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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2010, 05:17 AM
sami
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Default how to start your reserch

if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer

1_ understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
about your subject

from where you prefer to select papers from for example IEEE
or .........??

if you want to search for a paper which way you prefer
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2010, 09:51 AM
HardySpicer
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Default Re: how to start your reserch

On Jan 2, 6:17*pm, sami <[email protected]> wrote:
> if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer
>
> 1_ *understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
> reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
> about your subject
>
> from where you prefer to select papers from for *example IEEE
> or .........??
>
> if you want to search for *a paper which way you prefer


Nowadays it is all done via Google Scholar which is linked into IEEE
Xplore directly in most Uni libraries.
In the old days you started in a library and found the most recent
paper and worked your way back. Often if you find the key paper all
the others follow. There are more journals than ever now of course but
the Internet narrows things down pretty fast.
It is still possible to miss older articles however and people
frequently do.

Hardy
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:27 AM
steveu
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Default Re: how to start your reserch

>It is still possible to miss older articles however and people
>frequently do.


Or you locate a reference to them, and the title sounds very interesting
but find it darned hard to get an actual copy. :-\

Steve

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2010, 02:09 PM
paltest
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Default Re: how to start your reserch

>if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer
>
>1_ understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
>reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
>about your subject
>
>from where you prefer to select papers from for example IEEE
>or .........??
>
>if you want to search for a paper which way you prefer
>

understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
about your subject


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2010, 05:08 PM
Rune Allnor
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Default Re: how to start your reserch

On 2 Jan, 06:17, sami <[email protected]> wrote:
> if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer
>
> 1_ *understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
> reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
> about your subject


Conference papers are way too crude for learning anything.
At best, they provide references to more useful literature.

As for the PhD stuff, if you find already existing material
on the subject you intend to study, chances are that your
subject does not qualify for the degree - your work might
not be 'novel' if others already have treated it.

So if you want to keep up with the hype surrounding the degree,
you will need to read up on a subject to investigate if there
are uncovered aspect of it that you might base the thesis on.

Which, of course, would mean that there is a risk you do all
the work only to find either that somebody else already have
done what you intended, or that there are no uncovered angles
of the subject.

In which cases your work will not qualify for the degree.

Of course, no one will ever deny you the degree if you already
did all that work, regardless of its novelty or relevance, so
all you need to do is to keep busy for whatever time your
scholarship runs, and write some mumbo jumbo in a thesis.

I don't know if PhD these were ever evaluated on relevance
or novelty of their contents. If so, it ended a very long
time ago.

Rune
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2010, 06:23 PM
Le Chaud Lapin
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Default Re: how to start your reserch

On Jan 2, 11:08*am, Rune Allnor <[email protected]> wrote:
> On 2 Jan, 06:17, sami <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer

>
> > 1_ *understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
> > reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
> > about your subject

>
> Conference papers are way too crude for learning anything.
> At best, they provide references to more useful literature.
>
> As for the PhD stuff, if you find already existing material
> on the subject you intend to study, chances are that your
> subject does not qualify for the degree - your work might
> not be 'novel' if others already have treated it.
>
> So if you want to keep up with the hype surrounding the degree,
> you will need to read up on a subject to investigate if there
> are uncovered aspect of it that you might base the thesis on.
>
> Which, of course, would mean that there is a risk you do all
> the work only to find either that somebody else already have
> done what you intended, or that there are no uncovered angles
> of the subject.
>
> In which cases your work will not qualify for the degree.
>
> Of course, no one will ever deny you the degree if you already
> did all that work, regardless of its novelty or relevance, so
> all you need to do is to keep busy for whatever time your
> scholarship runs, and write some mumbo jumbo in a thesis.
>
> I don't know if PhD these were ever evaluated on relevance
> or novelty of their contents. If so, it ended a very long
> time ago.


Wow!

As I was reading this response, I was thinking, "Rune is right,
but, ...", and as soon as I said "but", the next paragraph took care
of the "but."

