Merger proposal of Math and Computer Science (Datalogi) departments in KU

Last Tuesday, the Dean of the Faculty of Science proposed a merger plan to merge the departments of computer science and math into one. The meeting invitation went out to the faculty and the students only a day ago in the midst of a busy teaching bloc. The merger was reported in the University Post. This has sparked a spate of opinions which all seem to point to the utter absurdity of the move especially since it was tried 2.5 years ago and failed, and nothing has changed since then other than the reasons against it. A lot of conspiracy theories are also doing the rounds. Whatever the real reasons behind the merger may be, what is clearly apparent is the fact that the move has not been thought out well by the Dean’s office and has not encapsulated the people it concerns and hence it just remains a tactless, non-visionary (contrary to the claim), damaging exercise just for the sake of it.

This probably sums it up

Emailing just got more complicated

The department of computer science has been long under the pressure of moving their email systems from diku.dk to di.ku.dk . A couple of weeks ago SCIENCE-IT finally did the migration. So the old postfix email servers were discarded for new shiny Microsoft Exchange solution. As a result I found out last week, that old solution of automatically forwarding / re-directing emails were discontinued on “legal” reasons (which as a user I have no clue of). This means my earlier solution of using another email address mailbox as a backup mailbox to archive incoming emails by forwarding all incoming emails does not work unless I use POP on another server with my passwords (which I would never dream of doing). The old solution was a mind boggling simple and flexible one. What we have currently achieved is to give up the simpler and logical solution for an inflexible and legal solution. All this just begs the question, what is the purpose of the migration ? Make the system easier for users or easier to administrate for admins ignoring the users ?

And thats what its all about

Copenhagen gets stormed

Yesterday was really a windy day !! With wind speeds recorded upto 190 kph, things were really blowing outside the windows. It was the left-over storm which was headed towards the Danish coast from UK. I was not aware that a storm was going to hit Copenhagen. I had left for work at the University without knowing that the storm clouds were already on their way. I came to know about the storm when it actually hit. Everything was swirling outside the windows and the wind was howling with rage. It was 5 in the evening. It was a bit scary to see the windows clatter. The intensity reduced around 7 and I decided to make a run for it. I took my bike and went to Svanemollen station at 7. With announcements only in Danish about cancelled trains and hardly anyone around, I hung around there for 30 mins (and rejseplanen claimed there would be a S train at 7-30) and finally I left to make my way back to the University to put back my bike and look for buses to come back home. The bike journeys were exciting and scary at the same time. The wind was blowing in gusts and there were uprooted trees and and other objects. I was biking looking all around hoping to not land up in a hospital bed. I made my way back to the University, put my bike back and then made it to the bus stop. I waited at the bus stop for an hour before the bus 184 turned up. And then after a 45 minute bus ride, I was finally home at 10. It was an experience which was exciting, stressful and tiring at the same time. It blows into focus the fact how are lives are completely at the whims and fancies of nature.

And the storm winds were here

A course well done

A week ago, I finished a week long course PhD course, “Introduction to University Pedagogy”. It’s a course which gives you a feeling well done and that you have learned something from it. What impressed me most about the course were:

  • Introspective nature of the course
    The course is not about transferring knowledge, its about building knowledge. It involves the participants into analyzing situations and discussing possible solutions.
  • Hands on learning
    The course comprised of teaching modules of 20 minutes where participants had to teach a topic/s so that the audience could comprehend the learning goals. Since the audience were from diverse backgrounds, that ensured the topics were quite randomized and interesting. Post the teaching session, a 40 minute feedback/discussion session was held which made the “teacher” realize the pros and cons of the teaching from the students. It was a model done right and what stood out for the course.
  • See yourself
    The teaching sessions were also video recorded which the participants could later access and then realize their strengths and weaknesses. It helped me particularly to understand the feedback better and look for critical hints in the feedback based on the teaching video.

I would definitely recommend this course to the plethora of students hoping to fill their ECTS PhD points anytime and the sooner you do it in your PhD timeline the better it is. At least it will save the pain in the picture.

Teaching not done right haunts the teacher more!