At 16.30 we will also have a panel open to all participants.
The panel will start with a short presentation by myself, followed by discussion. The topic is: "Software and Academic Research: are we going in the right direction?".
Here is a short summary of what I would like to discuss with all of the participants. Please comment, and/or send me additional topics you would like to discuss.
Problems in our academic domain
- Sometimes too much emphasis on theory
- Too much emphasis on "new" research
- (Too often this is done just to publish yet another paper)
- No emphasis on good engineering and design
- Throw-away programming
Consequences of this approach
- every time you need to implement your algorithm *and* the other ones
often trying to understand the algorithm from a loose description
in the paper
- no real data is used/collected, benchmarks are few and kept secret
- research is finely pulverized in thousand of papers on hundreds of
- Hence, difficult to interact with real engineers (we cannot pretend they
spend so much time reading papers)
- Too little connection to industry
- Low impact
- If we (professors) do got give value to software design, neither our PhD
students will do
- For "applied" computer scientists and computer engineers this is terrible,
because it means that we are educating generations of future academics and
engineers that do not give value to software!!
- Also, there is less possibility for them to find a job in industry
Main reason for this sad state of things
- Researchers are professionals that try to maximize their ROI (Return On Investment)
- Revenues depends on publications, h-index, etc.
- Thus, researchers seek to maximize the number and the quality of
- Any other activity is a waste of time (from our point of view)
- Nobody wants to waste time on "programming", something that brings
no immediate return on investments
What do we want?
- We would like to change the academic culture, at least a little
- We would like academics to give value to good SOFTWARE
* PhD students write software for simulation, analysis, comparison
* They should be acknowleged for their good work (when it's good, of course)
- We would like academics to give value to not-so-new research that is
well done, well designed and well implemented