practical questions about doing research in theoretical computer science

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Which areas of TCS are better for a math bachelor?

I am graduating from mathemetics bachelor program and I've been accepted for masters degree in mathematics. But I am not sure to pursue math, hence I am looking for other field I can do research. I am ...
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1answer
415 views

Are aspects of the 20 questions game ambitious enough for graduate research?

I am finishing a masters program this year and I'm interested in doing a Ph.D. in the field of Artificial Intelligence. I have an idea I've been tinkering with for a while, but some people have told ...
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1answer
282 views

How to write the introduction of a research paper?

Apologies if this is too broad a question for this forum, but I'm interested in specific tactics and tips that researchers (in TCS) use to write the introduction of a research paper.
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Possible generalizations of associativity?

The well-known notion of associativity in algebra leads to structures with interesting properties, such as groups or semigroups. According to a paper by John Rhodes, some researchers in algebra and ...
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1answer
188 views

Mathematics degree for Theoretical Computer Science? [closed]

I want to go to grad school in theoretical computer science. I don't like programming. I am in France. Should I pursue a bachelors in math or in computer science?
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1answer
155 views

Learning road map for functional programming from the viewpoint of category theory

I am now considering about studying functional programming from the viewpoint of category theory. There are a lot of books about functional programming and category theory, I want some suggestions ...
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1answer
204 views

What are the open ended questions for an CS Undergraduate to think about? [closed]

What can be a possible open ended research topics in Computational Complexity (or something equally fun), for an undergraduate to think about? [I am planning to take up something fun, however my ...
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1answer
292 views

Looking for learning resources

I am an undergraduate student of Computer Science and am very interested in learning the theoretical part of it all. Unfortunately, none of the subjects we have in our UG program give us an insight ...
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409 views

What should I do to switch from math department to cs to research tcs topics?

This can be a very weird question, but I haven't seen the same situation with mine in this forum, so I'd like to put this. Let me introudce my situation first. I'm now a math student of master ...
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6answers
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Can one return to a TCS research job after an excursion to a non-research industry job?

I have heard from some senior researchers in theoretical computer science that working in a non-research industry job, even just for a few years, will kill your career as a TCS researcher. However I ...
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1answer
803 views

Need a good overview for Succinct Data Structure algorithms

(already asked on main site, but asking also here for better coverage, sorry) Since I knew about Succinct Data Structures I'm in a desperate need of a good overview of most recent developments in ...
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2answers
500 views

What is considered significant when applying for a TCS PhD with major changed

I am a Master student on CS. Actually in theory. I have a BE in polymer (Chemical Eng stuff), and I struggled somehow to get enrolled in this program. I want to apply a TCS PhD in US. So, what do ...
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3answers
2k views

Good practices for writing algorithms

This is about how effectively we can express an algorithm at hand. I need this for my undergraduate teaching. I understand there is no such thing as standard way of writing a pseudo code. Different ...
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12answers
5k views

How important is knowing how to program for TCS?

Coming from a more mathematical background, I never really learned how to code. I am starting a PhD in TCS and many people were surprised by how little I knew about programming (and about computer in ...
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3answers
3k views

Graduate studies (PhD) in CS Theory vs. Applied Math

Given most American universities only accept applications in only one field, I'm trying to figure out what are the advantages/disadvantages of applying to a CS theory program vs an applied math ...
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1answer
591 views

PhD Development; Literature Review Tactics

Not sure if correct area, but here goes. Starting a PhD in Trust and Reputation Management in Communications networks (lots of graph theory, probabilistic analysis, etc), and have lots of reading ...
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3answers
924 views

How easy is it to switch the area of research in CS (going from M.Tech to PhD)?

I'm faced with a rather tough dilemma :- I had completed M.Tech in CS 2 years back, completing my dissertation in the field of VLSI Testing. While I liked my work, I don't wish to go back to pursue ...
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4answers
726 views

When are more publications less?

Are there cases where extra publications can hurt your record? This is avoiding the obvious cases where you publish incorrect, or controversial results. Also avoiding the case of finite-time: you ...
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2answers
315 views

What do I need to know about post-doc

I am a PhD student in Theoretical Computer Science I am finishing PhD this year and now I want to apply for post-doc positions. I want to know if there exists a source where can I read about how to ...
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1answer
169 views

Citation style for CS publications

What is the recommended citation style for use with CS (and related) publications? I tried looking at submissions at http://arxiv.org/archive/cs but all of them seem to use different citation styles. ...
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3answers
459 views

How do you go from insights to formal solutions?

My question pertains to the problem of translating ideas and insights to the solution (of some problem) into formal notations, thus expressing the answer formally. In other words, having a bunch of ...
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7answers
679 views

Are there pre-doc positions in TCS?

Are there positions for recently graduated bachelor or masters students with a record of research to work as a researcher before committing to their PhD? TCS has a culture of post-doc positions ...
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2answers
332 views

PageRank for a Non-Random Searcher

I'm looking to adapt the PageRank algorithm as a centrality measure in a network. This network however, unlike the "random surfer" of the original paper on PageRank, or the random library browser for ...
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4answers
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What is the smallest result you publish on ArXiv?

