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Changing Academic Life

Geraldine Fitzpatrick

3
Followers
18
Plays
Changing Academic Life

Changing Academic Life

Geraldine Fitzpatrick

3
Followers
18
Plays
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About Us

Academic life is changing and many of us are drowning in increasing work demands. What are the choices each of us can make to change our own situations for the better? And can we change the academic game more generally? Academics and thought leaders share experiences, tips...

Latest Episodes

Pejman Mirza Babaei (part 2) on post-tenure, balance and learning to become a good leader

This is the Part 2 of a discussion with Pejman Mirza-Babaei. Pejman is an Associate Dean, Industry Partnerships and an Associate Professor of User Experience Research in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In the Part 1 he talked about his research and getting to tenure. In this second half we explore Pejman’s experiences in navigating life post-tenure, working out how he can have the biggest impact, and learning to become an academic leader, in particular what it is useful to focus on and how to get the best out of people.

36 minFEB 11
Comments
Pejman Mirza Babaei (part 2) on post-tenure, balance and learning to become a good leader

on being strategic, the fast track to tenure, and finding his path

Pejman Mirza-Babaei is an Associate Dean Industry Partnerships, and an Associate Professor of User Experience Research, in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Pejman’s story spans Iran, the UK and Canada as he discusses his path from Masters to working in industry to doing a PhD closely tied with a start-up, and then his experiences moving into a tenure track position immediately post PhD, well in fact before his PhD, and later taking a break to work back in industry before working out that academia is what he wants to. What’s particularly interesting in his story is how strategic he has been in exploring his options and making decisions, leading to him getting tenure in very quick time. And what else is interesting is how he is always seeking feedback and open to learn. There is a Part 2 of this conversation (coming next) where he talks about the uncertainty of life post-tenure and how he has navigated these new choices, as well as what he has learning moving into more faculty leadership roles.

50 minJAN 27
Comments
on being strategic, the fast track to tenure, and finding his path

Reflections on 2019 & 2018

At the beginning of 2020, I look back on 2019 & 2018 around the podcasts and my personal reflections.

16 minJAN 7
Comments
Reflections on 2019 & 2018

Rosa Arriaga on transferrable discipline toolkits, making a difference, & caring for the grad student journey

Rosa Arriaga is a developmental psychologist who transitioned into computer science as a senior research scientist in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech in the US. She talks about the journey becoming a computer scientist and applying the toolkit she brings from her psychology background to technology problems around chronic disease management and the reward of seeing real impact in people’s lives. She has also recently taken on the role of Chair of Graduate Affairs and talks with passion about her role in making processes and expectations clear and easy, and in promoting the importance of whole selves.

69 min2019 OCT 11
Comments
Rosa Arriaga on transferrable discipline toolkits, making a difference, & caring for the grad student journey

Alex Taylor on research at the boundaries, moving from industry to academia, the labour of academia & the power of the collective

Alex Taylor is a sociologist and a Reader in the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London. Alex moved into academia in Sept 2017, having worked at Microsoft Research Cambridge prior to this for over a decade and as a post doc researcher at Surrey University before this. Alex talks about his work at the boundaries of disciplines where he doesn’t feel like he has a clear disciplinary home, and about his experiences working at Microsoft. He explains his very conscious decision to then move into an academic position. The trigger for this conversation was a twitter post where he commented on the many different skills that he had to draw on as an academic. He reflects on the labours of academia, and the need to prioritise and make choices. He also talks about generative resistance in the face of the demands of the academy, taking principled stands, saying no and offering alternatives. And he talks about doing this as a collective endeavor and the power o...

73 min2019 JUL 25
Comments
Alex Taylor on research at the boundaries, moving from industry to academia, the labour of academia & the power of the collective

Tom Erickson on industry research, telecommuting, and practising for retirement

Tom Erickson is a cognitive psychologist by background and was a researcher (social scientist and designer) at IBM Research since 1997, having previously worked in the early days of Apple and their Advanced Technology Group, and at a start up. Tom reflects on his experiences working in industry research, some of the pivotal work he has been involved in. He has also telecommuted most of his work life and he talks about how he made this work. Tom has also recently retired and he managed his transition to retirement in a really thoughtful way, being very deliberate in thinking about how to make a better life for himself and in what he calls ‘practising retirement’.