So I have nothing to add, but here are my semi-related thoughts on
this subject:

When I was in college, friends of mine might get into the Ph.D.
program, and I would ask, "That's great!...what is your planned area
of research?" After asking this question 7-8 times, I realized that it
is not a question one should ask a newly-admitted graduate student, at
least not in the 20th/21st century. All of them showed excessive
uneasiness at being asked this question, as if I had just asked them
what the doctor had discovered during their rectal exam.

Being naive at the time, I was puzzled by this uneasiness. I thought
that the graduate program was a domain of creative liberty, where a
person with novel ideas would finally be given the opportunity to
explore them, unhindered by mundacity of undergraduate courses like
"The Social Aspects Of Inner-City Connectedness", so it would seem
that, upon being asked this question, a student would enter a freakish-
state of animated delight, talking about this, and that, and that...,
and all the things that excite him.

Later I learned what might the source of this uneasiness:

Good ideas, truly novel ideas, are quite rare, despite the huge number
of people involved in research. For every researcher that makes a
novel discovery, there might be 10 or more to pounce on it, denounce
it, extend it, appropriate it, distribute it, dilute it, employ it..

Some might say that this jockeying is a natural necessity of the
competitive nature of the academy, but IMO, it is not - it grew that
way, as a mold grows on unprotected fruit.

The excessive ratio of # of researchers to # of novel ideas is an
impediment to forward progress. Under the assumption that a reseacher
has actually discovered something novel, one can only imagine all the
things s/he must endure that are unrelated to the advancement of
science. There is no excuse, for example, why a person like Gregori
Perlman should live the life of a recluse:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigori_Perelman

Reading carefully what this great man has to say about his own
experiences in the Academy provides insight into what it has become:

"As long as I was not conspicuous, I had a choice. Either to make some
ugly thing [a fuss about the mathematics community's lack of
integrity] or, if I didn't do this kind of thing, to be treated as a
pet. Now, when I become a very conspicuous person, I cannot stay a pet
and say nothing. That is why I had to quit."

So to the OP, not to be berate you, but I am generally troubled by a
person wanting a Ph.D while searching for ideas or fields of study. I
regard such individuals as agents of a collective threat to the
Academy. He who does not have his own cake will seek out the cake of
others.

IMO, you should be tellinng ~us~ about all the things that you plan to
do that you were not able to do as an undergraduate! A Ph.D.
candidate, as a matter of principle, should be somewhat dismayed by
the notion that 5 or so years will not be enough time to explore all
the things that interests him/her. S/he should be positively saturated
with ideas, too many to complete in a career, as was the case during
the Enlightenment, when the vetting and exploration of extant ideas
was the primary objective, and the pursuit of a Ph.D. was incidental
and not an end in itself.

Coincidentally, for those interested, there is an article in the New
York Times today that suggest that a college degree is more and more
becoming a a career tool:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/ed...tml?ref=edlife
[registration might be required]

From this article, we see that the motivation for "doctor of the
philosophy", or at least a bachelor's degree, has degenerated, over
time, into "..what should I study to give me the the best advantage
while competing in the forthcoming rat race."

Very well said Rune,

-Le Chaud Lapin-
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2010, 09:39 PM
Michael Plante
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Default Re: how to start your reserch

>if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer
>
>1_ understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
>reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
>about your subject
>
>from where you prefer to select papers from for example IEEE
>or .........??
>
>if you want to search for a paper which way you prefer
>


When starting a new subject, I prefer to begin with books, if for no othe
reason than that the notation stays consistent (hopefully) and it tends t
ease the reader from one level to the next, rather than diving right in.

Then you read papers to find out what's at the cutting edge. People hav
had less time to think about the newest papers, so you may still get a
idea from one or more of them that no one else has had yet. Sometimes.
Maybe.

That said, I know people who prefer papers entirely, but they don't try t
completely understand the paper the first time they pick it up, so...it's
style thing.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2010, 07:35 PM
Fred Marshall
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: how to start your reserch

Michael Plante wrote:
>> if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer
>>
>> 1_ understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
>> reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
>> about your subject
>>
>>from where you prefer to select papers from for example IEEE
>> or .........??
>>
>> if you want to search for a paper which way you prefer
>>

>


You likely need to do both. You read books for general knowledge and to
get a sense for the important history. You read papers for both
important history and for contemporary "interest". But, reading isn't
the only way. You need to talk to people (see below) and you might go to
a couple of technical conferences and hear the papers and chat with the
attendees who are doing work that interests you.

