Session: What NickHopper could do in his year as Tor research director
Roger mentioned a few research areas that Nick could pick and focus on in his sabbatical; pluggable transports, performance, and hidden services seem like highest priority. But we focused more on how we could leverage Nick's presence by helping other research to be done during his year at Tor.
= Research Publicity =
Nick could write blog posts about research papers, or encourage original authors to write a short blog post about their papers. Nick could also help point out where previous blog posts have led to research papers. He could also serve as a point of contact for new researchers who might be interested in working on problems related to Tor.
Nick could update our list of research ideas. Even better, we could use Trac or Wiki for research ideas using a new Research component and have people comment on them when they're starting or stopping to work on them. We'll want to write down the process for working on these Trac tickets on a website. It will probably require some effort to create Trac tickets and keep them updated, both by adding new ones and removing obsolete ones.
= Getting Research into Tor =
Nick could try to prevent research code from getting buried on authors' hard disks. In some cases, we might encourage grad students who wrote a paper to also work on cleaning up and publishing their code during summer.
Or we could make these GSoC projects or pay students ourselves to clean up the code, though it might be hard to contact researchers and squeeze out what they actually meant when writing code.
Or we could set up a bounty program where we pay people to review and clean up research code, write proposals, and make sure code gets merged.
= Helping get more research done by the Tor project =
Nick could help us compile an ideas list for sponsor F year 4 in September or October this year.
Nick could write a roadmap document similar to the one we had for 2008 to 2011. Karen would use this roadmap more fundraising purposes.
Nick could facilitate or help out with "small projects" by Tor developers/community members that might not necessarily result in full-length research papers (but could be short papers or conference posters).