74 min2019 JUN 15
Comments
Tom Erickson on industry research, telecommuting, and practising for retirement

Jen Mankoff on managing an academic career with a disability & finding good ways forward

Jennifer Mankoff is an endowed professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington in the US. Jen’s journey to this position though hasn’t been straightforward because she has been dealing with ongoing chronic health issues since her PhD days. Jen talks about managing disability as an academic and in particular the ways in she positively frames her experiences and points to the support of family and colleagues. She also has interesting experiences about being part of an academic couple as well as managing parenting and extended family caring roles. While considering herself a private person, she recognizes it is important for people like herself to share their experiences, not just of successes but also about what is hard, and to give the message that we all go through these hard times and can find ways forward.

62 min2019 APR 24
Comments
Jen Mankoff on managing an academic career with a disability & finding good ways forward

Moshe Vardi on publication pressures, student stress, mid-career mentoring & societal obligations

Moshe Vardi is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in the US and holds numerous honours and awards. This is the second part of our conversation where we focus more on the changes and challenges in academic life. Moshe reflects on: the increasing pressures to publish, the seduction of big data on how we evaluate research, and the increasing pressure and stress on students for these and other reasons; how we need academics to get more involved in social issues but that we are instead training people to be self-centred focusing on their own careers just at a time when we need then to get more involved in social issues; whether we should be focusing mentoring more on post-tenure people because of how hard it is to sustain an innovative research agenda over time; and why we need to have more conversations about our obligations as academics to take more social responsibility.

51 min2019 APR 2
Comments
Moshe Vardi on publication pressures, student stress, mid-career mentoring & societal obligations

Moshe Vardi on social implications of technology & our responsibility as academics

Moshe Vardi is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in the US and holds numerous honours and awards. In this conversation he talks about the impact of technologies on society and how this challenges what computer science should be concerned about and our responsibilities to engage in these issues. What he has to say speaks not only to computer scientists but to all academics. This is actually the first part of a much longer conversation. Part 2, coming out as a separate podcast, discusses the changes and challenges in academia more generally.

54 min2019 MAR 20
Comments
Moshe Vardi on social implications of technology & our responsibility as academics

Jofish Kaye on industry research, having an impact, and values-driven decision making

Jofish Kaye is a Principle Research Scientist at Mozilla, and before this he worked at Yahoo and Nokia. Jofish made a deliberate decision not to pursue an academic career after he finished his PhD and it’s interesting to hear how his decision-making criteria evolved from being primarily about the people he could work with to being more values-driven and being able to make an impact. A strong sense of values and having impact are threads in a lot of what he talks about. He also discusses his experiences more generally working in an industry context and also moving into more management/leadership roles.

67 min2019 FEB 2
Comments
Jofish Kaye on industry research, having an impact, and values-driven decision making

Latest Episodes

Pejman Mirza Babaei (part 2) on post-tenure, balance and learning to become a good leader

This is the Part 2 of a discussion with Pejman Mirza-Babaei. Pejman is an Associate Dean, Industry Partnerships and an Associate Professor of User Experience Research in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In the Part 1 he talked about his research and getting to tenure. In this second half we explore Pejman’s experiences in navigating life post-tenure, working out how he can have the biggest impact, and learning to become an academic leader, in particular what it is useful to focus on and how to get the best out of people.

36 minFEB 11
Comments
Pejman Mirza Babaei (part 2) on post-tenure, balance and learning to become a good leader

on being strategic, the fast track to tenure, and finding his path

Pejman Mirza-Babaei is an Associate Dean Industry Partnerships, and an Associate Professor of User Experience Research, in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Pejman’s story spans Iran, the UK and Canada as he discusses his path from Masters to working in industry to doing a PhD closely tied with a start-up, and then his experiences moving into a tenure track position immediately post PhD, well in fact before his PhD, and later taking a break to work back in industry before working out that academia is what he wants to. What’s particularly interesting in his story is how strategic he has been in exploring his options and making decisions, leading to him getting tenure in very quick time. And what else is interesting is how he is always seeking feedback and open to learn. There is a Part 2 of this conversation (coming next) where he talks about the uncertainty of life post-tenure and how he has navigated these new choices, as well as what he has learning moving into more faculty leadership roles.

50 minJAN 27
Comments
on being strategic, the fast track to tenure, and finding his path

Reflections on 2019 & 2018

At the beginning of 2020, I look back on 2019 & 2018 around the podcasts and my personal reflections.

16 minJAN 7
Comments
Reflections on 2019 & 2018

Rosa Arriaga on transferrable discipline toolkits, making a difference, & caring for the grad student journey

Rosa Arriaga is a developmental psychologist who transitioned into computer science as a senior research scientist in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech in the US. She talks about the journey becoming a computer scientist and applying the toolkit she brings from her psychology background to technology problems around chronic disease management and the reward of seeing real impact in people’s lives. She has also recently taken on the role of Chair of Graduate Affairs and talks with passion about her role in making processes and expectations clear and easy, and in promoting the importance of whole selves.

