Since the pre-conference program was already running since Sunday there was quite a buzz at the conference venue early on. People clearly met each other and I already overheard an introduction or two starting with something along the lines of “Hi, I was very interested in what yopu had to say…” Great stuff. This is actually what makes conferences great – the networking. The talks act just as a catalyst to get talking…
Some basic ICSE background.
This is the 33rd ICSE conference. It is the first time that the conference is held in South Africa, in fact, it only second time in southern hemisphere.
All the organizers were wearing Madiba shirts. Jeff Kramer, one of the General Chairs opened the conference. The welcome address was scheduled to be given by Archbishop Tutu, but he could not make it. However, he was kind enough to record a message that was played – actually quite nice.
Thereafter Judy Bishop gave some stats about the conference. The top five countries in terms of number of delegates attending were the USA (168), Germany (86), South Africa (57), Canada (47) and Italy (42). This represents 50% of the conference attendees, which if my adding is correct gives us 800 delegates in total. These represent 42 countries. From an institution perspective 12 institutions brought 16% of the delegates. Microsoft Research had 14, then there was one with 13 and ten with 8!
Prem Devanbu and Sebastian Uchitel, the Program chairs, explain the selection process and gave some stats: 54 out of 380 papers were accepted. They use 2 reviews to do an initial cut that yielded 212 papers, then a third reviewer is used to cut down on the number further; this yielded 103 papers that were discussed at a two-day Programme Committee Meeting deciding on the final 54. They also did an interesting factor analysis to ensure that no biases crept in – like for example the place in the PC agenda a paper was discussed. Interestingly they found that “previous experience” as an ICSE paper did help to get to the second round reviews, but not further. When looking at the program they seem to have managed to get a nicely balanced programme covering pure theory/academic, practice and teaching papers.
I’ll keep posting interesting things as I hear them (and find time to type them up).