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Questions tagged [research-practice]

Questions relating to the *practice* of research in theoryCS

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124 votes
13 answers
13k 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 ...
84 votes
9 answers
10k views

Are research papers hard to read?

This question may not suit to here, but I couldn't find a better place to ask (it was closed in SO). I find research papers on computer science hard to understand. Of course the subjects are ...
nimcap's user avatar
  • 959
63 votes
33 answers
4k views

Small steps for better TCS conferences?

Often, when we take part in TCS conferences, we notice some little details that we wish the conference organisers would have taken care of. And when we are organising conferences, we have already ...
61 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to shoot down your proofs

What are general guidelines for checking your proofs? I believe this is important for graduate students like me. I already know what we need to do to prove something, but you always have to check ...
57 votes
16 answers
5k views

What tools do you use to write papers?

What tools do you use to write papers? From the little experience that I have, theoreticians spend a large amount of time writing and refining papers, besides actually being creative. That is, ...
53 votes
3 answers
8k views

How to find interesting research problems

Despite several years of classes, I'm still at a loss when it comes to choosing a research topic. I've been looking over papers from different areas and spoken with professors, and I'm beginning to ...
al92's user avatar
  • 683
48 votes
6 answers
2k views

Ways for a mathematician to stay informed of current research in complexity theory

Complexity theory is a strong secondary interest of mine but it's not my primary research interest, so there is no hope for me to attend all the conferences, read all the blogs, and ensure that the "...
Timothy Chow's user avatar
  • 7,550
43 votes
8 answers
4k views

What do you do when you cannot make progress on the problem you have been working on?

I am a 2nd year graduate student in theory. I have been working on a problem for the last year (in graph theory/algorithms). Until yesterday I thought I am doing well (I was extending a theorem from a ...
Kumar's user avatar
  • 2,044
42 votes
5 answers
5k 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 this ...
theHobbyist's user avatar
38 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
37 votes
5 answers
2k views

When should you say what you know?

What should you do when you see a question raised in public, say here on stack-exchange, that you know the answer to, because you are looking into as part of current research project? For example, I ...
37 votes
4 answers
18k views

Research and open challenges in Programming Language Theory

In the spirit of some general discussions like this one, I'm opening this thread with the intention to gather opinions on what are the open challenges and hot topics in research on programming ...
36 votes
6 answers
7k views

Journals with quick reviewing

Background: The motivation for this question is two-fold. First, I would like to get some hard facts to better understand the ongoing conferences vs. journals debate. Second, if this information was ...
Jukka Suomela's user avatar
36 votes
8 answers
2k views

Collaborative tools for dummies/professors

Suppose that coauthors from two or more different institutions are writing a paper in latex, and would like to do better than repeatedly emailing drafts back and forth. They realize they can open for ...
Luca Trevisan's user avatar
35 votes
6 answers
7k views

Code in Academic Papers

In my academic career, I've read quite a few academic papers on various computer science topics. Many of which involve an implementation and some assessment of that implementation, yet I have found ...
Kevin Dolan's user avatar
31 votes
6 answers
2k views

Empirical results in CS papers

I'm new to the CS field and I have noticed that in many of the papers that I read, there are no empirical results (no code, just lemmas and proofs). Why is that? Considering that Computer Science is a ...
toto's user avatar
  • 413
30 votes
9 answers
2k views

What is the best place to get BibTeX entries for computer science articles ?

Other than ACM, IEEE computer Society, Google Scholar which is the best site to get bibtex entries for computer science related articles ?
user3162's user avatar
  • 709
29 votes
2 answers
9k views

How to publish a paper?

Being a software engineer for the most part of my life I have absolutley no idea how to start with publishing an "academic" kind of paper. During my latest research I've found an interesting algorithm ...
lithuak's user avatar
  • 551
25 votes
19 answers
3k views

What tools do you use to give presentations?

I was wondering what tools that people in this field (theoretical computer science) use to create presentations. Since a great deal of computer science is not just writing papers but also giving ...
23 votes
1 answer
850 views

Required delta between proceedings and journal versions

I am recently getting my papers rejected from journals (i.e., TALG) on the mere basis of not having a significant difference between the journal and proceedings (i.e., SODA) version. The main reasons ...
Algorithm's user avatar
  • 231
22 votes
1 answer
3k 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.
Madhav Jha's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
2k views

Version control for collaboration (with word-level diffs)?

Most papers are now written collaboratively, and collaborators are often located in different places. I have always used version control systems for my documents and code, and have also found version ...
András Salamon's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
641 views

Is an NP-hardness proof of an NP-hard problem considered a contribution?

I am solving a problem that is claimed to be NP-hard elsewhere, say in the paper [XYZ]. The NP-hardness provided in [XYZ] is complicated and uses advanced techniques. After some research and work, I ...
zdm's user avatar
  • 325
16 votes
7 answers
2k views

Research data organization

This is a question in the spirit of this one where I answered that it is important to keep track of what you have done something, why you have done it and what is not working. I personally use ...
Sylvain Peyronnet's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Jason Dane's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
9k views

What does research in theoretical computer science involve?

