Xiao-Le Deng

《The Ph.D. Grind 博士磨砺》读书札记2

2017-04-04 11:18
#Notes

总结的一般科研经验

教授们常说的一句话:

If it’s already been done before, then it wouldn’t be research!"

“如果前人已经做过它,那么它就不是研究!”

这里,科学研究就是创新的工作,在某一个领域开创新的方法或者理论。寻找突破创新点。开始创造自己的研究项目。开始”单干”。给了我经济自由并支持我研究任何我感兴趣的方向。完全凭空设想我的新研究理念。

多用Email

Learning to send succinct and effective professional emails has benefited my career tremendously.

作者强调了,与同行之间持续的邮件交流的重要性。这与之前写的文章——科研高效率(1)——多使用Email和博客文字记录 | Xiao-Le Deng不谋而合。作者文中,不断强调了cold-Email(冷邮件)的重要性。

带着问题读文献

每天阅读几篇计算机科学方面的学术论文并做笔记来激发我的灵感,思考我自己的创新点。但是缺少正确的指导和环境的结果是,我浪费了很多时间,而且从阅读论文中并没有获得有意义的见解。

Everysingle day, I tried reading sev-eral computer science research papers andtaking notes to get inspiredto think of my own creative ideas. But withoutproper guidance orcontext, I ended up wasting a lot of time and not extractingany mean-ingful insights from my readings.

带着问题来看文献,或者以一个关键点来查阅文献,即为主题法阅读文献的思路,见之前的文章——科研灵感(1)——主题式阅读文献法 | Xiao-Le Deng

(个人注释为:推动研究进展的秘诀)

需要坚实的智力、历史有时甚至是物质基础(例如实验设备)。在那几周更明智的选择应该是更多地和Dawson交流,并且积极寻求和其他教授或高年级博士一起合作。如果我没有强烈的主人翁意识和热情,那么努力推进我的博士课题对于我来说真的十分困难。所以我真的想找到一个交集,这个交集是我真正所热爱的,而且是被教授们和广大学术圈的确认为是值得研究的。

Thinking back, I’m surprised by how well I understood the Ph.D.game so early on. I couldn’t have worded this sentiment any better now, except that I’d also add fundable as an extracriteria for success.

I realized from this summer and my previous work experiences that it’s going tobe really hard for me to push ahead with a Ph.D. project unless I feel a strongsense of ownership and enthusiasm about it, so I really want to work to find the intersection of what I feel passionate about and what is actually deemed`research-worthy' by professors and the greater academic community.

Be proactive in talking with professors to find research topics that are mutually interesting,and no matter what, don’t just hole up in isolation.

主动和教授们交流以发现互相感兴趣的研究题目,而且无论如何,不要只是固步自封。

高效率的会面三个具体问题

I came into the meeting prepared with notes about three specic ideas and pitched them in the following format:

  1. What’s the problem?
  1. What’s my proposed solution?
  1. What compelling experiments can I run to demonstrate the effectiveness of my solution?

为了这次会面,我准备了三个具体的想法:

1.问题是什么?

2.我提出的解决方案是什么?

3.我能够做什么让人眼前一亮的实验,来证明我的解决方案是有效的?

The importance of the third point thinking in terms of experiments when proposing research project ideas. Professors are motivated by having their names appear on published papers, and computer science conference papers usually need strong experiments to get accepted for publication. Thus, it’s crucial to think about experiment design at project inception time.

第三点的重要性——当提出研究课题理念时要从实验的角度去思考。教授们的动力是在发表的论文上署名,而计算机科学会议论文通常需要强有力的实验才能被接受发表。因此,在课题开始阶段思考实验的设计就尤为重要了。

写文章经验

The author whose name appears first is the project leader (e.g., Joel) who does more work than all subsequently listed authors and thus deserves most of the credit. All other authors are project assistants usually younger students (e.g., me) or distant colleagues who contributed enough to warrant their names being on the paper. Ph.D. students often list their advisor (e.g., Scott) as the last author, since the advisor helps with idea formulation, project planning, and paper writing. 作者写了第一篇文章的经验(虽然作者是第二作者,但是不算Ph.D.毕业论文要求的),但是教会了如何做研究以及写文章。

this experience taught me a great deal both about how to do research and about howto write research papers. (总结,需要解决的问题,以及这些问题解答需要的一些技术。注意细化。)

As I worked, I kept a meticulous log of my experimental progress in a research labnotebook, nothing which trials did and did not work. (个人注释:这是一个好的习惯,使用一个笔记本来记录实验的进度以及遇到的问题。)

Everyweek or so, I would meet with Dawsonto present my findings. Our meetingsusually consisted of me showing him printouts of graphs or data tables that myanalyses had generated, followed by him making high-level suggestions such as, “Wow,thispart of the graph looks weird, why is that? Split the data up in this way anddig deeper.” (个人注释:每周一次组会的推动研究进展。)

These two opposing experiences taught me the importance of deeply understanding the motivations and incentives of one’s potential collaborators before working with them.