Then you find a topic that interests you that appears to not have been
addressed and is one that aligns with your thesis advisor - because
he/she should be able to steer you away from some plowed ground and also
problems that have been proven to be "too hard" by the best in the
field. Ultimately that's your responsibility.

It can be a good idea to "shop" for an advisor and a topic at the same
time - if you have that flexibility. This can take time and it can be
worth it. If you do this, you may delve into a few topics before
hitting on the right one. And, even if you don't have all that
flexibility it's likely a good idea to chat with other faculty advisors
- even some in other departments. Maybe your thesis committee members?
It also helps cement relations with those folks who will be important
to your officially completing the work. That's good learning experience
too and will broaden your perspective on the field.

I believe it can be a huge help if your advisor is truly interested in
what you're doing. If he/she is *too* interested then you may need to
say that you've "done enough".. as there is always yet another
interesting question to ask.

If you're on a graduate fellowship then you may need to do work that
your advisor wants. This can be good if you're having a tough time
deciding on a topic anyway. And, it could be bad if you're not very
interested / motivated on a particular topic. A good case is if you're
part of a team that's motivated and the topic is right in the middle of
things.

You have to decide on relevance. You can do a thesis on a topic that
nobody cares much about or you can try to change the world. Practical
considerations will likely guide you.

Fred
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:41 AM
YTach
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: how to start your reserch

On Jan 3, 3:25*pm, sami <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Jan 1, 9:17*pm, sami <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > if you want to start you phd reserch which way you prefer

>
> > 1_ *understanding the subject first by reading books or directly start
> > reading conference and papers to know which new idea you can find
> > about your subject

>
> > from where you prefer to select papers from for *example IEEE
> > or .........??

>
> > if you want to search for *a paper which way you prefer

>
> thanx for enery one
>
> how ever i have some point to ask about
>
> if i want to find a topic related to OFDMA for example
>
> 1_ how i can be sure that no one has worked *on such a topic before me
>
> 2_if i want to read papers related to OFDMA do i have to search from
> the begining or it is enough to see the papers that was puplished in
> thel ast five years for example


Sami,

You have to build some fundamental background in the field that you
are after. New graduate students ask me always about how to find good
research topics and the advice u received from all the experts above
are sound and very true. However, I will give you some few tips/
sources that might help you to find an interesting PhD problem:

1- Graduate classes
Graduate classes should build this fundamental infrastructure for you
and open your eyes to the trend in technology development in related
fields. I tend to see many class projects to be the triggering points
for many research topics because hard working students work hard on
them and discover many practical problems that sometimes can be
candidates for PhD topics.

2- IEEE Spectrum and Potentials magazines:
These magazines are not deep technically and they target a broad
spectrum of readers. You can find in them Surveys and research trends
that might interest you. Once you find an interesting article, do not
forget to check the references and find the major experts in this
field.

3- Conferences
If you are not able to attend them, you can access their publications
online. You should know the major conferences in the area of your
field and follow their recent publications, they can tell you alot
about research trends

4- Top downloads
IEEE explore library has a link to the top 100 popular downloaded
paper and DSP magazine has the top downloaded articles in the first
few pages of each issue. Top downloads are other source of research
trends.

Once you get yourself interested in the topic, you should familiarize
yourself with the top researchers in that field and read their work.
However, it is very IMPORTANT to remind you that you should not be a
"follower". After time of working and reading, you should be able to
develop your own reasearch personality and be able to judge others
work. You will learn this during the publication process when others
review and evaluate your work.

Again, what I mentioned above are some few tips that found them to be
useful to students I have advised. They are not the only ways by any
means. and above all, remember always that once you find your topic,
focus on developing you own research personality and avoid being a
"follower".

I hope this will help and good luck in your research. Good luck
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