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Unveiling the Ivory Tower: The academic's art of work

Summary: Unveiling the Ivory Tower:
The academic's art of work
Luca Aceto
School of Computer Science
Reykjavk University
Doctors cure sick people, writers write, actors act, carpenters fix our leaking
windows and thus help us cope with the Icelandic weather, fishermen catch the
fish we eat, and bank managers put their customers' savings in peril with dubious
investments. Everybody knows this, but what do faculty members who work at
Reykjavik University, or for what matters at any other university in the world, do?
I suspect that the first answer to the question above that comes to most people's
mind is a simple and resounding: "Nothing!" Some intellectually oriented and
opinionated people might add: "Academics reside in the proverbial ivory tower,
engage in relaxing activities such as staring at a blank piece of paper or at spots
on a wall, and even get paid for doing so! They should get a real job!"
One might hope to get a more informed answer from people who are either
employed by a university in a non-academic position or who study there. How-
ever, the result of an admittedly tiny poll that I conducted indicates that the an-
swer will become at best: "Faculty members teach courses that students take and,
sometimes, examine students." So here is our first, and surely least surprising,


Source: Aceto, Luca - School of Computer Science, Reykjavík University


Collections: Mathematics; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences