Re: [Gendispatch] Academia (Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF)

Fernando Gont <> Thu, 25 February 2021 06:17 UTC

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To: Theresa Enghardt <>, Keith Moore <>
Cc: GENDISPATCH List <>, "''" <>
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From: Fernando Gont <>
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:13:19 -0300
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Academia (Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF)
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Hi, Theresa,

On 25/2/21 02:56, Theresa Enghardt wrote:
>>    -- but please do correct me if I'm missing something or
>> miss-interpreting what you're saying...
> I was talking about active participation, too.

Oops, my bad. Thanks for the clarification!

> For example, if a researcher goes and presents their work at an IETF
> Working Group meeting, I would consider that an IETF contribution, e.g.,

Indeed it is. I thought you were implying meeting attendance, without 
necessarily contributing. -- my bad.

> that the Working Group can get ideas from. For instance, a few years
> ago, we have had several academics present their work in TAPS, and that
> was definitely a lot of helpful input. Not sure how common this style of
> contribution is, but I think it does happen especially when a smaller WG
> is in an "early stage" where they benefit from a lot of input and ideas.
> (Of course, a lot of work that is relevant to IETF Working Groups is
> getting presented at IRTF sessions, e.g., MAPRG, IRTF Open, or at ANRW.
> But I can understand if you consider these out of scope for your document.)

I think what you describe is definitely within scope.

That said, in my experienve, in many cases groups seem to receive points 
for peer-reviewed conference papers, but not for IRTF/IETF-style of 
participation, unfortunately. So making it to the IETF will typically be 
harder (in terms of funding) than e.g. attending to an IEEE or ACM 

> Another way for academics to contribute is to implement (part of) a
> draft as an academic exercise, or have a student implement it as a
> project, and then give feedback to the Working Group. We have had
> multiple such implementations in TAPS. Even if the implementation is
> most likely not going to be widely deployed, and even if development may
> not continue beyond the duration of a project, it is still helpful input
> for the Working Group. And for the academic, it gives the implementer a
> relevant and interesting project to work on, the implementer gets some
> experience with IETF technology, and they get to make professional
> connections, which can result in further collaboration. Definitely a
> win-win, and something that I've seen happen at IETF hackathons.

This is all indeed very valid. I'll do my best to come up with text to 
incorporate this into our document (thanks, btw!).

>> […]
>> FWIW, what you note is one of the motivations/arguments for e.g.
>> introducing f2f meeting fee waivers -- since in such cases there could
>> be people that might be able to attend the meeting (space/time-wise),
>> but might not be able to do it as a result of the meeting fees. IIRC,
>> netdev was also hosted next to the IETF meeting in the past.
> Yes, definitely. Now maybe it would also be interesting to consider if
> the demographics of participants in the IRTF or in Netdev are
> substantially different from the participants in the IETF.

I'll check to see if there are any stats available for those.

>> [...]
>>> One specific example would be Economic Constraints, Section 9:
>>> Universities usually have a travel budget and they may also have
>>> rules on how much a hotel is allowed to cost per night. IETF hotels
>>> are usually, if not always, outside of that budget, and overflow
>>> hotels are, too.
>> I couldn't agree more. In fact, from our perspective this was actually
>> assumed (!)... but we should definitely spell this out.  (the same
>> probably also applies to the list of "recommended restaurants" that
>> somehow circulate in the attendee mailing-lists, as well as some
>> interesting 90USD+/meal dinners that get organized during the week).
> Agreed. I think it's a good idea to mention that the meeting fee is not
> the only economic barrier to participation, but often, flight and hotel
> are much more expensive. (Especially for students, for whom the meeting
> fee is reduced.)

Will try to spell these things out more clearly in the next rev.

Thanks a lot for your comments!

Fernando Gont
SI6 Networks
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