Patterson's Rules for New Computer Science and Engineering Professors

New Professor Pitfall

  • Got a new office to myself, with a view!

  • In the beginning, no one knows who you are, so you get lots of work done in office

  • Over the year, more people know who you are, drop in to chat/ask questions

  • You start coming in earlier and staying later, but you get less work done

  • Panic!

  • Follow the Patterson Rules!

  • Use startup funds/personal funds to have office at home as nice as office nice desk/chair, fast modem (>=ISDN), printer, big screen, ...

  • Determine time of day most creative/effective: early morning, after 6PM, ...?
  • Work at home alone during those time slots

  • Do creative work uninterrupted at most creative time
  • Be sure to be at school from lunch (social) and afternoon (lectures, student/colleague dropin, seminars ...)

  • Other suggestions

  • Learn to say: NO! (but in a very polite way)
  • always think about it overnight, ask trusted friend before you say yes
    (saying no lets you say yes later)
  • Make daily, weekly, semester to do lists

  • Find ways to keep a secretary/assistant busy: travel, fill out grade forms, schedule, ...

  • Read email <= once a day (when less productive)

  • Circadian rhythms: 20 minute nap at about 3PM adds > 1 hour of productivity in evening

  • Travel is #1 time synch; budget it appropriately