Characteristics of a good researcher - am i a researcher?
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Presentation to IIUM - Industry Talk ...

Presentation to IIUM - Industry Talk
March 15, 2013 @ 3.00pm
Auditorium B, E2-Level 2,
Kulliyyah of Engineering
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM),
Gombak, Malaysia

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Characteristics of a good researcher - am i a researcher? Presentation Transcript

  • 1. “Characteris+cs,of,A,Good,Researcher,3,Am,I, A,Researcher?”, Dr.$Mazlan$Abbas$ MIMOS$Berhad$
  • 2. Research$“Misunderstanding”$ How$Long$Does$It$Take?$ $ What’s$the$Difference$Between$Masters$and$PhD?$ $ Why$Problem$DefiniJon$Takes$A$Long$Time?$ $ How$Do$We$Manage$Researchers?$ $ Why$“Research”$Approach$is$Different$From$“Development”?$
  • 3. ScienJfic$DefiniJon$of$“Research”$•  The$strict$definiJon$of$scienJfic$research$is$performing$a$methodical$study$in$order$ to$prove$a$hypothesis$or$answer$a$specific$quesJon.$•  Finding$a$definiJve$answer$is$the$central$goal$of$any$experimental$process.$•  Research$must$be$systemaJc$and$follow$a$series$of$steps$and$a$rigid$standard$ protocol.$These$rules$are$broadly$similar$but$may$vary$slightly$between$the$ different$fields$of$science.$•  ScienJfic$research$must$be$organized$and$undergo$planning,$including$performing$ literature$reviews$of$past$research$and$evaluaJng$what$quesJons$need$to$be$ answered.$•  Any$type$of$‘real’$research,$whether$scienJfic,$economic$or$historical,$requires$ some$kind$of$interpretaJon$and$an$opinion$from$the$researcher.$This$opinion$is$ the$underlying$principle,$or$quesJon,$that$establishes$the$nature$and$type$of$ experiment.$
  • 4. What,is,BASIC,Research?,Basic$research$also$known$as$fundamental$or$pure$research$is$driven$by$a$scienJst’s$curiosity$or$interest$in$a$quesJon.$The$main$moJvaJon$of$this$type$of$research$is:T$•  To$expand$man’s$knowledge$of$the$world$and$not$to$invent$or$create$ something$new.$$•  There$is$no$obvious$commercial$value$in$research$of$this$type.$$$Basic$science$research$includes$answers$to$such$quesJons$as:$$•  How$did$the$universe$begin?$•  How$has$man$evolved$over$5me?$•  How$does$gene5c$code$determine$who$we$are?$•  What$is$the$specific$gene5c$code$of$an$earth$worm?$•  What$are$protons,$neutrons$and$electrons$made$of?$$
  • 5. What,is,APPLIED,Research?,Applied$ research$ is$ designed$ to$ the$ pracJcal$ problems$ that$ exist$ in$ the$modern$ world,$ rather$ than$ to$ just$ acquire$ knowledge$ for$ knowledge’s$sake.$ One$ main$ goal$ of$ applied$ science$ is$ to$ improve$ human$ condiJons$and$make$the$world$a$beVer$place.$$$Applied$science$may$invesJgate$ways$to:$$•  improve$agricultural$crop$produc5on$•  get$be<er$network$throughput$•  find$alterna5ve$rou5ng$solu5ons$•  treat$or$cure$a$specific$disease$•  improve$the$energy$efficiency$of$homes$
  • 6. Ac+vity, Detail,Tasks, Timeframe,Establish, Literature$Review$ 3T6$months$ Problem$DefiniJon$Context, (MScTPhD)$ Scope$of$Research$Select,&,Design, MathemaJcal$Modeling$ 3T6$months$ SimulaJon$Methods, Experimental$Undertake, New$mathemaJcal$theory$ 3T6$months$ New$programming$language$Research, New$simulaJon$tool$ AcquisiJon$and$trials$testbed$Analysis,&, TesJng$of$Model$ 6T12$months$Valida+on,Create,Output, IP$ 3T6$months$ Thesis$ Technical$report$Review,&, PublicaJon$ <$3$months$ Conference$Evaluate, VIVA$Note:,On,average,=,Masters,(2,years,to,complete),and,PhD,(336,years,to,complete),
