Measurement and Measuring for Researchers
Doctoral students of the UPV/EHU
Duration / Timetable
- 10 hours* (three three-and-a-quarter hour clases run over three weeks)
- Time: 10:00 to 13:15
*The certificate of attendance and achievement will include a total of 10 hours.
Students will be expected to attend 100% of the clases together with submission of all three practical work assignments.
Location and dates
|LOCATION*||DAY||WEEK 1||WEEK 2||WEEK 3|
Carlos Santamaría building,
|Tuesday||Feb 08||Feb 15||Feb 22|
Micaela Portilla Research Centre
|Wednesday||Feb 09||Feb 16||Feb 23|
|Thursday||Feb 10||Feb 17||Feb 24|
Speaker, Trainer and Profile
Tim Smithers: I have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, from Kingston Polytechnic, London, and a PhD from Cambridge University, for research on computational techniques for the design of cyclically symmetric structures, which I used to design the main reflector support structure of the James Clerk Maxwell millimeter wave telescope built on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Following this, I worked for a small company on the design of parallel algorithms and parallel hardware architectures for finite element analysis -- a widely used numerical modelling technique. I then moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to work in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Department, on intelligent design support systems, and intelligent robotics. I also taught Masters' and PhD courses on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning and Intelligent Robotics, and supervised PhD students. After a two year sabbatical at the VUB AI Lab in Brussels, where I continued my robotics and AI in Design work, I moved to Donostia. Here I have worked in all of the Universities in the region, and several Technology R&D Centres, leading international research projects, directing research groups, designing and running PhD programmes, and teaching undergraduate, Masters' and PhD courses. For the past ten years I have worked as a freelance Research Practitioner, developing and teaching courses on the Foundations of Research Practices for mixed discipline groups of PhD students, helping research groups design research programmes and strengthen their research practices, and working for the EU Commission. Over the years I have worked with many different people, on a variety of different research topics, including with artists, bio-chemists, historians, medical doctors, and physicists. I continue to design things, make paintings using Logo, and currently work in a small collaboration on a topic in Number Theory.
There is a maximum of 18 students in Donostia-San Sebastián and in Leioa, and 15 in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Measurement and measuring are essential for the construction of reliable and robust new knowledge and understanding, in just about all research disciplines.
The particular knowledge and skills needed to make careful measurements is properly found in the different research disciplines that make the measurements, usually involving particular practices that use specialised measuring techniques
The researchers must acquire the specific and often specialist knowledge and skills they need to make and use measurements in their own particular field of research.
The course is composed of three three-hour classes run over three weeks, with practical work set each week to be completed and presented for the following week. There will be a 15 minute break about mid-way through each class. And the practical work will need between three and four hours each week.
All classes will work as seminars, and include both presented material and open discussion. So, researchers should come prepared to make their own notes, and actively engage in, and contribute to, each class.
All clases will be conducted in English and it will be expected to use and work in English during the classes. A good level of confidence of working in English is therefore recommended. But the English does not need to be perfect, just good enough!
The three classes of this course:
Introduction to the basic idea of measurement — to map observations into well defined scales of (qualitative or quantitative) values — and a review of the main epistemologies of measurement that have been developed and used in research across different disciplines;
Introduction and discussion of the Model-based Epistemology of Measurement — a recent and important development for measurement practices — and a practical exercise to establish a new unit of measurement; and
A (brief) review of examples of measurement in different kinds of research, and how they fit with a model-based epistemology, together with a discussion of order from randomness, accuracy, and precision, in measurement.
Foundations of Research Practices
This course is offered in collaboration with Euskampus Fundazioa.