Friday, July 20, 2012

Faculty Job Talks - Key Mistakes

Very good link with respect to faculty job talks: One of the interesting quotes from the article:
I think many faculty members view job talks the way I do: I am giddy whenever I go to one. I'm high on the ether of potential, the magic I saw in your letter of introduction, your vitae, the fascinating things you've done and the promise of what you might do. I'm already rehearsing the negotiations I'll need to have with the dean to get resources for you. So when it's time for you to give your job talk, don't let me down.
I would concur largely with this sentiment. Once we get you to campus through the myriad of the hundreds of other applicants, we feel your scholarship is more than enough to make the cut. I am excited to hear your job talk as this is the work that you have been passionate about for the last N years. It gives me a chance to hear about new, exciting work and hopefully find a great new colleague to collaborate with. But, although I am predisposed to be optimistic about your job talk, a bad one is devastating to your job chances. Not only does it make the job of the faculty member who might support you harder (and certainly the chair's job harder), I have found more often than not that the job talk is a fairly good predictor of future success as a faculty member. Not perfect in that good presentations can sometimes slip through but I have seen a middling talk fairly consistently be a predictor of problems when it comes to promotion / renewal. All in all, just remember that we want to like you. We really, really do. But as the original author stated, just don't let us down.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wow, holy Blogger changes Batman!

Well, who knew that there would be a significant delay between blog postings despite my best of intentions? On the plus side, our accreditation effort is finally complete and I am slowly acclimating to the Associate Chair position and the new responsibilities / things to track. This time I swear, back in the saddle for real (or something).

In the mean time before my longer posts on successful faculty candidate visits, I'll muse a bit on what we have going on in the research front.  Beyond the NetSense study (which is pretty sweet), we are looking at bringing some of our work on self-optimizing networks to the front with respect to data tonnage reduction. As of now, we are toying with the VPN agent on Android to see if we can make a reasonable approximation of libpcap on the phones to avoid the pain / suffering of bringing in a real libpcap.

Theoretically, it may be possible which would be quite exciting as it would save us the trouble of diverting messages to a third part intermediate box (quite similar to what Onavo) does with regards to their "magic box." For those unfamiliar with Onavo, think of a benevolent MITM (Man in the Middle) box that provides object de-duplication similar to what Amazon does with S3, except doing this for a cellular data connection.

We are quite interested in gathering handset-side data with regards to video browsing / performance and pair-wise packet reconstruction is high on the list. Will keep folks posted if we can find a way to do this without the intermediate capture box.