I am listing a few opportunities to get scholarships while working
- Vanier scholarship for national and international students.
Quite prestigious, big money. You have to be VERY good to get it,
i.e., having a few papers at good places (ICML, NIPS,
JMLR, PAMI,..), etc. Contact me
if you want to apply by sending your CV.
- The department webpage
links many opportunities.
Prepared for research? (Generic advice)
- Do you have to be a genius to do math?
According to the
Terence Tao ``the answer is an emphatic NO''.
blog of Tao to understand how you can make a difference in math.
- David Dobb's article: How to be a genius? (New Scientist, 15 Sept 2006).
Quote: ``Geniuses are made, not born.'' Worth reading.
- Tao's career advice has a section for graduate students that you can read
He is making points about working hard and professionally, having fun, asking questions, how to write papers and more.
- Fan Chung's (e.g., spectral graph theory)
advice for new grad students on how to do research.
The advice is given in the form of bullet-pointed list and starts at "What is research?" and finishes with advice on how to collaborate.
- "The scientific life of mathematicians can be pictured as a trip inside the geography of the “mathematical reality” which they unveil gradually in
their own private mental frame." This is how A. Connes sees a mathematician's life.
For more click here.
- Gian-Carlo Rota: Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught.
On lecturing, blackboard techniques, publishing the same result multiple times, small bag of tricks, the Feynman method to be a genius.
Nice stories and some good and some controversial advice. A good read!
- Michael Nielsen's ``Principles of Effective Research'' is geared towards physicist and I personally find it a bit lengthy.
The author says at the beginning that he deliberatively limited the essay to 10 pages. This is long to my taste!
Anyways, you can read it here
- Randy Pausch's famous last lecture video.
A former computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon,
he passed away July 2008. In his lecture he talks about
achieving your childhood dreams (i.e., persistence) and how research and family life can be made nicely fit together. The lecture is a must see.
The book is good, too.
- A piece of advice
by Michael Steele.
This includes "How to look for a Problem" and "Tricks of the Trade".
A very important point of the advice in my opinion:
You need to put in an honest days work, say three genuine research hours (pencil in hand or fingers on the keys) and two genuine reading hours.
I have never in thirty years known or heard of a student who did this five days a week for two years who did not get a thesis.
- Graduate Research, Writing, and Careers in Computer Science, a large collection of links is here
- Collected advice on Research and Writing here.
- Resources for grad students
- Manuel Blum's advice. Good stories, wise advice.
Choosing your research topic
- Finding problems to work on.
In his blog, Lance talks about how to find a problem, why a graduate student might be able to solve open problem that established researchers did not solve, etc.
- You and Your Research by Richard Hamming.
Hamming argues that you should aim for the big questions.
My ultimate advice is that you should aim for writing good papers only.
Quality (content-wise, presentation-wise) is what matters.
There are too many crappy papers appearing in the literature already.
However, don't be afraid of starting to write a paper just because it
might not be the best paper ever: All what I am saying is that
aim for high quality. Often, the real challenges become apperant
only after you start to write a paper. So start early.
- How to write a great research paper?
of Simon Peyton Jones. I agree with everything that is said here.
He has another
devoted to other skills, like giving good talks and writing proposals.
- How not to write an abstract?
by Markus Kuhn. Great thoughts! I cannot agree more.
Common errors in technical writings.
by John Owens.
- 68 Writing Bugs (geared towards technical writings). Another
by Henning Schulzrinne. He also has
about how to write papers.
- What software to use for writing? Use LaTeX.
On Windows you want to use the MikTeX distribution,
on Mac use MacTeX.
- How to write a paper?
by Oded Goldreich (Weizmann Inst., CS Prof).
He has some other essays here that you might find intriguing.
- Hyeong Soo Chang:
A quiz and checklist on writing papers. Strongly suggested!
- Ten Simple Rules for Mathematical Writing by D. Bertsekas
- The Math Forum - Math Library - Writing/Comm in Math
- Crafting Papers on Machine Learning
- In the 3 paragraph blog The quality thesis,
Lance Fortnow a theoretical computer scientists argue why a quality thesis is important and how to write one.
The readers argue about the value of investing time and effort in writing a quality thesis -- pro and contra.
I guess I am in between the two camps:
In my opinion, the thesis work does not need to be hard. Nor should it take a very long time.
In particular, whatever you can publish in journals, conferences, you should publish it there.
However, your thesis can expand the topic and can serve as a useful reference.
Yet, the reason to take thesis writing seriously is that this job will confront you with issues like
how to organize and present your thoughts effectively and helps you to focus on the bigger picture.
- Three Sins of Authors in Computer Science and Math
- CMPUT 603 How to..
- Math writing:
Knuth, Larrabee and Roberts
(118 pages transcript of a course on the topic, at the beginning you'll find a list of 27 good rules),
Trent (a much shorter guide)
- The Underground Grammarian
- Michael Littman's Editorial Advice
Teaching, lecturing, presentations