Confessions of a researchaholic

November 30, 2015

How to write papers

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:55 pm
Tags: , ,

Just like many other skills, the more you do, the better you get.

Writing anything is better than writing nothing. It is an iterative process. The readers do not care (and cannot tell) how many iterations you have made, or how crappy the earlier versions were.

Read good papers, and learn their styles.
Look at suggestions (books, articles, online tutorials, etc.) on how to improve writing.

Aside from telepathy and telekinesis, any other form of external communication has inherently narrower bandwidth than your internal brain circuitry.
The challenge is to figure out what you know that others don’t, and effectively communicate these.
(I used to think that teaching is orthogonal to research. Now I realized that both rely on the above, after being a prof.)

What you want to write might not match what you really have written. To detect this discrepancy, flush your brain cache as follows. After having a draft, leave it there until you have forgotten most of it. Then look at it again.

When you have only minor updates between revisions, show your draft to other people for comments. Ask them to be honest and brutal, like reviewers.

November 23, 2015

Latex versus Word

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:17 am

November 20, 2015

How to have a bad research career by David Patterson

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:24 pm

The filename suggested the seventh version, but I still learned new things from it just like the previous ones.

David Patterson did warn about his system bias, though.
In particular, I have different experiences with “big teams” and “technology transfer”.

The number of collaborators should be naturally proportional to the scale of the projects, which in turn depends on the fields.
System architecture naturally involves various experts from PL/compiler, OS, architecture, VLSI, and networks, but in my fields (graphics, vision, and HCI) the most influential papers are usually authored by one or two people, and seldom more than four.

It is difficult for companies to adopt new system architecture, but much easier for them to “steal” algorithm ideas. It cannot hurt to protect your IP before going out selling your ideas; you can quickly file provisional patent applications at low cost without involving any lawyers.

November 19, 2015

Research seminars

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:51 am

To my bright students:

I notice that you do not seem to come to seminars often, if at all.

If you are around, I highly recommend you attend these seminars, at least those by renowned researchers.

You will have fun, learn a lot, and most importantly, have a chance to interact with and talk to different people.

I know you have a lot of works to do, but these can wait, unlike the seminars and the speakers.

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