69 min2019 OCT 11
Comments
Rosa Arriaga on transferrable discipline toolkits, making a difference, & caring for the grad student journey

Alex Taylor on research at the boundaries, moving from industry to academia, the labour of academia & the power of the collective

Alex Taylor is a sociologist and a Reader in the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London. Alex moved into academia in Sept 2017, having worked at Microsoft Research Cambridge prior to this for over a decade and as a post doc researcher at Surrey University before this. Alex talks about his work at the boundaries of disciplines where he doesn’t feel like he has a clear disciplinary home, and about his experiences working at Microsoft. He explains his very conscious decision to then move into an academic position. The trigger for this conversation was a twitter post where he commented on the many different skills that he had to draw on as an academic. He reflects on the labours of academia, and the need to prioritise and make choices. He also talks about generative resistance in the face of the demands of the academy, taking principled stands, saying no and offering alternatives. And he talks about doing this as a collective endeavor and the power o...

73 min2019 JUL 25
Comments
Alex Taylor on research at the boundaries, moving from industry to academia, the labour of academia & the power of the collective

Tom Erickson on industry research, telecommuting, and practising for retirement

Tom Erickson is a cognitive psychologist by background and was a researcher (social scientist and designer) at IBM Research since 1997, having previously worked in the early days of Apple and their Advanced Technology Group, and at a start up. Tom reflects on his experiences working in industry research, some of the pivotal work he has been involved in. He has also telecommuted most of his work life and he talks about how he made this work. Tom has also recently retired and he managed his transition to retirement in a really thoughtful way, being very deliberate in thinking about how to make a better life for himself and in what he calls ‘practising retirement’.

74 min2019 JUN 15
Comments
Tom Erickson on industry research, telecommuting, and practising for retirement

Jen Mankoff on managing an academic career with a disability & finding good ways forward

Jennifer Mankoff is an endowed professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington in the US. Jen’s journey to this position though hasn’t been straightforward because she has been dealing with ongoing chronic health issues since her PhD days. Jen talks about managing disability as an academic and in particular the ways in she positively frames her experiences and points to the support of family and colleagues. She also has interesting experiences about being part of an academic couple as well as managing parenting and extended family caring roles. While considering herself a private person, she recognizes it is important for people like herself to share their experiences, not just of successes but also about what is hard, and to give the message that we all go through these hard times and can find ways forward.

62 min2019 APR 24
Comments
Jen Mankoff on managing an academic career with a disability & finding good ways forward

Moshe Vardi on publication pressures, student stress, mid-career mentoring & societal obligations

Moshe Vardi is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in the US and holds numerous honours and awards. This is the second part of our conversation where we focus more on the changes and challenges in academic life. Moshe reflects on: the increasing pressures to publish, the seduction of big data on how we evaluate research, and the increasing pressure and stress on students for these and other reasons; how we need academics to get more involved in social issues but that we are instead training people to be self-centred focusing on their own careers just at a time when we need then to get more involved in social issues; whether we should be focusing mentoring more on post-tenure people because of how hard it is to sustain an innovative research agenda over time; and why we need to have more conversations about our obligations as academics to take more social responsibility.

51 min2019 APR 2
Comments
Moshe Vardi on publication pressures, student stress, mid-career mentoring & societal obligations

Moshe Vardi on social implications of technology & our responsibility as academics

Moshe Vardi is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in the US and holds numerous honours and awards. In this conversation he talks about the impact of technologies on society and how this challenges what computer science should be concerned about and our responsibilities to engage in these issues. What he has to say speaks not only to computer scientists but to all academics. This is actually the first part of a much longer conversation. Part 2, coming out as a separate podcast, discusses the changes and challenges in academia more generally.

54 min2019 MAR 20
Comments
Moshe Vardi on social implications of technology & our responsibility as academics

Jofish Kaye on industry research, having an impact, and values-driven decision making

Jofish Kaye is a Principle Research Scientist at Mozilla, and before this he worked at Yahoo and Nokia. Jofish made a deliberate decision not to pursue an academic career after he finished his PhD and it’s interesting to hear how his decision-making criteria evolved from being primarily about the people he could work with to being more values-driven and being able to make an impact. A strong sense of values and having impact are threads in a lot of what he talks about. He also discusses his experiences more generally working in an industry context and also moving into more management/leadership roles.

67 min2019 FEB 2
Comments
Jofish Kaye on industry research, having an impact, and values-driven decision making
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