When starting fresh for a year, it seems as though there’s no limit to the possibilities for what can be done. I’m working on a list of things that I hope to accomplish while I’m away on Sabbatical, and I’m starting to wonder how realistic it is. I’m going to share them here for a few reasons:

  1. I happen to know from my research that public commitment is a great way to help make goals happen
  2. It should be interesting to look back at this list in a year and see what’s been done, what hasn’t, and what unpredictable things have been added.

Just to keep things simple, I’m only going to put work stuff down here.

  • Learn about other ways of thinking through sustainability. I want to take the time to deeply explore my own beliefs about sustainability, cross-cultural understandings of sustainability, and how both relate to my chosen field. I am planning on spending at least an hour a week just thinking and writing and reading about ethical/social/planetary issues relating to sustainability. I am also planning on teaching my course on sustainability in both of my sabbatical locations. Total time commitment: 5-6 hours per week.
  • Expand my toolbox. I want to learn more about hardware and machine learning (I’ve posted about this before on this blog). My current plan is to take a class on machine learning (I have a handy virtual one with me, or I can sign up wherever I’m at) and teach myself hardware using slides from a CMU class & hands on experimentation. I figure if I spend 2-3 hours per week on each (in parallel if possible, in series otherwise) I should make good progress on this over the year. Total time commitment: 4-6 hours per week.
  • Finish hanging projects. I have: Three projects that require analysis only and two-three projects that require writing code. I plan on doing these for the most part in series, unless I am able to recruit local talent to help with the latter two. It’s possible they won’t all get done, but I hope at least some will! Estimated time commitment: 4-6 hours per week.
  • Start new projects that I’ve already thought about. I have two in mind. Estimated time commitment: 4-6 hours per week if done in series.
  • Write a large NSF proposal [already started]. Estimated time commitment: 1 hour per week through November.
  • Continue supporting students. Estimated time commitment: 3-4 hours per week of meetings, 1 hour per week of prep & planning.
  • Meet new people, start new projects, develop new ideas. Estimated time: 4-6 hours per week.
Ok, that’s the first time I’ve attached time estimates to this list. I guess I should add them up and see if I’m crazy! It looks like I’ve scheduled between 26 and 36 hours per week (depending on whether my min or max estimates are correct). I must admit, I’m surprised it isn’t more. This means that I could be significantly underestimating some things and still come out ok. I am prepared to cut some things if needed, but I’m pleasantly surprised that it all seems to fit.