Open source is a boon for academic project collaboration. As long as the collaboration is not only voluntary, but also on equal footing, everyone can contribute and benefit under the guidance of an open source license and processes. However, as soon as money flows between the partners, the lawyers will want to have their say, and things get complicated. Fortunately, open source can fix this as well.Continue reading “Using Open Source to Align Academic Client-Supplier Relationships”
tl;dr — A quality mark of a dissertation is that its reviewers don’t all come from the same university. However, different universities have different grading systems, making average grades meaningless at best and hurtful to the careers of young researchers at worst. So we should move to a pass/fail system of grading.Continue reading “Why We Shouldn’t Grade Dissertations”
In this 10min. video, I explain ways of getting a doctoral title (Ph.D.) in Germany. I specifically explain the individual doctorate and its differences to the structured programs of Anglo-Saxon universities. This talk is scheduled for Jan 24th, with 165 registrations for the live event one week before already.
Since 2021, my Ph.D. students have been able to submit cumulative dissertations for promotion rather than the traditional monographs. A cumulative dissertation is a set of published research papers, logically stapled together, and lead by an introduction that puts the research papers into context. This way, a graduate-level researcher can work incrementally towards their dissertation, one paper at a time.Continue reading “Documenting a Lead Author’s Contributions for a Cumulative Dissertation”
Some impressions from today’s home office work (for the state).Continue reading “The State of Digitization in the State of Digitization”
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.Continue reading “Price for Value, not for Costs”
My Twitter feed is alight with comments on Google’s six-month “career” certificate, which, according to this SVP, Google will treat as equivalent to a four-year Bachelor’s degree. Predictably, a large number of comments are from students who conclude from their own disappointed experience that all college programs are crap. They cheer on Google. Also predictably, I didn’t see a single academic professional join and comment in the discussion.Continue reading “The Place of Professional Certificates and the Significance of an Academic Degree”
There are lots of infographics on the web of how a professor spends their time, and they mostly miss the point. At the core, and after ten years of living it, I feel confident to say that it really is three roles that a professor in Germany has to play to be successful. I also have to say that it is pretty hard to be good at all three of them. These roles are:Continue reading “The Three Hats of a Professor in Germany”
From current observations, I would like to suggest a new law of hiring professors:
Hiring professors fast to catch-up short-term will make you fall behind long-term.
The reason why I’m writing this are the large amounts of money being made available to German universities to hire new machine learning professors (think “1000 professor program” and the like). This money is being provided by the country of Germany as well as individual states, and it is substantial. The intention is to catch-up to the U.S. and China, who are perceived as leading in machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence.Continue reading “Hiring Machine Learning Professors Fast to Catch-up Short-Term Will Make You Fall Behind Long-Term”
Any non-trivial university has a legal department, often several (at least one for matters of teaching and one for matters of fundraising). The legal department concerned with teaching has to protect the university from lawsuits by students. By extension, this department protects students from professors who ask too much of them. Often, there may be good reasons for this. Sometimes it gets in the way of effective teaching.Continue reading “How Software Engineering Teaching and the Legal Department Collide”