ST /


ST Division Meeting 2015-10-02 at 14:00 in the EDIT-room (3364)

(One of the ST Division Meetings.)

Meeting lead by the PhD student group (Inari Listenmaa). The agenda is taken mostly from the PhD student group discussion at STWinterMeeting2015.


  • Newcomers and visitors say hi
  • (20min) PaJa: Presentation and short discussion of the 2015 Employee Survey
  • (5min) NiBr: Bachelor projects
  • PhD courses
    • We like actual courses (Laura's ARV, Cezar's category theory, Moa's ethics) and we want more!
      • Is there enough incentive to course responsibles?
    • Wish for better spreading of information:
      • Existing/planned courses in a well-known and frequently updated place
      • Reading courses: the concept exists & how to organise one
      • Courses from other departments
    • Generic and transferrable skills: complaints about long waiting lists and usefulness of some courses
  • Teaching obligations
    • Compensation for hours: in general works well. Some concerns below:
      • Spending less hours than allocated -- is effective work penalised?
      • Coffee breaks and alike are accounted as being on research time, not teaching duties
      • New TAs have to be explicitly informed to account time for overhead, not just the time spent in the classroom
    • Idea: make it common practice for long-time TAs to "own" a lecture or two in their course, especially if related to their research
    • Other ways to get hours:
      • Being a TA outside of dept -- requires extra bureaucracy but is possible
      • Supervising masters students -- we'd like to do it, but it feels like we're not encouraged to do so.
      • Departmental duties: e.g. PhD council, Intro for MSc event, TeknologerDB, contributing to Fire
    • Many not completely happy with assigned courses, but it's a hard problem and in general we accept it
      • Is it possible to use some software to find more optimal solutions? Stable matching?
    • Changes after a few weeks (because student numbers are different from estimates) are tedious and disruptive
  • Ideas for pedagogical improvements
    • Course evals: evaluate each TA individually (already done in some courses)
    • Interest in crowd interaction during lectures
      • Standard platform?
    • There should be support for recording lectures: cameras, sound, uploading online etc.
  • Life after PhD:
    • Career Planning course on average not appreciated
    • Swedish courses not appreciated: too low level and big group.
    • Internships
      • Students are usually on their own when looking for an internship, while the faculty could help with their broad connections.
      • Note: PhD council has organised an event about internships, and will organise another this year
  • Summary of Doctoral education committee meeting 17 June by Grischa Liebel:
    • Lots of (smaller) changes in the procedures. E.g.:
      • The requirements to submit the PhD thesis 3 months before the defence date. This is mainly for the committee to give a thumbs up/down for the defence. For us PhD students, this is not really a big change.
      • GU students enrolled after April 2015 now also have to acquire 5 credits on pedagogy, 3 credits on ethics. However, there are no specific requirements on which courses they need to take.
      • At GU, there will now also be a requirement to have a Co-Supervisor. So far, this was not the case. Again, in practice not much will change as we had this already in most cases at CSE.
      • At Chalmers, there are now rules for the discontinuation of PhD student positions after 1/3 years. You find them in the Chalmers regulations (see Chalmers Rules of Procedure, last pages)
    • One more important change (in my opinion): all GU PhD students admitted after July 2014 will have to use the new electronic study plan, which GU is currently introducing. The system currently being piloted at GU and CSE will order it soon. Our GU students will have to use it from 2016. For Chalmers, there is currently no plan to introduce the electronic system, but most likely this will eventually come as well. The main reason for introduction is to have an uniform way for handling the study plans at GU and due to archiving requirements.
    • An important clarification: If you have a 4-year contract, without departmental duties, your contract can be extended for 1 more year. However, you can NOT be employed as ‘Doktorand’, but only as a ‘Project assistant’. This is only a naming issue and has nothing to do with your degree, meaning you can still continue your thesis project!
    • Mentorship: In my experience, a lot of problems arise at the department due to the lack of knowledge about what you have to do as a PhD student (e.g. courses, teaching, etc.). I proposed that we could introduce a mentorship at the graduate school, e.g. each new PhD student gets an ‘older’ PhD student assigned as a mentor at the department. I would see this as a voluntary thing, no need to force anything. This would be up to the PhD council to decide. What’s your opinion on that?


  • Newcomers 2015-10-01:
    • Per Hallgren, PhD student with AnSa
    • Adam Sandberg Ericsson, amanuens (20%) with PaJa (on the DSLsofMath project)
    • Marco Vassena, PhD student with AlRu
    • Phu Phung, guest researcher (with DaSa)
    • Andrei Voronkov, guest professor (with LaKo)
  • Visitors
    • Martin Dybdal from DIKU in Copenhagen
    • others?
  • CSE dept. steering group (ILG) meetings
  • ST division Steering Group
  • Co-workership workshops