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如何作好研究生--1.日常工作(翻译作品)

已有 10285 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

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.

 

这篇文章是我读过的最好的研究生工作指导,我将它翻译成中文,希望我们的研究生也能读到,并有所收获。本文有很多小节,因为我时间有限,我会从我认为最有帮助的小节开始翻译。如果大家认为不错,我会继续翻译。我的英语水平有限,请英语好的朋友直接看英文原文,也希望大家对翻译不足的地方给与指导,我会及时更正。

 

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)

这个小节在整个文章中的位置(红色标记)

 

  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

搞研究

 

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?

对于很多新入学的研究生,将要做的事情恐怕和他们以往做过的事情很不一样。有时候真的很难说你应该去学些什么。没错,你是要去完成你的毕业论文,但要怎么开始呢?你的时间应该怎么分配呢?

 

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.

大体来看,研究生院的环境都是个比较自由的。研究生每学期的课程不会超过九个学分。尤其研二以后。对大多数研究生来说,研三开学,基本已经完成了所有的课程,并且通过了资格考试。而这一年,却会非常辛苦,会承受很大压力。除非你属于极少数,已经找到课题的幸运儿,那么这一年你得确定研究课题。就算你找到了课题,并且预期两三年能完成,而这个课题也可能没有什么好的前景。

 

 

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.

接下来的几个小节,谈一谈搞研究的日常事物,如何评价别人的工作,并给与反馈,如何完成论文,并争取资金的支持。

 

 

 

The Daily Grind

每日安排

 

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.

做一个好的科研人员,绝不仅仅是“突然有个好点子,并付诸行动”。大多数研究员花大部分的时间阅读文献,和同事交流讨论想法,撰写修订文章,睁眼空想,当然,也会有些绝妙的点子,并付诸实践。

 

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.

接下来的内容就讨论如何在一个大的科研团队里工作,这对作个成功的研究者非常重要。这部分内容包括掌控自己目前的研究,总结做过的事情,保持热情,和如何智慧的分配时间。

 

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.

应该把你的研究活动和主意都记录下来,做一个思想汇总。写下自己的推测,有趣的问题,可能的解决办法,随时冒出来的想法,可以参考的文献,读过文章的笔记,要写的文章的提纲,引用来的有趣的段子。定期读一读这些东西。你会发现貌似东一个西一个的想法,会凝结一起,形成某种联系。常常会演变成研究项目,甚至成为论文题目。当我看到我完成的论文和我曾经的思想汇总是那么的类似,看到这些小的想法是怎样一步一步演变成最终的论文,我深感震惊。

 

 

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.

你得读大量的文献才能熟悉你的研究领域,之后就可以开始读近期发布的文献。你会发现你几乎得花超过一半的时间读文献,尤其是一开始的时候。这很正常。即使被这些“应该读”的文献压的直不起身也很正常。但是你要记住,读完所有与之有关的文献是不可能的事情。应该选择性的阅读。当你开始想熟悉一个领域的时候,问一问你的导师,或者你的学长,在这个领域,什么期刊,什么会议记录最有用,要个研讨会的列表,或者“经典必读”文献的列表。比如,对AI的研究者来说,(作者是搞计算机的,AI表示人工智能)一个不错的开始(虽然有点过时)就是阅读Agre关于基本AI的综述。类似的综述应该在其他领域也存在,多问问人吧。先读这些经典文献,然后读近几年发表的文献。

 

 

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.

读一篇文献之前,先确定它值得一读。扫一下标题,看一下摘要,如果你这时候对它还没完全失去兴趣,那就读读前言和结论。(当然,如果你的导师告诉你这是个重要的文献,那就直接跳过这几步,从正文读起吧!)在抠每个细节之前,先把握整体框架,感觉一下这篇文章的重点(亮点)在哪里。如果这时候还觉得确实值得一读,倒回去,细细的读吧。边读边记笔记是个不错的习惯。即使你一辈子也不会看你记的那些笔记,但至少能帮你集中精力,迫使你总结你读的文字,(增强理解。)如果你要重温关于这篇文章的记忆,看笔记总比看整篇文章容易得多,也效率得多。

 

 

 

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

在阅读和评价文献时还有几点需要注意:

 

   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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