The project supports participation of graduate students enrolled in PhD programs at US universities in the 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2011) to be held at Koblenz, Germany. Specifically, the project supports travel to the conference for those who might not otherwise be able to attend for financial reasons, and participation in a doctoral consortium that provides for one-on-one interactions and mentoring for the students from the world's leading semantic web researchers. Students benefit from exposure to state-of-the-art semantic web research, opportunities to attend tutorials on emerging research topics. Collectively, these activities help integrate graduate students into the established semantic web research community and provides a natural avenue for integration of research and education.
", was used to fund graduate students to attend the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) in Koblenz, Germany. Students were selected based on their contribution to the conference. Doctoral students attending the doctoral consortium, a mentoring event that helps students refine their dissertation topics, and students who were primary authors on papers in the research track were given priority. The NSF-sponsored fellowships helped 13 students from U.S. universities to attend ISWC 2011. All students received a $1,500 stipend that supported travel costs from the US to Germany. All students had publications at the event, and eight of the students had papers in the research track or doctoral consortium, making this event an important one in the development of their academic career. Many of these students would not have been able to attend the conference without this support. If they are working on projects with limited funds – which most students are – their advisors or departments often cannot support travel to international conferences. Major conferences like ISWC are important for students for many reasons. They are able to gain experience presenting their research, a critical part of academic training. They receive mentoring both formally (through programs like the doctoral consortium mentioned above and also through the mentoring lunch) and informally. They see other cutting-edge research in the field, and make contacts with people in industry and academic. Thus, grants such as this make great opportunities possible for students who are doing interesting work. NSF support for these sorts of programs is critical, and was successful at providing opportunities for these 13 students to improve their research and careers.