Vtu requirement for promotion Cultural capital

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  • VTU requirement for promotion

  • Cultural capital (add the Dr prefix)

  • Masochistic mindset (long pain period)

  • Enjoy discovery / writing / talking



INDEPENDENT research

  • INDEPENDENT research

  • It is YOUR thesis, not the Advisor’s!

  • The advisor is not a NANNY!

  • CANNOT do PhD as side business

  • Focus on ONE problem at a time

    • 2 * 0.5 << 1 * 1
  • WELCOME criticism of your work



Ability to look at life in a perverse (creative) way

  • Ability to look at life in a perverse (creative) way

    • (Mark Twain) Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter !
  • Patience and mental strength to negotiate the troughs (inevitable for every PhD)

  • Trust your gut feelings in spite of negative results

    • Luck favors the prepared mind (Pasteur/Hamming)
  • Good sense of humour – you will definitely need it!

  • Ability to smile (through gritted teeth) at advisor



Industry experience – NO!

  • Industry experience – NO!

    • "Real problems" only imply short-term applicability
    • May even be counter-productive since immediate reaction is to start programming, rather than conceptual thinking
  • PhD registration  Research Scholar

  • PhD is “training to do research” AND “actually doing research”



Difficult to devote time due to academic and familial responsibilities

  • Difficult to devote time due to academic and familial responsibilities

    • Make sure to set aside a fixed daily time slot for research and make this sacrosanct
  • Course students can participate in the research work under your direction and thereby accelerate the progress



Relevant to society – NO!

  • Relevant to society – NO!

  • Relevant to industry – NO!

  • Right question: “Did I have fun thinking about the problem and did I devise elegant solutions that I am proud to show my mother (and she didn't find any mistakes in the proofs)?”

  • Doing a PhD is hard enough without the burden of additional expectations ...

    • All good dissertations find their way into the real-world sooner or later




Knows less about the topic than you do (even at the beginning)

  • Knows less about the topic than you do (even at the beginning)

  • Not visible in the research community

  • Says “Yes” to a student without assessment

  • Popular with students due to low expectations, not subject mastery

  • Most notable achievement in last five years has been getting his PF transferred



  • Junior Young Turk

    • Great enthusiasm and involvement
    • Current with research topics
    • Remembers PhD tribulations
    • Expects the world from you
    • Micro-management of your work


  • Senior Big Shot

    • Broad perspective of research area
    • Can advertise your work well
    • Provides academic freedom to explore
    • Perenially rushed for time
    • Will not write your thesis


ondu idly-vada / by-two coffee dost

  • ondu idly-vada / by-two coffee dost

    • Unless your thesis topic is “Topological sorting arrangements of circles and donuts”
  • Indian philosophy buff

    • Indian philosophy is an intellectual mechanism for providing extremely sophisticated reasons as to why work cannot be done
  • Lazy genius

    • Will drag you into the mud with him


Technically competent and ambitious

  • Technically competent and ambitious

  • Willing to call “a spade a spade” and criticize you to your face

  • Brings out the best research in you



Take every opportunity to meet with the “movers and shakers” in the field

  • Take every opportunity to meet with the “movers and shakers” in the field

    • attend local international conferences such as COMAD, HiPC, FSTTCS, IndoCrypt, …
    • attend summer schools (Yahoo, Microsoft, …)
    • apply for six-month internships in research labs after you are about half-way through your thesis
    • send technical reports for comments outside
    • for funding, approach academies (INAE/IASc /NASc /INSA) and DST/CSIR/KSCST/VTU


Family

  • Family

    • starts calling you a “visiting professor”
    • question your sanity with cold-blooded regularity
  • Well-wishers

    • take great delight in asking you “Is the thesis done yet?” “Can we call you Doctor now?” “Do all PhDs take this long?”




It is your duty as a scientist to share your discoveries with others

  • It is your duty as a scientist to share your discoveries with others

  • Your work is understood only from what you present / publish

  • You are evaluated only based on what you write in your reports, etc.



http://dsl.serc.iisc.ernet.in/~haritsa/geninfo/techwrite.ppt (by Vikram Pudi)

  • http://dsl.serc.iisc.ernet.in/~haritsa/geninfo/techwrite.ppt (by Vikram Pudi)

  • Essential for both publications and thesis

  • Spelling: Automated Spellcheckers

  • Style: Elements of Style by Strunk & White

    • Clarity, elegance and flow
    • Technical precision is paramount
      • e.g. rampant misuse of “optimal” and “ideal”
    • Avoid ornate language – this is not a literary exercise
      • e.g. The linked list appeared like a chain of jasmine flowers


Organization

  • Organization

    • Modular (like programming)
    • Linear narrative (no “item songs” )
    • Minimize redundancy
  • Choose good titles/acronyms (like variable names)

    • Time Will Tell: Leveraging Temporal Expressions in IR
    • Real-time commit protocol called PROMPT (Permits Reading Of Modified Prepared-data for Timeliness)
  • Read and revise word-by-word!

    • 10 page paper usually takes a month to write satisfactorily


Slides should be in large font / visible colors

  • Slides should be in large font / visible colors

  • Ideas should be conveyed through pictures / animation as far as possible

  • Focus on conveying the main idea, and not every single detail

  • Rehearse the entire talk a few times

  • Memorize the inter-slide transitions

  • Carry out dry-runs with your peer group



ESSENTIAL to publish at least TWO papers before submitting thesis

  • ESSENTIAL to publish at least TWO papers before submitting thesis

    • Progress milestones  confidence buildup
    • Honest feedback from anonymous experts
    • Early warning of potential disaster situations
    • Ideas for future work
    • Thesis gets written/revised at a steady pace, not delayed to the end, when it can prove to be an overwhelming task
    • Makes the resume speak for itself


Unique feature of CS: The top conferences and journals are viewed as equivalent fora.

  • Unique feature of CS: The top conferences and journals are viewed as equivalent fora.

    • Evaluating Computer Scientists and Engineers for Promotion and Tenure
      • David Patterson (Univ. of California, Berkeley)
      • Lawrence Snyder (Univ. of Washington, Seattle)
      • Jeffrey Ullman (Stanford University)
  • “In those dimensions that count most, conferences are superior.” “Conference publication is both rigorous and prestigious.”



Most reliable, comprehensive and recent are the rankings by Australasian CORE

  • Most reliable, comprehensive and recent are the rankings by Australasian CORE

  • ~1500 conferences and ~2000 journals

  • Ranks them into A+, A, B, C categories

  • Website: http://www.core.edu.au/

  • Goal should be to publish in A+ and A categories

    • ICDE database conference (A+): ~15% accepts


How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors

  • How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors

    • E. Phillips and D.S. Pugh, OUP
  • Getting a Phd: An Action Plan to Help You Manage Your Research, Your Supervisor and Your Project

    • John Finn (Routledge Study Guides)
  • Authoring a PhD: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation

    • Patrick Dunleavy (Palgrave Study Guides)
  • http://www.phdcomics.com/












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