I am trying to understand what is involved in theoretical computer science research. What do theoretical computer scientists do? I know a significant time is spent on teaching, supervising graduate ...
undergrad cs student's user avatar
14 votes
0 answers
453 views

Manuel Blum's supervisory style

Manuel Blum is a well-known theoretical computer scientist and a Turing award winner. But more interestingly, he has the highest number of students who have gone on to win a Turing award (Leonard ...
Anonymous's user avatar
  • 4,041
12 votes
2 answers
19k views

What is the best place to get BibTeX entries for ICLR and other machine learning papers?

dblp seems the best i found so far (as also mentioned in the comments and in What is the best place to get BibTeX entries for computer science articles ?) but even there some papers from NIPS ...
user2160809's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
387 views

Is there a book/survey-paper outlining language class hierarchies, closure properties, etc

I'm currently doing some Formal Language research involving classes of languages above Regular but below Context Free. I'm looking at things like Reversal-Bounded Multicounter Machines, Single-stack ...
Joey Eremondi's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
733 views

Massive online collaboration for solving open problem in theoretical computer science

In Polymath projects a large group work on an open problem. What kind of problems seem to work best in this framework? Are there any good candidates for a polymath project in theoretical computer ...
Joshua Herman's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do you decide when you have enough research results to write a paper and to which journal you submit the paper

In some research area in CS we got some very interesting results. Now we are thinking about publishing them. In the group we are, the philosophy is to publish inmediately small things in conference ...
Open the way's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
5k views

Good books on parser theory?

One of my Java projects is a fork of parboiled, and unlike, say, Antlr or JavaCC, parsers are generated at runtime. Grammars generated are Parsing Expression Grammars, or PEGs (I hear another term for ...
fge's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
1 answer
479 views

Is it a bad idea to critique someone's paper in my first publication?

I am currently facing a situation that I am not sure how to handle. Basically, there is this problem $A$. Problem $A$ has been a hot topic in the past $5$ years. Last year, a paper was published in ...
user3508551's user avatar
  • 1,153
10 votes
2 answers
746 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 ...
Andrew Bolster's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

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?
Leo's user avatar
  • 207
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

About switching from a computer scientist to a mathematician

What is the possibility for a computer scientist to change his field into a pure mathematician ? and what's the most smooth way to do it ? any examples for people who could make it ?
Akram Hassan's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
585 views

Submitting other people's work to the arXiv

This is a soft question aimed at establishing what people think is the professional best-practise for submitting unoriginal work on the arXiv. There is a draft of an article [1] by Robert ...
9 votes
1 answer
635 views

Technical article vs. research paper

Being a professional software engineer, i have seen a lot of really interesting technical work, many of it is published as technical articles in technical journals and websites like http://www.drdobbs....
Akram Hassan's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
367 views

How do you remember parameters?

I'm currently doing research in pseudorandomness, which involves a zoo of wonderful objects such as pseudorandom generators, randomness extractors, expander graphs, etc. I find it a fascinating topic, ...
Henry Yuen's user avatar
  • 3,798
9 votes
0 answers
158 views

How to succeed in remote TCS research as undergraduate

I am participating in a remote summer research program in theoretical computer science due to the current pandemic. I recognize that given the current situation, it may be harder to collaborate with ...
oek's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are there any intersections between Theory A and Theory B?

In the following two questions Origins and applications of Theory A vs Theory B? and Solid applications of category theory in TCS?, many people shared their knowledge and opinions about the division ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes
0 answers
696 views

Why is single authorship so common among breakthrough papers in computer science?

Looking at the list of important papers in computer science one notices that the majority are authored by a single author. Those include classic papers of Turing, Shannon, Karp and Cook. Cook's solo ...
Mohammad Al-Turkistany's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
2k views

"The Solution Problem" - How to get credit for your work as an undergrad?

I have come to a rather startling discovery in regards to a question that has been posed to me a number of times through my now almost 1 year of CS studies. Solving this problem is of great interest ...
justkris's user avatar
  • 205
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

If you have a casual conversation with someone and it leads to a paper, what do you owe them?

What if you had a casual conversation with someone, and that conversation lead to your findings? What do you owe them? When is it plagiarism? I read somewhere that "first to submit, wins" - so ...
bobobobo's user avatar
  • 391
7 votes
5 answers
582 views

What is a substantial contribution to software design, with respect to authorship?

Background I am a biologist. I wrote and am about to submit a manuscript that describes a statistical analysis of computer model; it is a statistical methods and modeling paper. After my manuscript ...
David LeBauer's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
365 views

"Berman-Hartmanis Conjecture Separates NP From All Super-Poly. DTIME Classes" -- Worthy of arXiv.org?

Do you believe this paper is worthy of arXiv.org? I have searched via Google, and to my knowledge, no one else has this result. I'm not asking you to fully scrutinize the paper, I'm just asking if you ...
Jake Thomas's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
233 views

Where do people publish/submit their work on type theory?

Besides the most common venues (perhaps POPL, ICFP, LICS and FSCD), where else are papers on type theory commonly published? Especially, I'm looking for more "pure mathematical" venues/journals which ...
xrq's user avatar
  • 1,175
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

Some good Theoretical Computer Science Journals

I have been doing some work in Theoretical Computer Science(especially related to algorithms), and I wanted the publish some of my findings. Can someone please suggest some good journals or ...
me_digvijay's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
471 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 ...
Tatiana Starikovskaya's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
4k 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?