Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 2007 Conference Roles IBM CAS 2007, AmI 2007, IOT 2008, Pervasive 2008

The summer is a busy time for completing research projects ready for publication in the coming year. Along with completing research projects the summer is also a busy time for reviewing papers for conferences coming up at the end of the year and for planning for events in the coming year.

I am the Program Chair for the IBM CAS Software and Systems Engineering Symposium 2007, Dublin Ireland, October 24. This has been a lot of work with the program committee reviewing and deciding on papers for publication. In addition, I've been busy reviewing papers for AmI-07 the European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI-07), Darmstadt, Germany November 7-10. Along with acting as program chair and a program committee member this month I've also be busy with planning for future events almost 12 months away.

In 2008 I will be the Late Breaking Results Chair for the Sixth International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive 2008) on May 19-22 in Sydney, Australia. I will also be a member of the international program committee for Pervasive 2008. Another event of interest is the new Internet of Things International Conference for Industry and Academia on March 26-28 2008 in Zurich Switzerland where I will be on the Scientific Program Committee.

For more details see my [ Call for Papers Feed ]

IOT Logo

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 2007 New Papers [Ross Shannon]

The students in my group have been publishing a number of a new papers of late.

Ross Shannon has had two papers accepted in recent months, one on collecting and reasoning about context data from sensors in the environment and another on visualising communications in ad-hoc networks. "Towards Scatterbox: a Context-Aware Message Forwarding Platform", to be presented at MRC 07 at Context 07, presents ongoing work from our group in designing reasoning frameworks that can collate and reason about large amounts of context data gleaned from a wide range of sensors in a smart environment. In this case we have designed a system that decides to forward only relevant emails to a user's mobile device, where their attention should only be drawn to important messages.

The second paper, "Visualising Network Communications to Evaluate a Data Dissemination Method for Ubiquitous Systems" presents a novel visualisation application useful for designers of ubiquitous systems to be presented at Ubiquitous Systems Evaluation 2007 in September. As these systems will generally be designed to use ad-hoc networks of heterogeneous devices, many of which will join and leave the network
constantly, the stability of the data within the network is crucially important. The visualisation depicts an evolving network topology, which draws attention to nodes which have not passed their data to
other nodes in the system, thus making them more at risk of data loss if they leave the network before passing on this information. The visualisation can thus be used as an aid to the designer of the
communication protocol to view the emergent behaviours of their data dissemination algorithm.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 2007 Panelist - 20th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training

CSEET 2007 Logo

In early July 2007 I was an invited panelists at the Conference for Software Engineering Education and Training, 2007 (CSEET 2007) on "Preparing Students for Software Engineering Research".
Along with these panelists:
Dr. Laurie Williams, North Carolina State University, USA
Mr. Austin Hanley, Head of School of Engineering, Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland
Dr. Brian O’Donovan, IBM, Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland
My discussion points were built around the following point from [Shaw 2000] "Software Engineering Education: A Roadmap" that says:
"Preparation for research, of course, is different from preparation for engineering practice. A researcher needs deeper preparation in underlying principles, in problem formulation, and in validation of results as well as a special kind of inquisitiveness and creativity."
My points included:
  • Software Engineering Research is about discovering, interpreting, and revising our knowledge of the field
  • I believe that preparation for research in industry can only be achieved in the scope of postgraduate education
  • in teaching we should emphasise where current engineering practice fails when teaching it, identify problems as research opportunities
  • we should rovide opportunities for summer research internships in 2nd and 3rd year undergrads, such as our ODCSSS program in UCD-DCU
  • we should build awareness of open software engineering research issues faced in academic and industrial research labs
  • in teaching underlying principles try ideas such as eg. comparative learning (programming, development)
  • in teaching problem formulation try to weave learning how to describe a problem (not the solution) into course work
  • in teaching validation of results incorporate experimental methods into courses
  • to support inquisitiveness provide bottom up support for competitions, clubs, internships, industry prizes
  • to support creativity provide scope in all course work to step beyond the practice to discover an alternate approach.

The overall moderator Ita Richardson framed the question as:
"Discussions of software engineering education tend to focus on the needs of industry and the preparation of graduates for professional careers. This is understandable, and may even be appropriate, but what about those who hope to go on to do research in software engineering - how well are we catering for them?"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 2007 Graduate Programme in Visualisation, Graphics and Vision (VGV)

VGV Logo

In the first week of July 2007 a group of academics from the three Dublin-based universities – Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and Dublin City University led by Prof. Carol O'Sullivan submitted a GREP application for a Graduate Programme in Visualisation, Graphics and Vision (VGV) to IRCSET. This was the culmination, in funding terms, of over 18 months collective effort involving visits to 30 international sites and an in depth local marketing survey. In research and academic terms, this is but one of the first steps to the establishment of an international leading graduate program.

"This graduate research education programme on Visualisation, Graphics and Vision (VGV) will combine the international research track records of leading academics from TCD, UCD and DCU in the highly complementary thematic areas of graphics, animation, vision, image engineering, visualisation and simulation. The program is built around a networked virtual campus, that facilitates leading world-class research, industry engagement, inter-disciplinary collaboration and the development of a student cohort with industrially relevant research skills."

Now that the grant application has gone in we hope to move onto the development of the recruitment and hiring process for a student intake in Sept/Oct 2007 along with starting our program in the small with the expectation we can ramp up as suitable funds become available.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

July 2007 Grant Evaluation FCT Portugal


In late June I was invited by the Foundation for Science and the Technology Portugal (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) to evaluate a number of grant proposals on a Computer Engineering Panel. This involved the detail review and evaluation of over 15 proposals followed by a two day scientific evaluation panel meeting hosted at the offices of the Science and Technology Foundation – Lisbon.

Overall this was a very rewarding and enlightening experience. Having been involved in remote project evaluations in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Canada this level of involvement and commitment took the oversight process to a new level of rigour. This process is how the SFI in Ireland reviews many of its grant applications and it really is international best practice. The Foundation for Science and the Technology promotes national scientific inquiry and the technological development through financing project at institutions of scientific inquiry. All project funding decisions are made through a public competition and independent evaluations are carried out by panels consisting by foreign scientists, such as the one I was involved with.

The round I was involved with had over 5,000 applications which has kept the hard working staff in the FCT busy for many many months!