Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Research and teaching with impact outside academia

Greetings from the Australian National University, where Professor John Hosking is speakingon "Research and teaching with impact outside academia". John started by talking about Christian Hirsch's work on "Visual Wikis". There is also Video talk by John on this. They pro0duced including Thinkbase and Thinkpedia. This provide a directed graph visualization of the relationships between items, alongside a traditional textural display of the wiki. The diagrams are similar to the "Social network analysis of the Iranian nuclear weapons program" by Graham Durant-Law. However, the visual wiki tools can operate in real time.

John then changed topics to talk about "technology roadmapping", using the approach from Robert Phaal at Cambridge University (Cambridge innovation has been analyzed in detail). The particuar project was to improve the innovation capability for small to medium New Zealand companies. It happens that Innovation ACT for 2011 will be launched here at the ANU at 5:30pm.

John then discussed "Learning at the elbows of experts" and how ICT students should be trained to work with other disciplines, in a strategic way. My view is that this can be done using on-line mentoring teaching techniques and I will be investigating this in my studies of research and teaching. This approach is taken in the ANU Vice-Chancellor's Courses. This could be applied to correct some of the problems in DMO in the Defence Department.
As academics we tend to excel at understanding and measuring the impact of our research within academic circles and our teaching on our students. We are also very good at adapting to those measurement instruments, as witnessed by the intense debate and behavioural change instruments such as the ERA cause. Stepping outside academia and looking for industry or organisational impact beyond the laboratory and classroom is something that is less often measured, but is something I consider vital for a College of Engineering and Computer Science. In this talk, I will discuss a current research project that is leading to commercialisation outcomes and a teaching initiative that is having strategic impact on ICT businesses and examine lessons from the experience gained.

1 comment:

Tom @ ANU Edge said...

Hi Tom,
Probably also worth mentioning that CECS has partnered with Cambridge's Institute for manufacturing on the delivery of a strategic roadmap for the Australian automotive industry. This capability has been spun into ANU Edge - a new unit delivering professional services based on ANU's world-class research. We're currently delivering a second large roadmapping project for the rail supply industry (among a number of smaller ones with links into government, industry, CRCs, CECS and CBE). More on our website:

Tom Wood - Program Manager, ANU Edge