  • 7. How,To,Choose,a,Good, Scien+fic,Problem?,[Excerpts$from$the$ArJcle$“How$To$Choose$a$Good$ScienJfic$Problem”$by$Uri$Alon]$
  • 8. Choosing$good$problems$is$essenJal$for$being$a$ good$researcher.$$ $ But$what$is$a$good$problem,$and$how$do$you$ choose$one?$
  • 9. The,Feasibility3Interest,Diagram,for,Choosing,a, Project,
  • 10. The,Feasibility3Interest,Diagram,for,Choosing,a, Project,
  • 11. Take,Your,Time,A$common$mistake$made$in$choosing$problems$is$taking$the$first$problem$that$comes$to$mind.$$Since$a$typical$project$takes$years$even$it$if$seems$doable$in$months,$rapid$choice$leads$to$much$frustraJon$and$biVerness$in$our$profession.$$It$takes$Jme$to$find$a$good$problem,$and$every$week$spent$in$choosing$one$can$save$months$or$years$later$on.$ In$my$lab,$we$have$a$rule$for$new$students$and$postdocs:$$ Do$not$commit$to$a$problem$before$3$months$have$elapsed.$In$these$ 3$months$the$new$student$or$postdoc$reads,$discusses,$and$plans.$$ $ The$state$of$mind$is$focused$on$being$rather$than$doing.$The$ tempta5on$to$start$working$arises,$but$a$rule$is$a$rule.$AGer$3$ months$(or$more),$a$celebra5on$marks$the$beginning$of$the$research$ phase—with$a$wellKplanned$project.$ $ Taking$5me$is$not$always$easy.$One$must$be$supported$to$resist$the$ urge:$‘‘Oh,$we$must$produce—let’s$not$waste$5me,$and$start$ working.’’$
  • 12. The,Subjec+vity,of,the,Interest,Axis,Who$decides$how$to$rank$the$interest$of$problems?$One$of$the$fundamental$aspects$of$science$is$that$the$interest$of$a$problem$is$subjecJve$and$personal.$$The$inner$voice$can$be$strengthened$and$guided$if$one$is$lucky$enough$to$have$caring$mentors.$$$A$scienJst$ofen$needs$a$supporJve$environment$to$begin$to$listen$to$this$voice.$$$$
  • 13. The,Subjec+vity,of,the,Interest,Axis,Good$test:$One$way$to$help$listening$to$the$inner$voice$is$to$ask:$‘‘If$I$was$the$only$person$on$earth,$which$of$these$problems$would$I$work$on?’’$An$honest$answer$can$help$minimize$compromises.$$Another$good$sign$of$the$inner$voice$are$ideas$and$quesJons$that$come$back$again$and$again$to$your$mind$for$months$or$years.$$$Another$good$test:$$When$asked$to$describe$our$research$to$an$acquaintance,$how$does$it$feel$to$describe$each$project?$$In$science,$the$more$you$interest$yourself,$the$larger$the$probability$that$you$will$interest$your$audience.$
  • 14. The,Objec+ve,and,Nurturing,Schemas,of, Research,The$mentors’$task$is$to$support$students$through$the$cloud$that$seems$to$guard$the$entry$into$the$unknown.$And,$with$this$schema,$we$have$more$space$to$see$that$problem$C$exists$and$may$be$more$worthwhile$than$conJnuing$to$plod$toward$B.$ “Sailing into the unknown again and again takes courage”
  • 15. Research,Approaches,(1)$MathemaJcal$Modeling$(2)$SimulaJon$(3)$Experimental$
  • 16. MathemaJcal$Modeling$Fast,$easily$define$upper$and$lower$bound$Complex$mathemaJcs,$need$programming$
  • 17. Network$Model$ SimulaJon$ Scalable,$Flexible$ AssumpJons$must$be$ accurate$ Time$consuming$ Either$selfTprogramming$or$ using$simulaJon$tool$$ Expensive$(?)$ Traffic$Model$Performance$Results$ Algorithm$ Packet$Scheduling$Model$
