Researchskills pchsiu
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  • 1. If there have been no publications in research area more than 1-2 years old, it is in the “Young Phase” 2. Pick a paper in the last 1 year published in the research area. Read it. If you think that you could have come up with the core idea in that paper (given all the background etc.), then the research area is in its “Young” phase. 3. Find the latest published paper that you think you could have come up with the idea for. If this paper has been cited by one round of papers (but these citing papers themselves have not been cited), then the research area is in the “Adolescent” phase. 4. Do Step 3 above, and if you find that the citing papers themselves have been cited, and so on, then the research area is at least in the “Middle Age” phase. 5. Pick a paper in the last 1-2 years. If you find that there are only incremental developments in these latest published papers, and the ideas may be innovative but are not yielding large enough performance benefits, then the area is mature. 6. If no one works in the research area, or everyone you talk to thinks negatively about the area (except perhaps the inventors of the area), then the area is dead.

Researchskills pchsiu Researchskills pchsiu Presentation Transcript

  • Research Skills I learned in UIUC Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University Nov. 6th, 2007 Pi-Cheng Hsiu
  • Outline
    • Pick a research area
    • Identify a research problem and solve it
    • Write a paper
    • Submit to a conference
    • Give a presentation
    05/28/10
  • Research Types
    • Research is a re peat search process to find out the unknown. – Lui Sha
    05/28/10
  • Life of Ra (a Research Area) 05/28/10 – Indranil Gupta
  • Researcher Styles – Tarek Abdelzaher
    • Salesman
      • I have an idea to sell. What’s the market segment where it can make the most impact?
    • Consultant
      • Focus on problem P from company X. How do I solve P?
    • Matchmaker
      • Idea A in field X is a really good match to problem B in field Y. Apply A to B.
    • Journalist
      • Is this an interesting topic today? Create a new direction.
    05/28/10
  • Key to Finding Your Research Area
    • Match your interest/passion (theory vs. system)
      • But don ’ t limit yourself within your comfortable zone
    • Talk with other people and get feedback
      • But have you own insights
    • Read best papers on top conferences
      • But do not always be a follower
    • Study broadly
      • But be sure you know what the field is really about
    05/28/10
  • Outline
    • Pick a research area
    • Identify a research problem and solve it
    • Write a paper
    • Submit to a conference
    • Give a presentation
    05/28/10
  • Keep in Mind
    • It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."
    • – Robert H. Goddard
    • Don ’ t try to “ solve the world ” or “ boil the ocean ” .
    05/28/10
  • The Tough Part
    • Finding a problem is 90% of the problem. – P. R. Kumar
      • Open problems (e.g., P = NP?)
        • What is solvable?
      • Mature areas
        • What is unknown?
      • Emerging areas
        • What is promising?
    05/28/10
  • Identifying the Problem
    • Identifying problems is more important than finding solutions
        • – Y. Y. Zhou
    • Define the boundaries of your problem carefully
      • Nobody will be impressed if you set the bar too low and jump over it.
      • Nobody will be impressed if you set the bar too high and don ’ t jump over it. (Dave Redell)
    05/28/10
  • Sharpen Your Tools
    • Take a solid set of foundational courses
      • Math courses
        • Graph Theory, Combinatorics, Algebra, Probability Theory, Stochastic Processes, Algorithms, etc.
      • Computer Science courses
        • Programming Language, Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Computer Networks, Compiler, etc.
    • Technical English Writing
    05/28/10
  • Core of Learning (Edgar Dale)
    • After 2 weeks, we tend to remember:
      • 10% of what we
      • 20% of what we
      • 30% of what we
      • 50% of what we
      • 70% of what we
      • 90% of what we
    • The more energy that I put into a subject, the more I can remember.
    • – Lui Sha
    05/28/10 read hear see (pictures) hear and see say say and do
  • Outline
    • Pick a research area
    • Identify a research problem and solve it
    • Write a paper
    • Submit to a conference
    • Give a presentation
    05/28/10
  • Keep in Mind
    • You could write a great paper even with research that is just ok. You can also write a bad paper despite good research.
    • – A. Bhatele, P. Jetley, and A. Becker in UIUC
    05/28/10
  • Core Document
    • Mary Shaw, Writing Good Software Engineering Research Papers . In Proc. of the 25th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2003), p726-736.
    • Answer Mary Shaw ’ s questions first
      • Helps you refine ideas
      • Helps you communicate ideas
      • Helps you organize paper writing
    05/28/10
  • Key to Writing
    • Find a model paper
    • Follow the three Bs
      • Brevity
        • Say it simply.
      • Balance
        • Balance the formal with the informal.
      • Benefit
        • Write for the benefit of your audience.
    05/28/10 – Tanya L. Crenshaw
  • Paper Organization
    • Abstract: 100-150 words
    • Introduction: be brief!
