Here is the submitted version of the answers to these questions. Thanks for all your help.
Please add suggestions after each heading below. We'll discuss and prioritize in the meeting, as appropriate. Further comments given after the meeting will be accepted until Monday evening, Oct 8; that's when our response is to be mailed to Jan et al.
Followup of VP 2012-2016
1. Important issues
What issues remain since last year? What are the reasons that they remain and what are the consequences?
Here are the goals from one year ago, with my suggested comments. In summary I believe we set our sights too high...
PS = Per Stenstrom
IS= Yiannis Sourdis
|Funding from AoA Energy
|Funding that became available went to Marina (fair enough)
|Win funding for EuReCCA
|PS> ACCENT and EuRITCA proposals have been developed/are underway to support this mission
|Refinance students with expiring funding
|PS> VR and ERC proposal submitted; GG> FASTER has some slack too
|Launch and evaluate new MSc courses
|Increase staffing level at Lindholmen
|Lennart H and Arne L are now mostly at Lindholmen
|Introduce realistic models for teaching costs
|Not yet applied
|Offer at least one public lecture on "nyttiggörande för hållbart samhälle"
|Almost 3 months to go...
|Start industry courses through Chalmers Professional Education
|Multicore etc. later in CPE planning
|Have a division retreat in spring
|Retreat turned into one-day workshop w/ faculty members
|Map leadership education requirements, and make personal plans if necessary
|Not done yet
|Improve gender balance
2. Context and strategy
Has something changed for 2013? What are the consequences?
- Real-time-and-dependable group has (re)joined CE managerially, but not yet economically. The consequences for division bottom line have not yet been analyzed, but the teaching side should be helped by EDA122 and EDA222.
- The DoD + MoP courses are now clearly in the CE domain, so the responsibility for the lab equipment development project rests with us.
Division assessment of the most important issues and goals for CSE for the next 5 years (prioritized)
NOTE: this list needs prioritizing.
- Curriculum development to ensure that hardware design and Computer Architecture does not go extinct.
- Course lab oversight has not settled in the post-Kollberg era. (This is an urgent issue which may require recruiting a lab manager.)
- Continued development of course lab equipment for the DoD + MoP courses. Very large volume courses with traditionally very good evaluations.
- Development of a strategy for in-house experimental/practical thesis projects. Infrastructure development should be considered. This issue goes together with curriculum development.
- A stable staffing situation for the SE division.
- Improved transparency of division economy.
2. Trends and environment
Are there new or existing research areas that should be developed? If so, what are the opportunities for funding?
- PS> No. We need to consolidate, meaning improve quality and secure funding for what we already do.
- IS> i think the reconfigurable computing topic could be developed more, e.g. we could include it more In courses (i'm doing that in the new version of the digital design course) we could also do it at the graduate level. In addition we can maybe have a reconfigurable lab ( we are working towards that: Georgi ordered a maxeller machine, and brought one more we put together back in delft, for desyre we bought an expensive board, with Mafijul at Volvo we discuss adding an fpga in their ecu prototype.
- Summary of discussion (hopefully including the points above): With recent recruitments (Ioannis, Georgi) and with the RT-Dep group joining the division, we see several possibilities for developing internal strengths. EU funding for reconfigurable computing and a project with RUAG for predictability in multicore scenarios suggest that funding will be possible to find. On a slightly longer time scale, we see the necessity of teaching hardware/software codesign in more depth than is done now, which would seem to require research activity to maintain quality. This development is already underway in the vehicular area with AUTOSAR as a focus.
What is the likely evolution of external funding over the next 5 years? Who are the important sources for funding?
- PS> Excellent. EC funding in Computing Systems is increasing and SSF launches new program in system arch.
- IS> there is a lot of activity... Proposals submitted or under preparation, and several more opportunities for new collaborations... Some of them will hopefully get a positive result :)
- Summary: most of the division activities seem to have bright prospects for external funding. A persistent effort in the EU arena has paid off handsomely, especially for the computer architecture-related research. Funding levels for "pure" microelectronics will likely not increase. Wide multidisciplinary consortia seem to be key to win the large projects and grants. Equipment donations should also be counted as external funding and may be used as a base for infrastructure development, as above.
Does the division require strategic funding from the department? If so, for what purpose, and what would be gained?
- PS> No
- IS> if I'm not mistaken their covering for us having negative budget, so if we do ask for more, it should be planned very carefully so to bring back even more funding to the division (as a return of an investment) e.g. Recruit excellent people who can help with attracting funding.
- Summary: Possibly for recruiting female faculty/staff and/or PhD students if opportunities arise. We have also mentioned, at the first point above, several lab equipment issues that may justify CSE involvement.
Should any research areas be wound down? If so, do we foresee redundancies or can we extend the competence of those affected?
- PS> No. BUT: We need to avoid using base funding for PhD students and postdocs. This should be a major priority for all research groups to deal with.
- Summary: no.
How does the division relate to the Areas of Advance, now and in the future?
- PS> Directly: EScience, ICT, Transport, Energy. Potentially: Materials (Grafen)
- IS> I'm supported partly by the ict AoA, and was involved in a couple of their meetings... Maybe I should be more active there, but Im not aware of current activities (I should be talking to Per S about it I guess)
The other areas Per mentions above are in my opinion excellent opportunities for collaborations and research (even without considering AoAs as direct opportunities for funding)
- Summary: AoA ICT finances part of Ioannis, and Johan K has funding from AoA Transport. There is a clear potential for working with the EScience, Energy, and Materials (the Graphene initiative), but no direct activities at this point.
How does the division relate to centres (such as the Software Centre), now and in the future?
