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Category Archive for 'research'

I rarely read the Times as I’m not a fan of Murdoch’s empire but yesterday I happened to get a free copy of the Scottish edition. The front page article was about the effects on research funding in Scottish universities in the event of Scottish independence. It suggested that universities were likely to lose a […]

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I’ve just finished reading an article* in the current (April 2014) issue of IEEE Computer entitled ‘Making Sofware Engineering Research Relevant’. This was written by a number of researchers from Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre and argue that (a) software engineering practitioners don’t pay much attention to software engineering research and (b) […]

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After more than 35 years working in universities, I’ve decided that it’s time to pack it in and 3 weeks ago, I stopped being an employee and started being a pensioner.  It’s a  scary thought. Contrary to the picture of academic life that is sometimes painted, I have never worked short days and taken long […]

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The EPSRC is the main research funding body in the UK for computer science and software engineering. I wrote my first EPSRC proposal in 1981 and have reviewed proposals, served on panels and helped with making funding decisions for at least 25 years. Over that time, I guess I must have spent hundreds of unpaid […]

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Research assessment considered harmful

In the UK, universities have now had almost 30 years of research assessment. The process started in 1986 with a political agenda (I suspect) to demonstrate that some universities were significantly underperforming and so could be shut down. The then Conservative government were probably disappointed that university research was actually quite good. A later Government […]

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For the past 5 years or so, I’ve been working on a UK research programme of research and education into large-scale complex IT systems (LSCITS). This has involved partners in other universities and industry. Overall, I think we’ve done a good job with lots of interesting research results. Thanks to the flexibility of EPSRC funding, […]

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I was recently asked to review a research proposal where the proposer, who I know and respect, is  past the ‘normal’ retirement age. He has a distinguished track record of research and the work proposed was very good. It was a high quality proposal and I supported it. But I think it was highly irresponsible […]

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I recently read a blog post on why papers were rejected for the ACM conference on Human Computer Interaction (CHI 2012). I found this to be profoundly depressing as it came out with a list of pseudo-scientific reasons why papers were rejected, without taking any account of the fact that demonstrating new ideas is not […]

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I have written elsewhere in this blog on how I believe that reductionism as a basis for software engineering is not appropriate for the complex coalitions of systems that we are now building. This means that ‘more of the same’ – improving existing software engineering methods – simply will not allow us to tackle the […]

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I have written in an earlier post about my concerns that the research community is being driven by targets to publish work that clearly isn’t ready for publication. I made the point that papers are submitted to conferences that don’t contain evaluations of the work and papers that are supposedly about software systems but where […]

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