TA is a great training for presentation, communication, management, and personal skills. You have to be able to describe course materials in a way that the students can understand, and you have to balance their learning and happiness. Naturally, students want to minimize workloads while maximizing grades. Dealing with a large class (hundreds of undergrad students) is not unlike managing a mob.
It is great if one can focus exclusively on research. That is what I prefer then as a grad student and now as a prof. But without sufficient communication and personal skills, one cannot succeed even with great research skills.
To start with, a great idea is of no value if it cannot be understood and appreciated by people.
Thus, I do not consider TA a waste of time. Quite on the contrary, it is an indispensable part of research training.
It is striking how much the advice on fiction writing applies to technical writing and conducting research in general, despite some important differences, e.g. scientific writings should be precise instead of leaving rooms for imagination.
This is likely a unique local phenomenon, but I often see these student representatives wearing suits and sitting in meetings for various organizations.
It is extremely difficult for me to understand why anyone wants to do this. Young people should dream of being different instead of rushing into conformity.
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
- Steve Jobs
Not having to observe Western holidays is your competitive advantage. Don’t squander it.
See here for more information.
I think the basic points are the same as with any rebuttal. The main difference between CHI/UIST and most other venues (e.g. SIGGRAPH) is the addition of meta reviews which might provide helpful summaries for rebuttal.
More tips can be found via twitter, such as this and that.
While focusing on rushing a project it can be difficult to stop and think about the overall picture, but without that you could end up wasting a lot of time in the wrong stuff.
Spend a few minutes writing down the plan, rationale, and whatever thoughts you have at the beginning of each day before the crunch begins. This little initial investment can greatly enhance the eventual efficiency and happiness.
If you are my collaborator I can vet your sanity through your write ups. I am not looking for a PhD thesis; just a few sentences will be enough.
A capital crime for computer science is manual repetition of uninteresting tasks. You will be happier and more productive by proper automation, which, coincidentally, is a main job for computer scientists.
For example, instead of sitting up all night tuning parameters of an experiment, you can write a script to try over a million settings over night while you go home sleep or have a fun time in Lan Kwai Fong.