The RIPE community, like the Internet itself, has deep academic roots. And at the RIPE NCC, we've always strived to make sure that researchers and students are able to share their findings with the rest of us. Here's a look at the how and why of our academic engagement in 2023.
The Internet has changed a lot since the RIPE NCC was established back in 1992. Maintaining core Internet infrastructure in a complex political and socio-economic environment is introducing new challenges every year. Networking has changed too. Computing moved into the clouds and to the edges. And, of course, we ran out of IPv4 addresses.
One of the ways we navigate all this is through extensive community discussions and skill sharing. RIPE NCC facilitates those discussions by running mailing lists and organising community events.
The goal is to be ready to respond to increasing challenges now AND in the future. And for that, keeping up a close relationship the new generation of thinkers, researchers, and engineers is a vital task.
To this end, through collaboration with university professors and lecturers, we've been carrying out a series of lectures, training sessions and workshops. Many of these have taken place online - what started as a way to cope with the travel restrictions (brought about by you know what), has since evolved into a wonderful avenue for interaction with students of all academic levels. But in addition to that, we've also been arranging in-person visits with universities whenever feasible, although for these events too we still leverage the remote opportunities to reach a greater number of participants.
The students and researchers who've been taking part in these sessions have shown interest in learning not only about the operational maintenance of the Internet infrastructure, but also about the intricacies of its governance that are often not included in the traditional curriculum.
Going off map - e-learning with the RIPE NCC Academy
While these interactions gave us an opportunity to reach a sizeable target group, we are working on further utilising our existing tools and platform to further expand our capacity. One of them is the RIPE NCC Academy, an online learning platform offering a number of free to use e-learning courses. The platform has been available to the lecturers since 2014 and we have received positive feedback about the usefulness of the material.
In an effort to better understand the impact of RIPE NCC learning materials in academic settings and to further explore opportunities for collaboration, we encourage lecturers to share their experiences with us. If you've been using our learning materials in your classes or are interested in incorporating our platform into your curriculum, we would be very grateful if you can fill out this survey to help us tailor our resources and better serve the academic community.
Why we attend academic events
The need to have strong, long-lasting partnerships between the Internet research and RIPE community has always been clear. We continue to build and maintain these partnerships by being an active part of the research world. We do that by gathering, storing, and making available the relevant data on Internet resources; producing our own insights into the global connectivity; presenting our findings at academic conferences and gathering the feedback from the community.
By attending academic events we want to find the research that would be interesting to the RIPE community and encourage researchers that have. We hope that helping researchers out with data, tools and knowledge, their research becomes even more relevant to the RIPE community.
Why we need academics at RIPE events
At the same time, integration of the academic and research community into RIPE has proven to be tremendously beneficial to both communities.
Interaction with other community members provides researchers with an invaluable opportunity to establish collaborations, access needed resources, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the real-world challenges and priorities facing those responsible for operating the Internet infrastructure.
Moreover, engagement with the RIPE community brings researchers' work into a tangible, real-world context. Research projects often possess the potential to significantly impact the evolution and performance of the Internet, but to achieve this impact, they need to be aligned with the practical needs and challenges faced by the community. By actively participating in RIPE meetings, researchers can observe how their work fits into the broader ecosystem, allowing them to adapt and fine-tune their efforts in a way that resonates with the actual demands of the Internet community.
Another argument for encouraging stronger academic participation is the feedback and validation loop provided by the RIPE community. Researchers have the opportunity to present their findings, ideas, and proposals to an informed audience, which can offer constructive criticism and suggestions. This iterative process of refinement ensures that research is not only academically rigorous but also practically relevant, ultimately leading to more impactful outcomes. Researchers can fine-tune their work to address potential shortcomings and uncertainties, making it more robust and directly applicable to real-world scenarios.
Academics at RIPE 87
RIPE 87 will be held on 27 November - 1 December in Rome, Italy. As a way to support academics and connect them with the RIPE community, RIPE NCC established the RIPE Academic Cooperation Programme (RACI). RACI provides funding for the academic to attend the RIPE meetings and give them a chance to present their research findings with the community.
It is our pleasure to announce that the RACI programme has granted funding to six academics who will be joining us in Rome. Here's a list of their names and projects they'll be discussing at the meeting:
RIPE 87 Student Event: The Academic Corner of the RIPE Community
Leading up to the RIPE 87, RIPE NCC will organise a series of online pre-events aimed at students and newcomers to RIPE meetings. The next of these will be hosted online on 14 November. The goal of this event is to introduce students to the RIPE community and help them make the most out of the meeting.
- Illuminating the Internet: Researcher’s Adventures in Internet Measurement, Raffaele Sommese, University of Twente
- GÉANT Network eAcademy, Ivana Golub, PSNC/GÉANT
- A brief guide to RIPE Meetings and how to (meaningfully) participate, Mirjam Kühne, RIPE Chair
- RIPE NCC and Academia, Jelena Ćosić, RIPE NCC
NCC will also be giving away a limited number of free student tickets, on a first-come first-served basis. Register for this event and/or express your interest in the free ticket.
Academic and NREN reception
Lastly, during the RIPE meeting week we will be hosting an informal networking event for the participants from academia and the NREN community. The reception will include a number of short talks, but the main goal is to provide space for attendees to connect with each other and engage in discussions on topics of interest. No additional registration is needed. Click here for more information.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
- Our researchers continue to work closely with researchers in the wider academic community. Here are a couple of notable publications from 2023:
- Intercept and Inject: DNS Response Manipulation in the Wild co-authored by Qasim Lone
- RoVista: Measuring and Analyzing the Route Origin Validation (ROV) in RPKI co-authored by Emile Aben
- Here are links to a number of events our researchers and community builders attended this year: