I am a theoratical computer science PhD student.

I am wanted some suggestion in how to find research problem for PhD research. I have supervisor and he has given me first problem. We had get progress in this. Now I have to do things fully by my self. Going conferences and workshop is not possible because of money problem.

In order to finding research problem what I do

I open scholar.google site then I search different keywords from my area (which is word combinatorics)
If some thing look relevant then I read conclusion section
If I haven't understand then I go for introduction and abstract part
If I find ok then I read paper else left

Solving these kind of problems looks difficult. Earlier I had searched some problems and I had tried but I haven't get results as per in sending some conference. So I had left those problems. That is why I am wanted some input in this regards.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this might be more suitable for Academia. I vaguely remember we had a question similar to yours about how to choose a problem to work on for thesis. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Jul 13, 2015 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Does word combinatorics include automata? Take a look: cstheory.stackexchange.com/questions/22493/… $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2015 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ Also, some conferences have travel funds. If you have a reason to attend and a recommendation from your adviser, then you can apply and hope to get most of your travel covered. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2015 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ If you would like to talk more, please let me know. Have a nice day. :) $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2015 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ here is a similar question from Academia on a MS thesis topic. as stated it is generally frowned on by cyber denizens and academics to get thesis topics anywhere other than from an advisor. however, minority/ contrarian view, think this goes against grain of open science. fyi heres list of many near-open science prjs by se users discussed/ announced in chat(s). $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Jul 14, 2015 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Read Feynman's letter. Very good advice.

Always be curious and solve little problems you are good at. Eventually you will have enough solved for a major publication.


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