Leadership

Happy philosophers sitting on stones, from different nationalities and ages, discuss in the overgrown forest, painting style. By DALL·E 2
Table of Contents

Doctoral education and advocacy

I am a Doctoral Program in Computer Science (DoCS) Steering Committee member for the 2022—23 term (2 years).

I actively participate in the decision-making process for DoCS and represent doctoral researchers in computer science for improving doctoral education at different levels. The board consists of 8 members (2 full professors, 2 associate professors, 2 doctoral researchers, 1 planning officer, and 1 research coordinator).

Key activities

I participate and share an equal vote with other members in:

  • Online and offline board meetings (4/year).
  • Deciding on admissions of doctoral researchers (5 rounds/year).
  • Revising applications and deciding on the criteria for allocating travel grants (1/year).
  • Revising applications and deciding on the criteria for granting salaried positions (1/year).
  • Discussing changes in supervision.
  • Proposing and revising changes in the doctoral program structure.
  • Evaluation of the committee in the annual follow-up.

I have been one of the most active members in discussions, and I have primarily focused on:

Increasing the number of events and networking opportunities.

  1. I advocated for increasing social events and a museum visit, and dinner were arranged for the Doctoral Researchers in CS and their supervisors (20+ attendees).
  2. Organized a picnic for the Doctoral Researchers in CS that stayed during the summer of 2022, advertising through different channels, and coordinated university sponsorship and purchasing food and drinks (5 attendees).
  3. I contributed to the organization of the well-being seminar 2022 by searching for a venue and time, communicating with doctoral researchers.
  4. I organized 2 events to connect the doctoral researchers of the department (Pizza Friday).

Balancing the workload and access to courses.

I highlighted supply and demand issues for certain courses and how information to find courses could be misinterpreted or hard to access, potentially delaying graduation or decreasing research outputs. In response, the board significantly reworked the credit descriptions for the 2023—2026 curriculum.

Connecting the industry and academics

I collaborated with the Helsinki innovation platform as part of the Catharsis Computer Club and organized a speed networking event connecting academics, the industry, and entrepreneurs passionate about technology.

The event put together 11 mentors from Continental, Daimler, Google, IBM, Neste, Wärtsilä, the Weizmann Institute, and other international investors and serial entrepreneurs and 10 mentees (7 doctoral researchers, 2 postdocs, and 1 master’s student). For that, I performed the following tasks:

  • Writing the online news article.
  • Advertising through different official and unofficial channels.
  • Designing, producing, and distributing flyers to advertise the event.
  • Searching for a room and preparing catering details.
  • Making the initial match for mentors and mentees based on their profiles.
  • Producing materials for the session.
  • Managing the sessions, ensuring adequate timing, breaks, catering needs, and managing last moment situations.
  • Writing feedback forms for mentors and mentees, where results are the following:

The event was highly successful, with 87% of general satisfaction (N=6: 4 mentors, 2 mentees). In the free-form answers, mentees and mentors considered that they had “interesting discussions” and “dynamic interviews”. As an opportunity for improvement, they highlighted having a more private venue, more time for informal chats, and more structured sessions.

Promoting technology transfer and industry collaboration

I was the most active Innovation and Company Collaboration group member in the Strategy Days of the Department of Computer Science 2022. I raised awareness of the need for research not only to be feasible, novel, and reproducible, but also transferrable — when applicable. I proposed:

  • Bring industry mentors.
  • Award credits to students for participation in innovation platform activities (networking, incubators, among others).
  • Connect research groups with industry partners.

These ideas were the core of a presentation to over 100 academics and other university staff.

Networking

I’m an active Nova Talent Network member since 2018, a merit-based access network for the top 3% talent. There I participate in:

  • Weekly speed networking with tailored suggestions (technology, healthcare, business, investors) and events for networking with the Nordics, building a network of 800+ connections.
  • Selected as a mentee for a Strategy & Insights Project Specialist for one world’s top restaurant chains to discuss about data science in the industry.
  • Selecting top profiles to share the same opportunity, including best-performing university students, for which I got a recommendation:

Carlos did an excellent job as a University Ambassador, helping reach the university students with the biggest potential in Spain. I take this chance to thank him once again for his effort. Let’s continue growing together! — Ramón Rodrigañez, Co-Founder & COO at Nova | Ex-BCGer | Lecturer at ICAI, 2019, translated from Spanish. See original.

Mentoring

Feel free to reach me for almost anything: I’m always looking for ambitious, independent, and driven people. I have helped others on:

  • Getting started with basic computing tools: GNU+Linux, $\LaTeX$, Vim
  • Programming for data science and machine learning (ML): Python with pandas, NumPy, sklearn, seaborn, matplotlib…
  • Applying ML to different domains.
  • Building a personal brand: personal site, LinkedIn, CV.