  • 18. Experimental$Accurate,$real$results$Time$consuming,$expensive,$not$scalable$
  • 19. Intellectual,Proper+es,(IPs), Architecture$/$Systems$/$Methods$ Is$it$Worth$A$ Masters$or$PhD$
  • 20. Why$Do$We$Need$Degree,$Masters$and$PhD$Interns?$ Support$testbed$setup$ Simple$experiment$and$Data$CollecJon$ Some$simple$applicaJon$programming$ Degree$ Support$experimental$work$(advanced)$ SimulaJon$to$proof$the$concept/ideas$ Masters$ MathemaJcal$modeling$ Develop$SimulaJon$model$ CoTgenerate$and$test$new$ideas$ PhD$
  • 21. How,Do,We,Manage, Researchers?,
  • 22. Researchers$ExpectaJons$•  Breathing$space$ •  Need$Jme$to$think$to$be$creaJve.$•  Always$“Fresh”$in$new$research$area$ •  Knowledge$always$starts$anew$in$every$project.$•  Killing$Knowledge$ •  We$can$kill$a$Product$or$Project$but$be$careful$in$killing$a$ “Research”$since$it$will$“wipe$out”$knowledge.$•  Quest$for$Knowledge$ •  Never$ending$journey$to$the$FronJers$of$Knowledge$ •  Finding$new$challenges$ •  RecogniJon$in$their$area$of$experJse$
  • 23. Light$At$the$End$of$The$Tunnel$PhD$is$not$all$about$the$novelty$achieved$but$it’s$the$SystemaJc$Process$ of$Doing$Research$that’s$the$utmost$important.$ “Research”$Working$with$the$“Unknown”$ “Development”$Working$with$“Known”$
  • 24. Researchers’,Challenges, , ,(But,who,appreciates,people,working,with,the,Unknown?)
  • 25. Valley,of,Apprecia+on, Viewing$Angle$ ApplicaJon$Layer$PresentaJon$Layer$ Session$Layer$ Transport$Layer$ Network$Layer$ Data$Link$Layer$ Physical$Layer$
  • 26. How,Deep,to,Explore?,“Breadth”,or,“Depth”,of,Research,
  • 27. To,Go,Deeper,…,You,Need,a,Pla_orm,
  • 28. Cave,Explorer, Explorer’s,Risk,
  • 29. Do,We,Reward,the,“Cave,Explorer”? Unstoppable$Effort$ Taking$High$Risks$ Venture$in$to$Unknown$
  • 30. 7,Characteris+cs,of,A,Good, Researcher,
  • 31. 1,Must$be$openTminded$and$must$also$adopt$ a$criJcal$way$of$thinking.$$
  • 32. 2, Should$be$hard$working,$diligent,$focused$and$devoted$to$the$specific$field$of$interest.$
  • 33. 3, UpdaJng$the$knowledge$is$of$utmost$ importance$and$can$be$accomplished$in$ several$ways,$such$as$following$the$current$ literature,$aVending$conferences$or$exchanging$ideas$with$colleagues$working$in$ a$relevant$field.$
  • 34. 4,Must$be$resourceful$and$invenJve$in$order$ to$transform$the$scienJfic$queries$and$ hypotheses$into$a$realizable$protocol.$$
  • 35. 5, Has$to$acquire$an$excellent$knowledge$of$the$measurement$tools$and$techniques$of$ the$relevant$field.$$
  • 36. 6, When$interprets$and$presents$results,$the$ researcher$must$be$precise$and$honest.$ MisinterpretaJon$or$even$falsificaJon$of$data$will$not$only$lead$to$deviaJon$of$future$ research$and$invalidate$the$work$of$future$ researchers$
  • 37. 7, Although$there$is$no$need$to$be$a$staJsJcian,$the$researcher$has$to$be$aware$ of$basic$mathemaJcal$and$staJsJcal$principles$in$order$to$be$able$to$appreciate$and$interpret$results,$up$to$a$certain$level,$and$to$study$criJcally$the$findings$of$other$ works.$
  • 38. Conclusion$Stage Activities ~ % S ER 100 0 Risk increasesAR 80 20AT 50 50PD 10 90 DevelopmentM 0 100 (D)R$–$Research$ PD$T$$Product$Development$AR$–$Applied$Research$ M$T$Maintenance$AT$–$Advanced$Technology$
  • 39. Thank$You$
  • 40. Contact$ Dr.$Mazlan$Abbas$ @mazlan_abbas$ mazlan.abbas@mimos.my$