      • Related work
    • Body of paper
      • Problem (sufficient motivation & at least one scenario)
      • Approach, architecture
      • Experiment results
    • Conclusion and future work
    05/28/10
  • Abstract (general rules)
    • No references
    • Avoid use of “in this paper”
    • Avoid general motivation in the abstract
    • Highlight not just the problem, but also the principal results
    • Have terms that identify your work since abstract will be used by search engines
      • The name of any protocol or system developed
      • The general area
    • Avoid questions and math
    05/28/10
  • Introduction (recipe)
    • Paragraph 1: Motivation (high level)
      • Set the larger context
    • Paragraph 2: Explain problem
      • Establish specific context and background
    • Paragraph 3: Compare/contrast related work
      • What’s the general approach taken?
      • Show respect for peer-reviewed results
    • Paragraph 4: Sell your work (**)
      • Put your theme sentence here
      • Summarize your contributions
      • Why are the specific results significant?
    • Paragraph 5: Outline the paper
      • Avoid redundant phrasing
    05/28/10
  • Body of Paper (tips)
    • Avoid jargon
      • Define before using unless well known
    • Follow common terms
      • Don’t use a common term for your own definition
      • Don’t use your own term for a common definition
    • Balance formal and informal
      • Ã x (A(x)) > Ã y (A(y)) vs. “x is better than y”
    • Prefer simple to complicated
      • “ now” versus “at this point in time”
    • Obscure and pretentious use of language
      • Don’t show off. Clarity is most important.
    05/28/10
  • A Good Way to Learning How to Write
    • Review papers and then learn what you think good and remember what you think bad.
    • – P.-C. Hsiu
    05/28/10
  • Outline
    • Pick a research area
    • Identify a research problem and solve it
    • Write a paper
    • Submit to a conference
    • Give a presentation
    05/28/10
  • Prior Review (writers’ workshop)
    • Designed for students to get early feedback from their peers
    • Send the draft to the other members
    • Meet to discuss
      • Members discuss what they didn’t understand and didn’t like
      • The author is present but remains silent
    05/28/10
  • Where to Submit to
    • Good ones top ones, but reasonable ones
      • Don’t submit just for kicks. Spoils your reputation
      • Don’t submit to a lower conference if you feel the paper can do well at a better conference
      • Ask your advisor
      • Go to conferences, make friends and contacts, and ask your friends about “reputation” of a conference
    • Submit to journals! Takes a long time, but is very important!
    05/28/10
  • Outline
    • Pick a research area
    • Identify a research problem and solve it
    • Write a paper
    • Submit to a conference
    • Give a presentation
    05/28/10
  • Sha ’ s I 3 Model
    • An ideal presentation is one that is
      • Informative
      • Interesting
      • Insightful
    05/28/10
  • Being Informative
    • Give new knowledge (audience-oriented)
    • “ New” is relatively to your audience .
      • what they already know?
      • what they should know after your presentation?
      • what are the steps in-between?
    05/28/10
  • Being Interesting
    • Unexpected, counter intuitive, and difficult to believe
      • Seemingly unimportant fact that actually holds the key.
      • Seemingly true but it is in fact false.
      • A “difficult” problem is solved with ease and elegance.
    05/28/10
  • Being Insightful
    • Impart a deeper understanding
      • Explain a seemingly complex and confusing problem in a way that is easy to understand.
      • Unearth hidden/unstated assumptions and quickly put an argument to rest.
      • Show things in new angles, new lights and new forms and gain new understandings.
      • Demonstrate subtle but important connections/inter-dependencies between seemingly unrelated subjects.
    05/28/10
  • An Example
    • Using simplicity to control complexity
      • Bubble sort: robust but slow
      • Quick sort: vulnerable but fast
      • How to have both?
    05/28/10
  • Is There a Perfect Agenda?
    • Generalized rules always have exceptions .
    05/28/10 Made by Mu Sun
  • Truths
    • A rolling stone gathers no moss
    • Luck favors the one who is prepared
    • Practice makes perfect
    05/28/10
  • Conclusion
    • The entrance to graduate school marks a critical phase of transition for most graduate students from absorbing knowledge to creating knowledge
      • – Lui Sha
    • Basically, a PhD degree means you are equipped to do all the following
      • 1. Pick an arbitrary area (not necessarily in CS)
      • 2. Understand it yourself
      • 3. Identify problems in it
      • 4. Solve these problems in an innovative manner
      • – Indranil Gupta
    05/28/10
  • Reference
    • https://agora.cs.uiuc.edu/display/cs598lrs/Home
    05/28/10
  • Vote
    • Q1: If you had taken this course, do you suggest it be consider a regular course?
      • Yes vs. No = 41: 0
    • Q2: Do you want our department to have a similar course?
      • Yes vs. No = 41: 0
    05/28/10