A first step in a one-person research project in a domain new to a researcher (Ph.D. student) is to read-up on related work. This can be daunting, as sometimes it feels like everything has been done already, and there is nothing new to write a dissertation about. Fear not! With enough digging, the opportunities will present itself.
In software engineering research, the value of past engineering work can be confusing. What does it mean that there is an open source project in which someone implemented something similar to your idea? And even wrote a blog post or report about it? The short answer: This is a golden opportunity for fabulous research and not a threat to your idea.
If there is one thing I wished more of my fellow academic peers would understand when working with industry, it is this: You should
Price for value created, not for costs incurred.
Many professors, when asked about the price of some proposed work, will calculate the direct labor costs needed for the project, add some university overhead or other margin, and then quote the industry partner the resulting costs as the project’s price.
The key output of research is a theory or something supporting the building or validation of a theory. A theory, in turn, is knowlege, for example in the form of a model, that lets us predict the future or create reliable output in some form. Scientists usually publish theories for other scientists to review, in journals.
But what about the practitioners that we are creating the theories for in the first place?
In this video I present a way of codifying (presenting) theories as practical pattern handbooks so that practitioners can use these handbooks and apply your theory. This way, we connect science to practice and hopefully help make the world a better place. It also helps to get industry engaged in your work.
An associated (preprint) technical report, soon a journal paper, is available with more information. The slides for the video above are also available.
I’m listening to Lutz Prechelt’s keynote at the German Software Engineering research community conference. He is talking about how we should not be undertaking research that has no relevance, and he is demonstrating this by presenting research based on ludicruous assumptions (that will never be real, not in this nor another world).
My usual reviewing fee for Elsevier journals is one full year of free access to your digital library for my university.
However, Elsevier has locked out German universities from accessing research on their websites, including our own. So in addition to my usual fee I must also ask that you return to the negotiating table and find a way that we can access our research again.
“Teaching young minds is great and keeps you young!”
There is some truth to this made-up quote. Growing older, you might get set in your ways, but younger people will most certainly challenge you to rethink those. While there is a lot of positive things to say, I want to discuss two difficult but critical issues that a new college teacher needs to be aware of, in particular if they are coming in from industry.
The short answer: This question is click-bait and was written to incite reflexes rather than reflection. The long answer: The question is a red herring, because a researcher arguing that research shouldn’t have to have a purpose is actually complaining about society not seeing the value of their research as they do.
Want to know how to make it hard for professors to create and grade written exams efficiently? Learn from the best, the Bavarian ministry of education, which oversees the handling of the state-wide written exams for budding high-school teachers of computer science. A thread.