In the face of increasing work loads, new projects starting and new group members arriving, I need to hold on to a fairly strict schedule.

Standing meetings take place early in the day or at the end of the day. Other parts of the day are usally blocked until a week before they occur, so as to be able to cater for issues that need immediate attention. For ILPS group members and projects, I’m using this general set-up of standing meetings:

    • Standing weekly meetings with PhD students, 45 minutes
    • Standing weekly meetings with the postdocs, 30 minutes
    • Standing bi-weekly or even monthly meetings for smaller projects, 30 minutes
    • Standing weekly research meeting on Fridays led by one of the senior people in the team, 30 minutes; fill out the twiki page prior to the meeting and bring your research high light or low light to the meeting
    • Weekly group lunch provided by me (and PestoPresto)
    • Weekly reading groups organized by PhD students
    • Thirty minute “soos” talks by all group members on a regular basis
    • Various meetups, including Search Engines Amsterdam meetups, Amsterdam Data Science meetups, ICAI meetups
    • Monthly project meetings for larger projects

I only supervise two MSc students at a time and only on technical topics, where the aim is to make an algorithmic contribution.

Simple things to help make life easier and more effective for everyone involved:

  • At the agreed upon time show up and enter my office, whether I am in a meeting, on the phone, or not
  • Bring an agenda for the meeting; the first thing to do during the meeting is to tell me what your agenda is; if you don’t have an agenda, the meeting is over
  • Supervision is two-way traffic. It’s collaboration. To facilitate this, set up a wiki in which you keep a record of your research activities, document reading activities, theoretical advances, experimental work and results, etc. Make sure that I can read and edit it, wherever I am. Include brief reports of our meetings on your wiki, with action items made explicit.
  • There are plenty of smart people around you in the ILPS group, in the Informatics Institute, and in the bigger Amsterdam area. Use their brains!