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

Fernando Gont <fgont@si6networks.com> Thu, 25 February 2021 06:17 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Academia (Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF)
To: Theresa Enghardt <ietf@tenghardt.net>, Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com>
Cc: GENDISPATCH List <gendispatch@ietf.org>, "'ietf@ietf.org'" <ietf@ietf.org>
References: <37eecb9b-f0eb-e21c-b162-b1f0339e4981@si6networks.com> <41698b83-25ff-574e-390a-65a8c3dc591a@tenghardt.net> <eba4c0ba-830c-acc2-1e6d-cab480c61ee3@si6networks.com> <e0bd1f0a-92a3-abe0-1382-dab2f312d4cd@tenghardt.net>
From: Fernando Gont <fgont@si6networks.com>
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:13:19 -0300
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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 
conference.



> 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!

Regards,
-- 
Fernando Gont
SI6 Networks
e-mail: fgont@si6networks.com
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