goal of the ACM SRC is to facilitate interaction between researchers and practitioners, providing both sides the opportunity to learn of ongoing research. Additionally, the ACM SRC gives students experience with both formal presentations and evaluations. Finally, you can receive up to $ 500 to spend on your trip. Not bad.

  2. Apply to be a student volunteer: When you are a student volunteer, you don’t need to pay for your registration. You could eventually receive other interesting things, such as a costumed t-shirt, or an invitation to a fancy dinner. Update: Student Volunteers for OOPSLA’2014 also received free hotel. On the other hand, you have to work during the conference. Some duties include: help in the registration process, help inside the rooms, or help speakers/attends to find their rooms. But, don’t worry. You will find time to enjoy the conference.

  3. Request PAC funding: Finally, if you have a paper accepted in one conference sponsored by SGIPLAN, you can also request funding from PAC. Note that not all conferences are sponsored by SIGPLAN. The ACM SRC, for example, is not sponsored. However, the SPLASH/Poster sesssion is sponsored. These two tracks happens together at SPLASH. Also, if you don’t have any paper accepted, but was accepted to be a student volunteer, you can also request PAC funding. That is great, hun? And it is pretty easy to apply. You just have to fill up a form, explaing how do you plan to spend this money.

So, these were my tips.

Nevertheless, I’m not sure if you can follow these steps if you are planing to attend other top-tier conference. It works for OOPSLA.

That is all. I hope to see you at SPLASH/OOPSLA’2014 in Portland :)