In essence, the question is: What is the least publishable unit for the ArXiv? Of particular interest are fields that use the ArXiv extensively such as quantum computing. But comments on other ...
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2answers
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The average number of annual publications for CS postdocs

What is the average number of publications (including conference proceedings), per year, for CS postdoctoral researchers in the US? What are the ways to find out or estimate this number?
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5answers
2k views

How to make a paper stronger?

After reading this question and David's answer I thought a more general question asking for tips would be useful. So how can authors make (and write) a paper stronger?
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2answers
423 views

Reading Papers with Unclear Typesetting

From time to time, I have to read a paper with unclear typesetting. By this, I mean: very small fonts; sometimes 8pt or smaller. very bad scan; Using bitmap fonts instead of vector ones. too old ...
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2answers
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Asking optimal questions to differentiate object in set

I have a problem in mind and I am sure this is likely an area of active research, but am at a loss as to the correct terminology and thus unable to find any reference literature. It is best explained ...
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3answers
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Selecting papers to read

DISCLAIMER: This is an open ended question and stackexchange puritans would probably feel an extraordinary urge to vote it down to oblivion. However, I cannot think of any other forum more appropriate ...
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936 views

Mathematical background needed for pursuing a PhD in TCS [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What kind of mathematical background is needed for complexity theory? I'm a final year undergrad and I'm looking to pursue a PhD in theoretical computer science in the ...
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8answers
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What math courses should I take to prepare for a CS masters or PhD?

I'm a self-taught professional programmer. I am pretty good at it (Ruby, Unix, Clojure, Java, Objective-C), but now I'm thinking of taking it to the next level by maybe applying for a masters or PhD ...
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2answers
2k views

Is a PhD in TCS the best way towards achieving a career in industrial research?

My idea of a dream career is a career in industrial research, where one gets to tackle problems which are challenging, and also have a practical usage. To that end, is pursuing a PhD in TCS (I'm ...
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2answers
1k views

Deciding between different PhD programs

Edited Version What are the main characteristics and qualities that you would consider if you were going to choose a PhD program in theoretical computer science (or related areas) today (based on ...
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564 views

Is this graph transformation unique up to isomorphism? [Answer:NO]

Suppose, transformation T is defined as given in the diagrams below. Every vertex (v) is replaced by ...
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1answer
337 views

Applications and benchmarks for binary quadratic program algorithms

I have an algorithm that on all examples I was running finds an arbitrary approximation of global minimum of binary quadratic program. The algorithm find the minimum in polynomial time. Binary ...
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3answers
1k views

What kind of mathematical background is needed for graph theory?

It is going to be the first time for me to learn graph theory. What kind of mathematical background do I need to prepare master theses about this subject in following years? Which subjects should be ...
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2answers
372 views

A System for Visualizing Bibliography Information

I'm looking for a software for visualizing main trends in some field. Specifically, I want it to build a graph of the field with vertexes representing papers and edges representing how close papers ...
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3answers
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Presenting work-in-progress (slides now available)

Presentation now given. Slides available below. Presenting work-in-progress is something we all should do in order to obtain early feedback and to help crystallize our ideas. Unfortunately, many ...
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5answers
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Is a CS degree for me?

I'm a UK student who will soon be going to university and would like some advice from people who have already done this on what course to take. I really enjoy the theoretical side of computer ...
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1answer
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Algorithms Design and Complexity - How to think in that 'way'?

My question is a general one: How do I start thinking in terms of Algorithm Design and Complexity? I am going to take a Graduate Course in Algorithm Design. I had enrolled in it earlier but dropped it ...
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7answers
3k views

How do I get started in theoretical CS ?

I'm a freshmen studying computer science and I already know that I want to go into academia with focus of theoretical comp sci. I already read some of papers referenced in this question and this ...
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3answers
598 views

Ideas for a project in Mathematica related to (Theoretical) Computer Science [closed]

I'm a graduate student in Computer Science. For an exam, I have to realize a package in Wolfram Mathematica, with a free topic. My interests are particularly related to theoretical Computer Science, ...
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4answers
2k views

What would you advise someone who wants to do research as a hobby?

I love doing TCS in my spare time. Lately I have been trying to do some research as a hobby. I'm looking for some extra input from people who do this full-time: - Do you think it is possible to do ...
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13answers
8k views

Advice on good research practices

After reading Daniel Apon's question, I started thinking that it might be useful (especially to junior researchers and graduate students like me) to ask a broader and more general question so we can ...
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14answers
6k views

What kind of mathematical background is needed for complexity theory?

I am currently an undergraduate student, bound to graduate this year. After graduation, I am considering to work towards a TCS master/PhD. I have begun wondering what fields of mathematics are ...
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6answers
5k views

How to get a job

I'm new to the site. On mathoverflow this would be community wiki, but I don't see how to set that here. Not a research question, but hopefully of interest to professional theoretical computer ...
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5answers
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What are some career options for someone with a computer scientist master degree?

Other than going fully academic and getting a doctorate/post-doc, or going for a more or less 'standard' job in software development, what are some other career options in the full or semi theoretical ...