In effect, Ph.D. students working with those young researchers were more easily able to publish and graduate. (个人注释:作者跟过两个导师,一个年轻导师——需要发文章,所以会推动写文章;一个年老导师——不需要发文章来评职称,所以没有文章压力。)选定研究方向的重要性,持续地深入下去。

Desperate to generate another plausible dissertation idea, I spent my nights and weekends throughout the summer reading research papers and brainstorming at coffee shops. inspiration suddenly struck. (个人注释:发文章要有原创的积累,以及原创的点。需要投入这样的日日夜夜的思考,突然就会有灵感出现。)

No idea is truly original, so there will always be related projects. However, in order to eventually publish, I had to make a convincing case for how IncPy was different enough from similar projects. Within a few days, I had sketched out an initial project plan, which included arguments for why IncPy was unique, innovative, and research-worthy.

I then pitched them my IncPy idea and discussed possible renements to make it both moreuseful and also more interesting from a research perspective. Each successive generation builds upon the ideas of the previous one. (个人注释:这个想法有点类似于之前的一篇文章,科研超高效率(5)——站在前人的肩膀上-简书,好的灵感和想法也是基于前人的成果基础上,所以要称述自己与前人的差别——即为创新点。)

For therest of the summer, I spent my nights and weekends at coffee shops refining myedgling IncPy idea, strengthening its marketing pitch, and getting morefeedback from MSR colleagues. I emailed drafts of my idea to Dawson, but Ididn’t actually care how enthusiastic he was about it since this was going tobe my own undertaking. I wasn’t asking for his permission; I was just informing him. (个人注释:作者花费很多晚上和周末的时间来精化并完善自己的创新点,并通过与同行的交流反馈来改善,最后还告知导师。)

Of course, those early years weren’t actually lost; without those struggles, I wouldn’t have gained the inspiration or abilities to create the five projects that comprised my dissertation. (个人注释:作者前些年的“浪费”尝试是有用的,在这中间学会了很多东西,包括能力、灵感等。)

Random conversations with my grad schoolfriends led to tons of unexpected inspiration. (个人注释:与同行之间的不经意的谈话会激发新的灵感。)

I discovered that this strategy of finding and setting short-term deadlines for myself would work wonders in keeping me focused throughout the rest of my Ph.D. years. Without self-imposed deadlines, it becomes easy to fall into a rut and succumb to chronic procrastination. (个人注释:短期目标计划来严格自我管理,能够推动进展。)

I wouldn’t have gotten lucky if I hadn’t followed my curiosity at that moment. Part of luck is always keeping your eyes open for new opportunities while simultaneously focusing enough to make consistent progress. (个人注释:跟随好奇心,持续地留意新的机会,取得持续地进展。)

One benefit of presenting a talk on a paper is that people can chat with you about it afterward, which can lead to serendipity. (个人注释:参加会议作报告的一个好处,相关领域的人跟你交流,可以有意外发现珍宝的可能。)

Within the next twelve months, though, I would publish four conference papers and one workshop paper (all as the first author), thereby paving a clear path for my graduation. So besides working towards the upcoming paper dead-line, I also spent some time thinking about my next project idea. (个人注释:作者博士毕业的文章量达到之后,可以清晰地规划毕业的路,并且可以进行下一步的计划想法。)

Both IncPy and SlopPy were software tools to improve the productivity of computational researchers. Thus, to think of my next project idea, I returned to identifying problems computational researchers faced in their work and then designing new tools to address those problems. (个人注释:在原有获得科研突破的基础上,来进行下一步的研究。)

In many science and engineering fields, this perception is totally inaccurate: The writing is simply combining one’s published papers together into a single document and surrounding their contents with introductory and concluding chapters. All of the years of sweaty labor has already been done by the time a student sits down to write their dissertation document. (个人注释:作者一语道出了理工科方向博士论文的真谛——博士论文的写作是整合博士期间所发论文的创新点,每一篇论文为一个章节,最后组成了博士论文。而相应的工作已经在几年的博士期间已经做完了。)