Confessions of a researchaholic

June 10, 2012

Work for yourself

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:33 pm
Tags: ,

Unlike most mentors, I do not need anyone to work for me. I can single author SIGGRAPH papers already, I highly enjoy being hands-on, and I can code faster than many of you can speak.
I mentor students primarily due to my interests in humanity, in particular the process of helping them achieve whatever they want in life (e.g. good jobs after graduation, good publications, intellectual training, etc.).

Consequently, you should never ask me when and where you should work. You are doing these for yourself, not me, or anybody else.

My favorite advising model is “one mentor, one apprentice”. My design is to have each student working for him/her-self; you reap what you sow and how much you achieve is proportional to how hard you work.

This will give people the right incentives, so that I never have to worry about “motivate” them. (A notion I always find strange; if someone is not motivated, he/she is probably on the wrong task.)
This is also good for training (you could not lean on other students), psychology (you do not have to worry about another student’s progress), and visibility (the fewer authors on a paper, the more likely you will get noticed; most of my papers have relatively few authors compared to the norm in my fields).

This does not mean you will be isolated. You can discuss with anyone, such as students and professors around you or in other institutions. (You do not have to work on the same project with someone to talk to him or her.) In addition, after you are sufficiently mature with a proven publication record, we can consider putting you in larger teams.

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