Given the attendance, the meeting was largely a presentation to and discussion with Dr. Babiceanu, who teaches systems engineering, using SysML, at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Jason McC. Smith opened the meeting by presenting an overview of OMG. This included followed by a short video recorded by Dr. Charles Dickerson (co-chair) and his staff, explaining how they leverage OMG's work and why they have decided to get directly involved in OMG's work. Jason then explained the motivations for the Academic WG.
The discussion included a review of potential OMG initiatives of importance to the systems engineering teaching and research that Embry-Riddle is focusing on, in collaboration with large aerospace and defense companies such as Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins, and others.
Robert Lario discussed the reasons why academia would be interested in OMG's work. One motivation would be to make students more competitive in the marketplace. Certifications could be a means to that end. Claude Baudoin noted that OMG certification testing is administered by a third party, Pearson Vue, who may have limited capability or willingness to provide cheap certifications. There is a SysML certification program, but it is outdated, said Uwe and Christian. Besides, the regular certification exams tend to require more real-world experience than students would have.
The group discussed the potential appeal of an alternative “lightweight” certification program designed specifically for students, supported by teaching in the form of seminars during our quarterly events, or perhaps as a MOOC, in association with Coursera for example.
Awareness of OMG standards (or that OMG is the originator of those standards) is generally low. We need to develop a consistent approach to familiarize academic contacts (faculty and students) with what OMG offers. That might include a “guest lecturer” offering in classes dedicated to teaching an OMG standard in support of a given discipline such as Systems Engineering.
Claude raised the idea of a catalog of university-oriented offerings (discounted licenses and training courses) that all OMG vendor members would be able to populate. Distributing this catalog would allow us to offer some immediate value.
Radu said that when students are looking for a project, they often expect their teacher to suggest one to them. Such a project could get some money from industrial sponsors and support from OMG members. We could define with a university a list of such potential projects related to the application of a standard. A concrete objective between now and the March 2019 meeting in Reston would be to ask the specification owners (of UML, SysML, BPMN, etc.) what problems or questions they would like addressed if they had a pool of students “at their disposal” to study them. Jim Logan gave empirical evidence of a problem that was solved better by people who knew OntoUML than by those who didn't.
Jason also proposed that we should define the contents of the “lightweight certification” program for various OMG standards. This is a second action items to accomplish before the next meeting.
Concrete goals for this OMG Meeting: