September 29, 2008, 6:20 am
This is the third installment of Monday GTD Moment, where I take a post to blog about Getting Things Done and how it applies in an academic setting. If you’re unfamiliar with GTD, here’s a good overview, and make sure to read David Allen’s book that started it all.
Last week I wrote about grading and GTD. I noted that grading is kind of a poor fit in traditional GTD. A prof can grade anywhere, so the idea of contexts fits awkwardly; and grading “tasks” are usually projects, although we think of them as tasks and although the next actions contained in those projects are usually nothing more than smaller projects. GTD wasn’t really made for the academic profession, and so the staple activities of academics don’t often fit well.
Another area similar to grading in its relatively poor fit within the canonical GTD philosophy is research, or more generally scholarship. By “scholarship” …
July 4, 2008, 6:07 pm
Good article here at the Chronicle on balancing teaching with research, from a neuroscience professor who makes it work for him.
The reality of modern academe is that, no matter what your institutional affiliation, the time you can devote to research is being squeezed by multiple competing demands. No simple solution to that problem exists for any of us. But I have found that rethinking the nature of our professional commitments, such that teaching activities bleed into research ones (and vice versa), can be an effective way to reduce the time crunch. Academics describe their workload of scholarship, teaching, and service as if those were entirely separate entities. In reality, the line between teaching and research is usually much fuzzier.
Read the whole thing, in which Prof. Gendle writes at length about the potentially prosperous symbiosis between teaching and research. He points out …
April 5, 2008, 9:53 am
My busier-than-usual Spring Break is all but over with. Here’s a brief update.
The ICMC went off much better than it looked like it was going to. This was my first of a three-year stint as Student Activities Director for the Indiana section of the MAA, and while my predecessor was really great an answering my questions about how to organize the ICMC, he could only answer the questions I could think of, and the un-thought-of questions were starting to pile up at an exponential pace the week before the contest. But with the generous help of Mike Axtell, who — sadly — is leaving the Indiana section for a new position in Minnesota, all the logistics went off just fine and we had no major incidents. Kudos to the Purdue, Rose-Hulman, and Taylor teams who finished first, second, and third respectively.
That was last weekend. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I had a very nice time at
November 30, 2007, 5:37 am
If you’ve been submitting mathematics articles to refereed journals only to have them sent back to you every time, there’s hope. You can try submitting them to the new journal Rejecta Mathematica, which will consist only of papers which have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals. From their web site:
At Rejecta Mathematica, we believe that many previously rejected papers can nonetheless have a very real value to the academic community. This value may take many forms:
- “mapping the blind alleys of science”: papers containing negative results can warn others against futile directions;
- “reinventing the wheel”: papers accidentally rederiving a known result may contain new insight or ideas;
- “squaring the circle”: papers discovered to contain a serious technical flaw may nevertheless contain information or ideas of interest;
- “applications of cold fusion”: papers based on a…
October 5, 2007, 8:29 pm
So I spent the entire day today up the road at Butler at an NSF workshop for people interested in writing grant proposals. It was very informative, and it was especially helpful to have most of the actual program directors there in person — all of whom were friendly, very down-to-earth and open to talking with faculty grunts like me. (One request for the NSF folks, though: Please, for the love of God, consider the 10/20/30 rule for your presentations. Four straight hours of 40+ slide Power Point presentations done in 20-point font almost (but not quite) drove me crazy. Thanks.)
What I wanted to blog about right now, though, isn’t the NSF stuff per se, but more about the feeling I always seem to take away from conferences or workshops like this where there are a lot of people who actually do research. The feeling is one of being on the outside looking in, of being past my prime.