[Linux-aus] Grant Application: Promotion of FOSS in undergraduate Computer Science, Information Technology and Software Engineering degrees at the University of Newcastle

Mark Wallis mark.wallis at newcastle.edu.au
Tue Apr 4 15:02:31 AEST 2017

Hi James.

> On 4 Apr 2017, at 2:14 pm, James Polley <jamezpolley at gmail.com> wrote:
> I understand that the intent is for as much of the material as possible to be made public; but without firm details on how much content that is, I feel that I have to assume it's going to be a fairly small amount of material of limited use (I'd love to be proven wrong :) 

I would love to prove you wrong as well :-) Unfortunately, I won’t have a clear indication as to the volume of content we will be able to generate until we complete the review phase of the existing course material. In the interest of transparency, if the grant does not get accepted by UoN then I’ll most likely attempt to seek funding for at least the investigation phase via other channels in order to put together a stronger case to LA, but I imagine the funding will have all been spent by that stage and that will lose us a year.

> What makes me more inclined to be in favour of this grant is the follow-up study. I would hope that the results of that study either show us that (A) this wasn't effective, let's not do it again, or (B) this was effective, let's see if we can secure more funding to do more of this; either way, we'll have learned something.

That is the tact I take with all my research. We try and instil into our students that a bad result set is better than an empty one. If the output from the project is a finding that UoN CompSci/SoftEng/IT students just don’t care that we are only promoting closed-source paths than so be it. I think that would be useful information to have as a community so we can take a step back and ponder why that is.

> If it's possible, I'd be in favor of making the funding conditional on obtaining approval to have the review results published; but if timing constraints make that impossible I'd settle for getting as much of an indication as possible about whether the results can be published.

Ethics approval here at UoN can generally take a couple of months and will require the investigation into the existing content to be completed first so we can define the scale of the surveys/etc. 

As always, thank you for the feedback. Conversations like these really help us bridge the research / industry gap.

Dr. Mark Wallis (Associate Lecturer)

School of Electrical Engineering and Computing
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, 2308, NSW


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