- PS> EuReCCA is a key development (subject to slow EC policy making...). We will submit the ACCENT proposal by the end of the year (In a nutshell: services to accelerate innovation in computing systems backed by 18 partners from 12 EU countries coordinated by Chalmers)
- Summary: we would like to work more with Software Centre but have yet to find the forms for doing so. We expect the EuReCCA effort to have many of the characteristics of a centre once it gets in place.
How does the division contribute to societal goals?
- PS> ACCENT and through numerous industrial collaborations (in part through SCHEME but also through EC funded projects and national ones; colleagues can make the list long long...)
- IS> I think achievements in many of the research fields we are working on have the potential to contribute to societal goals (some of them I had described in my interview presentation.. I can send the slides to Lars) and more importantly the technology transfer initiatives of Per and Georgi will hopefully help towards making this practically feasible.
- Summary: Our research involves many societal issues; two major ones are highway safety and power-efficient computing. Faculty members are active in the public eye (radio, television) and in schools. The school efforts could be gathered up and coordinated, maybe across the department.
What do we foresee about our future personnel requirements (rising, stable, shrinking)? If possible, specify seniors vs. students, and mention if international or local recruiting is desirable.
- PS> Stable. Need to improve on the recruitment processes of PhD students to get the very best candidates.
- IS> a comment first to Per's answer... Improving the quality of the phd students we hire could be significantly enhanced by having great and more popular MSc programs related to our topics of research, MSc students is a good pool (if we have good quality students) and certainly a more secure choice for phd student, as we may have worked with them before phd studies and they will be familiar with our research.
In general we may want to recruit somebody in a topic we miss and want to have expertise on ...e.g. Imagine how nice it would be to have somebody like David Whaley in our division. I think that he covered for a year a topic that would be a great addition to the division.
- Several faculty members approach retirement during the period. Already (2012) five course instances are taught by teachers of age 65 (including MCC091, taught by Kjell Jeppson of MC2 but a CE responsibility in the future).
- International recruiting will tend to be more competitive and is preferred. There is still an issue with some classes that should be taught in Swedish (Lindholmen, freshman classes at Johanneberg). We need to monitor the course volume closely to ensure that we can fulfill these requirements.
Will the division need to recruit full-time teachers?
- IS> if there is budget for new positions, I think that it would be better overall to recruit somebody who can teach a course or two but do research for the rest of their appointment. About teaching load, we need to see how many courses the division supports and how many teachers we have, if the average load is reasonable (I.e. =<2) then we are probably fine. Hopefully, me being more heavily involved from this year will help.
- PS> I am puzzled. There was a concern about too low teaching load (industrial courses). I don't think the teaching load, on average is too high but would like to see concrete numbers. More importantly, what is the forecast in terms of trends for our master's program offerings?
- This issue was brought up in the division faculty workshop and met with a resounding NO. Thus, as several full-time teachers approach retirement, it appears that the current teachers will need to teach more (cannot hire research/teaching faculty unless large funding increase). (Figures TBA)
What is the division strategy for recruiting female researchers?
- No explicit strategy at this point. We could make a point of keeping track of promising young faculty and invite them here even before there is an open position. Then again, we could do that for men too.
Provide an assessment of future promotions, and mention whether someone will need support to assemble the Pedagogical Portfolio.
- IS> I'm working towards getting the docent title, following these days the supervision course and Handledarforum. Maybe I'll need some help to get more information at some point, after I finish with the above courses.
4. Excellent work environment
How many of the division employees have taken part in the CSE Coworkership Project?
- Currently 3. 2 more scheduled for the second round this fall.
How many of the division advisors have taken part in Handledarforum?
- 10 out of 11, once the current batch is done.
- IS> me and Georgi will follow it from next week.
If necessary, provide a plan for how those who have not yet taken part in these projects can do so over the next 12 months.
- Handledarforum has been closed down, so we have no plan for it.
- IS> I don't think that's true, as I said me and Georgi will follow this starting from next week.
- [Clarification: Handledarfourm is closing down after this upcoming iteration. I'm happy to hear that you managed to get in under the rope!]
- At the end of 2012, 5 out of the 16 faculty/staff + 2 postdocs will have taken part in the Coworkership Project. If we are to send 2 per iteration, we need 6 more iterations. Also, at least 5 (3 faculty + 2 postdocs) will need to be in an English session. Are 6 iterations planned for 2013, and will at least 3 of these sessions be conducted in English? If then, no problem. We need dates for all these iterations ASAP to make it possible to plan for this.
5. Quality assurance
What are the overall scores of the division courses? Does the division actively follow up any issues here?
- Updated: 3.91 over 28 courses (latest values used, some manual intervention). More than half of the courses score > 4.0. There are a couple of outliers that will be followed up.
What is the overall quality of division publications? How can it be assessed? Does the division actively follow up any issues here?
- There is no active management followup at the moment; we rely on the academic peer-review system and on individual researcher desire for CV improvement etc. We cross-read submissions for high-impact conferences.
- I'm not sure there should be management followup of the research activities. Opinions, please!
- PS> There should! because it is a KPI that allocates funds to the department!!!!
- IS>. Agree with Per, and not only for funds
- Summary: it is important to avoid the appearance of "second-guessing" the individual researcher when it comes to published works. The faculty Collegium is about to discuss how to "rank" different publications. Once such a ranking is complete, researchers may use it to decide where to submit their work. "Ranking points" could presumably be used in performance assessments and salary revisions.
PS> SUMMARY: I am very concerned that no question is related to our our outlook concerning education/curriculum development. This is a top-level issue for me.
- IS> I agree with Per here, it is very important. It is important to have excellent bsc and MSc programs for many reasons: e.g educate and also attract (at graduate level) better students, and as consequence this will help our visibility, help in research, funds, etc...
- Summary: I have folded this into the strategic issues up at the top, as the top-level issue it is.