Advice to New Researchers: Simplify Research

Advice to New Researchers: Simplify Research

Some tricks that worked for me:
* Break it down!
* Test Driven Development
* Metrics
* Iterate / Incremental Progress
* Be happy: Tangible rewards

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Arnab Nandi

June 24, 2014
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  1. simplifying research 
 Arnab Nandi
 Assistant Professor! Computer Science &

    Engineering The Ohio State University interactive data systems research group at ohio state
  2. 2012 Hi! I’m Arnab. interactive data systems research group at

    ohio state GestureDB   Querying  beyond  Keyboards     DICE:  Interac9ve  Analy9cs   Ad-­‐hoc  Data  Analy9cs  &  Explora9on  
  3. Don’t let it scare you RESEARCH

  4. Problem" HARD RESEARCH Process" SIMPLE

  5. tricks that worked for me

  6. None
  7. Test-Driven Development •  Unit tests •  1 test per “thing”

    •  Top-down •  If Research Problem was solved, what would be possible? •  Bottom-up •  Naïve algorithm •  Strawman •  Free progress bar for research!
  8. Metrics, Metrics, Metrics •  Really easy to get distracted • 

    Anecdote: sub-second threshold in DICE
  9. Incremental Progress

  10. Incremental Progress •  Journal your research! •  Daily TODO.txt • 

    Weekly Snippets to advisor •  Streak Calendar
  11. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate You are not going to get it

    right the first time 
 
 (if you do, let’s chat.)
  12. Don’t become a zombie •  Stagnation, Zero excitement, Feeling Lost

    •  Internships •  Take breaks (real vacations) •  Don’t let your ego get in the way •  It’s ok to quit a problem •  (instead of the PhD!) •  Breadth is a strength PhD…  
  13. Be happy: Tangible rewards •  Challenge: Research problems, submissions are

    “abstract” efforts •  Idea: Align “abstract” efforts with tangible rewards •  Example: Paper Submission: Hardware Upgrade •  Note: not publication, submission •  Important to pick the right metrics here •  Remove resource constraints ASAP •  Books, furniture, hard drives, food •  Worth it even if your univ. doesn’t reimburse! •  “Grand Slam”
  14. Summary: Simplify Research! •  Break it down! •  Test Driven

    Development •  Metrics •  Iterate / Incremental Progress •  Be happy: Tangible rewards
  15. Thanks! interactive data systems research group at ohio state papers,

    videos and more at http://interact.osu.edu | http://arnab.org