VMI (Verein des Mittelbaus der Informatik an der ETH Zürich) is the association of scientific staff of the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. The scientific staff (Mittelbau) includes PhD students, postdocs, and other scientific employees of the Department (excluding professors). VMI is part of AVETH, the academic association of scientific staff at ETH Zurich.
The following links contain more detailed information about VMI and services provided by AVETH and VMI. See also our mission statement below.
The mission of VMI is to contribute in making the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich an exceptionally attractive place to teach and research. To this end, VMI
- represents the interests of the scientific staff within the relevant decision‐making bodies of the Department,
- provides information and (non‐financial) support to members of the scientific staff, and
- fosters networking and collaboration among members of the scientific staff.
The decision‐making and control body of VMI is its executive board. Members of the board are the president and vice‐president of VMI, the representatives of VMI within the Departmental Committees (DK, UK), as well as the coordinators of the VMI directorates.
The VMI directorates are:
Administration & Finance
Responsibilities include: budgeting, accounting, fund raising, administration of memberships;
Responsibilities include: coordination of the representatives of the Department conference; coordination of collaboration with the Doctoral Committee.
Responsibilities include: coordination of the representatives of VMI within the Tuitional Committee; reporting to the board on issues discussed in the Tuitional Committee.
Responsibilities include: planning and organization of information and social events.
Responsibilities include: promoting VMI among the members of the scientific staff; contacting new members of the scientific staff; maintaining the website; producing flyers and advertisement material to promote the events of VMI.
The president, vice‐president, representatives, and coordinators of VMI are elected by the members of VMI during the general assembly (MV, Mitgliederversammlung), which is held at least once a year. More information about how to become member of VMI is available here.
The VMI was founded 7th of March 2001 by former Mittelbau member Michael Baumer. The interests of the Mittelbau had been represented by single persons only while the Mittelbau itself was not recognised as a group of people with common interests. Furthermore, the single representatives had poor means of communicating with all members of the Mittelbau. In general, there was a lack of a platform and assistants with a will to get involved had no point of contact to get informed about demands and opportunities.
As a first activity, the VMI tackled the issue of the workload of assistants within teaching. The issue was addressed by increasing the number of supporting assistants, i.e. students involved in teaching.
After a couple of years of activity, Michael Baumer resigned due to the end of his employment at ETH Zurich. Due to a lack of interest, no follow up could be found which led to the suspension of all activities of the VMI.
In the beginning December 2006, Hermann Lehner, then president of the UK and former board member of the student association VIS, requested Alexandre de Spindler, also a former board member of the VIS, to candidate for VMI presidency so he could resume its main purpose, i.e. the appointment of the candidates for the department committees. This led to the second period of activities of the VMI, starting at the MV of the 11th of December 2006.
Together with Silvia Santini and with the counseling support of Hermann Lehner, the VMI reorganised itself by working out a revised constitution which would cater for the generally little interest and involvement of Mittelbau members for department affairs by reducing the workload to a minimum while still assuming its purpose of appointing committee representatives.