torsdag 21 juni 2012


End of the term. Time for a follow-up of some of this spring's projects - or at least the ones that I have written about on the blog.

I went to the Center for Sustainable Communications' (CESC's) workshop and thought that it was a kick-off for generating ideas for new projects for phase three (2012-2015) of the center's 10-year life span. After the workshop nothing much happened for some weeks and then, in the beginning of February, I got an e-mail that thanked all the workshop participants for the "great contributions". After some back-and-forth mail conversation I realized that I, and everyone else who wasn't already in the loop, had little to say, and little to contribute to the project-generation process and, by extension, little to contribute to the research projects that would run in phase three, and to the center in general. That was a bummer (that was an understatement). Everyone is "welcome to participate in CESC activities" up to but (for the most part) excluding participating in formulating and participating in research projects during the next three (or perhaps five - who knows) years. That would not be strange but for the fact that this center is actually hosted by my school (Computer Science and Communication) - even though few researchers and ph.d. students from my school are actually involved in CESC activities. Strange.

I handed in no less than two small-ish applications for internal pedagogical means (KTH/School of Computer Science and Communication). One project was granted money ("Supporting students' studying habits in the age of procrastination). Me and my colleague Björn Hedin can work with this project 80 hours each during the next academic year and I will thus come back to this topic later on the blog. But the brunt of the work will be done next spring as both me and Björn have most of our courses happen during the autumn.

The other application ("Better project courses") was neither granted nor rejected, but I was rather asked to think through and rework the application (it was on the "maybe" list for getting a grant). After thinking about it I decided not to. It all of a sudden felt like a very bureaucratic process, and like it furthermore required a lot of work for what in the end is really very little money. What's the point of spending a whole day re-writing an application where I only ask for money for 10 days worth of work? And furthermore, I strongly suspected that I had promised too much in terms of results for a pittance of money/time. Since I had already been granted money for one project I also felt it would be difficult to keep two such small projects in the air at the same time and deliver according to the promises.

I handed in no less than two applications to Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, but after having waited for two months, I found out that both were rejected. That is ok, the competition was really tough (less than 12% of the 899 applications went on to the second round and only half of those applications end up with grants (i.e. one in 17). What I don't like though is that there was no feedback whatsoever beyond the nugget of information that related the fact that the application had in fact been rejected. After having put so much time and energy (unpaid of course) into writing these applications, I do have to say that I find it disheartening and nothing less than disrespectful to not even get some feedback in the form of a sentence of a paragraph of text.

I went to a workshop, "Beyond sports vs games" to discuss the material I have collected on programming competitions. I feel really bad about the fact that I haven't had time to look at and analyze the material (interviews) that I collected in the beginning of the year... :-(

I sent an abstract, "Beyond web 2.0: Post-collapse computing" to the Internet 13.0 conference. I was quite surprised when it was rejected. Especially as the two reviewers gave it 73 and 70 out of 100. The abstract was evaluated based on content (25%), significance (20%), presentation (20%) and recommendation (35%) and both reviewers gave me sixes (twice), sevens (thrice) and eights (thrice) and it was still rejected. WTF!? Interesting process though, with the weights and a resulting numeric value between 1 and 100. I sent a reworked version of the abstract to another conference three weeks ago (The 3rd International conference on degrowth, ecological sustainability and social equity). Lets see how it fares there.

I wrote about our upcoming course on "Sustainability and Media Technology" and expect to come back to that topic (probably several times) when the autumn term starts. The course itself starts on Tuesday August 28.

I handed in two abstracts (based on the RJ application above) to the workshop "Articulating alternatives". Both were rejected. Again, WTF!? "We have received a large volume of abstracts of a very high quality and [...] we regret to information you that on this occasion your proposal has not been selected". Perhaps I should have been a little more candid in my blog post about the workshop. I criticized some aspects of the workshop call and could have been more diplomatic ("The call could easily have been cut down by a third [as it] partly repeats or states similar or overlapping concepts and ideas several times and/or in different places"). I know for a fact that the organizers read the blog post before they made their decision (quite some traffic from Britain the very day before I got the rejection) and I hope that didn't play into their decision...? Something to think about for next time though...

I also handed in two more applications, but haven't heard anything about them yet. One will get back to me before the end of the month, while the other will take a few more months before they make their decision.

I've met my career coach only twice this far. There could have been time to meet for a third time before the summer, but that didn't happen both because of me and because of him. We have both been slow at different times. I look forward to continuing/finishing the program during the autumn.

It felt like May just happened, so there isn't that much to follow up yet.

Have a nice summer!


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