天行健 地势坤分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/ntcoldfish 在研究的路上,你我不孤单。还望大师、博友们不吝赐教。



已有 10836 次阅读 2010-3-7 15:53 |个人分类:祝君成功|系统分类:教学心得|关键词:研究生,指导| 研究生, 指导

注意:本文是对Professor Marie desJardins的文章“How to Be a Good Graduate Student”的翻译。已经得到Professor Marie desJardins的翻译授权。如果转载,请注明本文的出处,及原作者的姓名。如要用于商业目的,请与原作者Marie desJardins联系。


Note: This is a translation of “How to Be a Good Graduate Student”, by Professor Marie desJardins. I have been permitted to translate this article into Chinese from Professor Marie desJardins. If you want to quote this article, please associate the original author Professor Marie desJardins with. If you want to use it for commercial purpose, please contact Professor Marie desJardins.




This is the best guidance to Graduate Student I’ve ever read. I translate it into Chinese with hope that our graduate students in China could also take advantage from it. This whole article contains many sections. However, I’m not a professional interpreter. I will start from the most useful and helpful sections (at least I believe they are). If you also deem it an excellent article, I will continue translate the rest. As my English, as well as my Chinese, limited, please read the original English version directly if you can. If you find some errors in my translation, let me know. I will revise it as soon as possible.


The position of this section within the whole article.  (Marked in RED)



  1. Introduction
  2. Before You Start
  3. Doing Research
    1. The Daily Grind
    2. Staying Motivated
    3. Getting to the Thesis
      1. Finding an Advisor
      2. Finding a Thesis Topic
      3. Writing the Thesis
    4. Getting Feedback
    5. Getting Financial Support
  4. Advice for Advisors
    1. Interacting With Students
  5. Becoming Part of the Research Community
    1. Attending Conferences
    2. Publishing Papers
    3. Networking
  6. All Work and No Play...
  7. Issues for Women
  8. Conclusions
  9. Bibliography


Doing Research



For many new graduate students, graduate school is unlike anything else they've done. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what it is you're supposed to be learning. Yes, you have to complete a dissertation, but how do you start? What should you spend your time doing?



Graduate school is a very unstructured environment in most cases. Graduate students typically take nine hours or less of coursework per semester, especially after the second year. For many, the third year -- after coursework is largely finished and preliminary exams have been completed -- is a very difficult and stressful period. This is when you're supposed to find a thesis topic, if you're not one of the lucky few who has already found one. Once you do find a topic, you can expect two or more years until completion, with very few landmarks or milestones in sight.




The following sections talk about the day-to-day process of doing research, criticism and feedback, working on the thesis, and financial support for research.





The Daily Grind



Being a good researcher involves more than ``merely'' coming up with brilliant ideas and implementing them. Most researchers spend the majority of their time reading papers, discussing ideas with colleagues, writing and revising papers, staring blankly into space -- and, of course, having brilliant ideas and implementing them.



A later section discusses the process and importance of becoming part of a larger research community, which is a critical aspect of being a successful researcher. This section contains ideas on keeping track of where you're going, and where you've been, with your research, staying motivated, and how to spend your time wisely.



Keeping a journal of your research activities and ideas is very useful. Write down speculations, interesting problems, possible solutions, random ideas, references to look up, notes on papers you've read, outlines of papers to write, and interesting quotes. Read back through it periodically. You'll notice that the bits of random thoughts start to come together and form a pattern, often turning into a research project or even a thesis topic. I was surprised, looking back through my journal as I was finishing up my thesis, how early and often similar ideas had cropped up in my thinking, and how they gradually evolved into a dissertation.




You'll have to read a lot of technical papers to become familiar with any field, and to stay current once you've caught up. You may find yourself spending over half of your time reading, especially at the beginning. This is normal. It's also normal to be overwhelmed by the amount of reading you think you ``should'' do. Try to remember that it's impossible to read everything that might be relevant: instead, read selectively. When you first start reading up on a new field, ask your advisor or a fellow student what the most useful journals and conference proceedings are in your field, and ask for a list of seminal or ``classic'' papers that you should definitely read. For AI researchers, a useful (if slightly outdated) starting point is Agre's (see [agre]) summary of basic AI references. Similar documents may exist for other research areas -- ask around. Start with these papers and the last few years of journals and proceedings.




Before bothering to read *any* paper, make sure it's worth it. Scan the title, then the abstract, then -- if you haven't completely lost interest already -- glance at the introduction and conclusions. (Of course, if your advisor tells you that this is an important paper, skip this preliminary step and jump right in!) Before you try to get all of the nitty-gritty details of the paper, skim the whole thing, and try to get a feel for the most important points. If it still seems worthwhile and relevant, go back and read the whole thing. Many people find it useful to take notes while they read. Even if you don't go back later and reread them, it helps to focus your attention and forces you to summarize as you read. And if you do need to refresh your memory later, rereading your notes is much easier and faster than reading the whole paper.





A few other points to keep in mind as you read and evaluate papers:



   1. Make sure the ideas described really worked (as opposed to just being theoretically valid, or tested on a few toy examples).

   1. 确保文中的想法确切实际。(而不是仅仅理论上正确,或者仅仅做了几个简单的测试)


   2. Try to get past buzzwords: they may sound good, but not mean much. Is there substance and an interesting idea underneath the jargon?

   2. 别管那些(恶心的)专业词汇(那些作者生掰硬造出来的词):他们看上去深奥,但实际上意思肤浅。(只需要想一想)在这些专业词汇的背后,是否有确凿的证据和有趣的想法。


   3. To really understand a paper, you have to understand the motivations for the problem posed, the choices made in finding a solution, the assumptions behind the solution, whether the assumptions are realistic and whether they can be removed without invalidating the approach, future directions for research, what was actually accomplished or implemented, the validity (or lack thereof) of the theoretical justifications or empirical demonstrations, and the potential for extending and scaling the algorithm up.

   3. 要想真正理解一篇文章,你得知道写这篇文章的动机,是针对什么问题,寻求答案时做了何种选择,结论背后存在何种假设,这种假设是否现实,如果没能让方法无效(字面意思如此,我确实没有理解这句),他们是否可以被剔除,这项研究的未来方向是什么,哪些确实已经达到了,理论解释或者实际实验是否可信,这种算法扩展的潜力大小等等。



Keep the papers you read filed away so you can find them again later, and set up an online bibliography (BibTeX is a popular format, but anything consistent will do). I find it useful to add extra fields for keywords, the location of the paper (if you borrowed the reference from the library or a friend), and a short summary of particularly interesting papers. This bibliography will be useful for later reference, for writing your dissertation, and for sharing with other graduate students (and eventually, perhaps, advisees).

管理好你读过的文献,建立参考文献集,以备日后查找。建立一个在线的参考文献集(BibTex是很流行的格式,但不管是啥能用就成)。我发现给bib添加一些属性非常有用,诸如关键字,借阅的地点(比如从哪个图书馆,哪个朋友),对非常感兴趣的文章做的小结。这个参考文献集在日后你写论文的时候将会非常有用。甚至将来可以提供给其他研究生使用。(最终的最终,是对给你指导的学生的财富。)(哈哈哈,终于当上导师了。)(这段如果看不懂,请查询BibTex的作用用法等。如果有时间,我希望能写一篇简短的介绍,和入门的用法,供大家参考。)(If you can not understand this paragraph, please wiki or google the keyword "BibTex". I wish I could write something introduction or preliminary tutorial about it. Of course, in Chinese.)



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