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Covid19 status at CS

Photo by Søren Kjeldgaard

Dear colleagues and students at CS,

The lockdown of Denmark to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus is the most exceptional situation that we have experienced in our lifetime, and we have all been forced to adapt to a new way of working and studying with very short notice. 

But fortunately, the research within Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction have made great achievements that today mitigates the work and study life for millions of people on the entire globe. The tools that we have been using heavily since last Thursday, are the results of more than 50 years of research into digitally supported human collaboration tools. We can largely continue working and studying via the Internet using video-conferencing and document sharing tools that the pioneers in our field have devised. 

If bored at home, I will highly recommend you all to spend a few minutes to read about “The Mother of All Demos” and watch one of the Turing Award Winning Doug Engelbart videos of the Demo on Youtube (there is a 5 minutes and a 1 hour and 40 minutes version). Here you can explore the origins of the collaboration tools that we all started using many hours a day as of last Thursday. We should all be able to tell the story about how our field of research with very innovative and creative long-term basic and experimental research has made it possible to use digital tools to overcome the isolation that the Covid-19 virus imposes on us.

From this historical background, I wish to turn to now, and send huge thanks to all my colleagues who have made a tremendous effort to quickly transition from physical meeting, teaching and operational activities to the use of digital collaboration tools, such that e.g. most of our teaching and research activities are up and running virtually. I also wish to thank all students and collegues for receiving this change with a very patient, positive and constructive attitude. 

I also know that the new situation has created a lot of uncertainties regarding lab-based teaching, project experiments, empirical studies, deadlines for exams and research applications. We are not able to answer all questions right now, but I can promise that management at all levels at the university is prioritizing all of the questions and challenges, and we are working hard on coming up with mitigating solutions. Both solutions for now and for the longer term when the lockdown is over, and the delays caused by the lockdown still have an impact on studies and research activities. Thus, I hope you will continue being patient, obey the authority guidelines, and keep yourself updated on the relevant AU and CS webpages.  If you are in doubt about any issues, don’t hesitate to write to relevant contact persons.

All the best for your health, studies, and research!

Kaj Grønbæk
Head of Department