Note to Self

My colleague, Bijan, is off on sabbatical (lucky) – and before going he’s published a set of goals (below). While I think there are way too many (I’d be happy getting just half done) I think that the idea of doing this is excellent. Most academics don’t take the time to consider the goals for their upcoming year – learching from deadline to deadline – sacrificing the important for the immediate.

The Particularly Hirsute Bijan Parsia (photo credit - Anne Cregan)

The Particularly Hirsute Bijan Parsia (photo credit – Anne Cregan)

Bijans goals are:

Non-recurrent activities

  1. The key goal (and the reason I’m visiting Siemens) is to establish myself as an internationally leading clinical informatics researcher. I’m already in a pretty good position to do this given my expertise in ontologies and ontology engineering, but getting the clinically specific aspects is a big chunk of work. This involves some education (i.e., becoming better read about clinical informatics per se, gaining some comfort with clinical terminology and scenarios, etc.), some research (i.e., figuring out a research programme and laying the groundwork for executing it), and some schmoozing (i.e., learning who the key players are and trying to meet up with them). My stretch goal is that within 5 years I’m a reasonable candidate to be elected anAMIA Fellow.
  2. Give my courses a thorough working over with an eye to making a) executing them less difficult for me, b)  innovation easier, and c)  them more pedagogically effective.
  3. Develop two new MSc programs: software engineering practicum and computing eduction. The latter seems to be happening anyway. The first is something near and dear to my heart.
  4. Brush up my statistics.
  5. Finish some software I’ve left languish (in particular, the Jewel Syntax based OWL Paste Bin; some exam software).
  6. Resolve the book issue.
  7. Publish some sort of philosophy.
  8. Complete a novel.

Recurrent activities

  1. Blog at least once a week. Small stretch goal is 3 times a week. Large stretch goal is 5x a week.
  2. Submit an average of 1 journal paper a month. (I expect this will drop to 1 every other month in normal times).
  3. Submit an average of 1 grant proposal every 2 months. (I expect I’ll dance a happy dance if I get 4 out this year and sustain 2 a year.)
  4. Read an average of 1 paper a day, with notes.
  5. Read one non-escapy (fiction or non-fiction) book a week.
  6. Exercise 4 times a week reaching to every day.
  7. Work on the OWLED community group every week.

I’ve not thought about mine yet – but I will do! However, one thing I think is absolutely critical, to turn aspirations into reality, is the allocation of time for the activities centring on the pre-allocation of time early and then a jealous guarding of that time, if you really want to get that stuff done.

For me I’m much more likely to do things if I add them to my calendar as events or ‘meetings’. When someone wants to meet me I just get them to request a spot via the excellent Doodle – MeetMe service (which connects to your google calendars). In this way I don’t have the temptation to schedule a meeting over one of my important (but not immediate) events… Now Dr Parsia – time to write my own list for this year!

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3 thoughts on “Note to Self

  1. This is expanded from what I told the Uni I’d do and way trimmed from the first draft of what I told the Uni I’d do.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if very little on the list got done. That’s just the way I am 🙂 But if I don’t set the ambition I won’t even give it an effort. One thing I know about me is that if I don’t set my self the goal it definitely doesn’t happen. What *does* happen is under the control of some weird aspects of my personality. So I just throw as much as I can at it and see what sticks.

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