Researcher's Bible

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  • 1. The Researchers BibleDebate and Conversation in EnglishSeptember, 2011

2. The Researchers BibleAlan Bundy, Ben du Boulay, Jim Howeand Gordon Plotkin. 1995Gives advices about various aspects ofgetting a Ph.D. 3. What is a thesis? The Ph.D. Candidate must demonstratethat he is capable of pursuing originalresearch in his field of study. Must be original work making a significantcontribution to knowledge. Contain material worthy of publication. 4. Pitfalls for postgraduatestudents Pick research goals which are tooambitious. 5. Source of ideas Further work sections of papers Re-doing bad work 6. Having chosen a topic Read the literature Talk to people Tackle a simplified version of yourproblem Write down your ideas Give a talk to a small group 7. Computer bum Your program must be explainable at ahigher level than code. Plan your program theoretically beforegoing to the terminal If people dont understand it is your fault If you really believe that existinglanguages are inadequate then write apaper on it 8. Micawberism Make sure what class of result you areattempting to establish Talk to people Imagine the experiment finished Dont keep running experiments in thehope that something will turn up 9. Keep in touch with the state of the art inreleated fields Talk to other people about their research Attend selected seminars and lectures 10. Misunderstood genius Try to rephrase your ideas using ordinaryenglish Your solution wont be trivial to otherpeople and should anyway be used asbasis for further work Motto: Do the easiest thing first, thenstand on shoulders and do the nexteasiest thing etc.-a better infinite loop 11. Do it the simplest you can Tackle the abstract property in a concretesituation Do something simple The readers and examiners are interestedin the general arguments in favor of theidea 12. Mental attitude Belief in what you are doing You must be prepared to modify yourideas if they are wrong Doubts about your own ability can lead toresearch impotence You will have to learn to differentiatebetween valid and invalid criticism 13. Cold start Make yourself a regular working schedule Make sure you leave some non-threatening, attractive task to do first 14. Only try to prove a theorem if it is clearlyrelevant to your overall purpose The sooner you subject your idea to theacid test, the sooner you will discover itslimitations 15. Choosing a research project1. You must be enthusiastic about it2.Solving the problem must be worthy of aPh.D.3.It must be do-able in three years4.There must be someone willing tosupervise it 16. Beware of choosing an area new to you Find someone whose interest lie in thisarea and who is prepared to advise you 17. Research methodology1.Think of a scenario2.Hypothesise what processes ,ight achievesuch a scenario3.Think of further scenarios4.Choose the programming language thatfits your needs5.Find some examples you have notpreviously considered Modify yourprogram until is robust 18. 6.Testing it on some examples Keepstatistics on its success/faliure7.Describe your program using languageindependent of your particularimplementation 19. Writing papers You should make writing a regular part ofyour life Keep records of everything you do 20. Guide to writing Your paper should have a message Cannot be misunderstood Stick to the main message and onlyinclude what is essential to that What is the problem?, what did you usedto tackle?, what result followed? 21. Have a particular reader in minddecide what your reader has to know inorder to understand the central idea Use worked examples to illustrate aprocedure Clearly state what is new or better aboutwhat you have done 22. Do no define a new term unless you reallyneed it Ask several people to read the draftversions 23. Relevant to thesis writing Should not be a core-dump of all youknow about everything related to the topic You should write your ideas and results upas a series of notes 24. Build your thesis message: Should serve as a guide to the title,abstract, summary, conclusion and thewhole body of the thesis Should answer: what have I done? Andwhy does this work deserve a degree? 25. Guide to reading Staying in touch with related research isthe main subgoals of obtaining a Ph.D.Middle circle:Specialized textbooks,seminarsYOUInner circle:Deep understanding,Get involved in it Outer circle: Get familiar with