Carl Gutwin on academic life, making choices, getting perspective


Carl Gutwin, a Professor in the Computer Science Department at University of Saskatchewan, describes himself as a gentleman farmer in Saskatoon who happens to be a university professor as well.

"Even with all the bumps, being an academic is the best job in the world"

He talks about (times approximate) …

2:40 How he moved into a computer science degree and PhD program

8:30 How he decided on a faculty position, and the experiences of setting up a new lab, learning how to teach, applying for grants etc

10:50 On being told that “the best part of this job is the flexibility, you can work any 80 hours of the week that you want”

12:00 On working in academia while others were making money in the tech boom and how after 3 years you figure things out more

On always wanting to be a scientist …  where the best thing really is the freedom and flexibility, especially after getting tenure

15:40 On the practical things to help deal with the stresses of early career, on making choices and the advantages of being a medium large fish in a medium small pond

17:50 On first having grad students and moving to the other side of the desk, being a supervisor

21:30 On appearing to be calm, prioritizing work and life – a continuous struggle

On getting the perspective even as a young academic to realize that it really doesn't matter whether you get that paper submitted – there is always another deadline and every paper will find a home

On dealing with rejection and good old reviewer number 2

27:50 On now working more of a regular work week and cycling to work in the snow.

31:15 And how even with all the bumps, being an academic is the best job in the world … make it through those first three years and things do get better after that … we could make institutional changes … we have the chance to change the way it works … and you just have to decide what you want and go and do it!