The project funds two related activities for US-based graduate students: (1) attendance at the doctoral consortium at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), where students discuss their research with senior members of the community, network with students from around the world, and discuss issues related to ethics in computing research; (2) extended research visits to European research groups, where students are exposed to new research paradigms and approaches within artificial intelligence and robotics, and build bridges between the European host and their own research group for long term cooperation.

The goals of the project are to give students a clearer idea of what ethical dilemmas they may encounter as computer scientists; meet other students and professionals; have the opportunity to present their work to others in related research subfields; receive feedback from a senior member of their research community. Students who participate in the extended visits also do research with a new research group and/or begin a new research project; work with European colleagues; live, albeit briefly, in a foreign country; report their work at the doctoral consortium.

The outcomes of the project are assessed with pre- and post-surveys administered to the students and the European hosts. Participation in the project is expected to help graduate students become members of the international community of scholars, and develop into the global scientists that are needed for the future. These cooperations will advance science and industry in all countries.

Project Report

This project supported two linked programs: American students' attendance at the doctoral consortium at IJCAI, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and summer research visits for some of those students to European Artificial Intelligence labs. Many conferences have established doctoral mentoring consortia to support and nurture young researchers. IJCAI had not had such a tradition, except when it was held in the USA and the AAAI-SIGART doctoral consortium took place at IJCAI. Other doctoral consortia have different foci than the IJCAI'11 doctoral consortium focus on ethics in computing research, specifically addressing ethical issues in the entire research cycle. It covered types of funding and the strings attached to them; use of subjects in research (including IRB), data collection, maintaining privacy and integrity of data; authorship (single and multi-author submissions, ghost writing); plagiarism and self-plagiarism, proper use of citations; reviewing of papers and proposals. The doctoral consortium allowed the students to reflect on ethical issues in research in ways that shaped how they think about ethics. The IJCAI conference takes place in an international venue and has strong participation all around the world added value, since the students made connections with international participants, set bases for future interactions, and increased mutual understanding. As the research community is struggling to address ethical issues, it is critical that young researchers are given an opportunity to reflect and discuss these issues in a broad context with researchers from different countries and cultures. The central aims for the doctoral consortium were to give students the following opportunities. * To reflect on ethical issues in research and discuss them with their peers in a neutral and international environment. This shapes how the students think about ethics and will in turn make them better researchers and advisors. * To meet and network with other researchers from around the world working in similar research areas and facing similar issues. Making connections with international participants sets bases for potentially long term cooperations and better mutual understanding. * To meet with and discuss ideas with senior members of the community, who act as mentors and group facilitators. Networking with members of the community helps connect students to the broad research community and provides them with valuable professional contacts. The intellectual merit of the doctoral consortium arose from the technical presentations and discussions with student peers and senior members of the community. Participants were able to network with students from around the world who are working in similar research areas to share ideas and results. The broader impacts were in the social infrastructure of connections to peer and senior researchers, and the foundations in ethics-based analysis of the process and content of research. The extended visits took 9 students and placed them in labs around Europe for 6 to 10 weeks each. The extended visits to European research labs enabled the students to work for an extended period of time side by side with researchers from another country, exposing them to new research paradigms and approaches within AI, and building research bridges between the European hosts and their own research group. Strong personal connections were made with researchers at the host institutions, and those connections will enable long term cooperation between the US and the European research groups. Those collaborations have widened the students' research and social perspectives. Almost all of the students who participated in extended visits have continued their research collaborations since returning to the US, and have begun to publish the work they began during those visits. The broader impacts of the extended visits include new perspectives for the participants. Individual projects will have impacts on the individuals' careers, research trajectories, research fields, and in some cases on wider society. The intellectual merit of the visits are in the 9 research projects begun during the summer of 2011.

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University of Kentucky
United States
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