This is funding to support a Doctoral Consortium of approximately 12 promising doctoral students from U.S. institutions of higher learning along with 8 distinguished research faculty, to be held in conjunction with the 1st International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA08), which will take place July 15-19 in Athens, Greece. The goal of the PETRA08 conference is to bring together experts from diverse domains to address an important social and healthcare issue, namely that as the world's population ages there is an urgent need to develop solutions for in-home care of the elderly, as well as of people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other disabilities or traumas. PETRA08 will provide a unique venue that focuses on combining wireless computing, sensors, and other pervasive computing technologies to assistive environments; unlike traditional computer science conferences, it will create a channel for applying basic CS principles to the service of millions of humans in need. More information about PETRA08 may be found at www.petrae.org; the organizers hope the conference will become an annual event. The goals of the Doctoral Consortium are to increase the exposure and visibility of the participants' work within the community, to help establish a sense of community among this next generation of researchers, and to help foster their research efforts by providing substantive feedback and guidance from a group of senior researchers in a supportive and interactive environment. Student participants in the Doctoral Consortium will make formal presentations of their work and will receive feedback from a faculty panel; the feedback is geared to helping students understand and articulate how their work is positioned relative to other research, whether their topics are adequately focused for thesis research projects, whether their methods are correctly chosen and applied, and whether their results are appropriately analyzed and presented. Doctoral Consortium attendees will have short papers on their work included in the Conference Proceedings, and a summary report on the event will be posted on the conference website.
Broader Impacts: The PETRA08 Doctoral Consortium will bring together some of the best students, researchers and practitioners in relevant fields, and will thereby afford the younger participants a unique opportunity to gain wider exposure for their innovative ideas while also receiving reinforcement for the importance and value of conducting research with societal impact. The workshop will also allow the junior participants to create a social network both among themselves and with senior colleagues. Since the conference is expected to host a diverse group along several dimensions (such as nationality, scientific discipline, and research specialization), participants? horizons will be broadened and new collaborations will emerge, to the future benefit of the field.