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40 votes
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How to find interesting research problems

I strongly disagree with the "find a list of open problems" approach. Usually open problems are quite hard to make progress on, and I'm thoroughly unconvinced that good research is done by tackling ...
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40 votes

Is it sometimes better to not publish at all?

I was just referred to this question by graduate students that, in my opinion, were far too influenced by the answers. So let me start with two generic advises. To the aspiring scientist: Don't ...
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24 votes

Importance of single author papers?

In some fields (like e.g. Economics and Mathematics) single authored papers -are- a good thing to have when you go on the job market. In theoretical computer science, collaboration is much more common,...
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21 votes

Algorithms Careers

A friend of mine works on the combinatorics of Sturmian words, and did so for years. A Sturmian word is typically obtained from a straight line drawn on a lattice: whenever the line crosses an ...
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14 votes

What are theoretical computer science jobs?

I have a CS Theory background and work in industry doing research at a consulting firm. We get hired by people who want to use various types of computer models and don't have the expertise to create ...
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11 votes

Algorithms Careers

It really depends on what you mean with "higher algorithms". I work in game development, and we use graph theory, linear and nonlinear optimization, computational geometry, dynamic ...
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8 votes

How to find interesting research problems

David Hilbert is a renowned mathematician. He put forth a list of 23 unsolved problems at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900. I just want to quote part of Yuri Manin ...
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6 votes

Algorithms Careers

There are plenty of places that need algorithmic research in practical applications. Just to give you some examples: My current company makes a specialised machine learning supercomputer. Most of our ...
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  • 161
6 votes

Algorithms Careers

In my experience (a few decades of "business" style IT, having studied CS myself) there were very few occasions where we actually programmed "interesting" algorithms, and a ...
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  • 189
6 votes

Where can you find job postings for faculty positions in CS theory?

There is also cstheory-jobs.org, which in principle seems like a great clearinghouse for CS Theory jobs, but appears to be underutilized. Job posters, advertise here!
6 votes

Is education for research-based CS at odds with that of industrial CS?

I struggled with the same question while pursuing my undergrad in CS. I performed a fair amount of research, but currently work as a software engineer. I can tell you that for the most part, you won't ...
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  • 161
5 votes

General question about pursuing TCS

If TCS is something you enjoy, and you want to pursue a PhD, I wouldn't let the fear of failure stop you. You can also mitigate some of the risk by enrolling in a program that awards you a Master's ...
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5 votes
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Which are the best universities for a DPhil/PhD in proof theory and automated reasoning?

I'm aware of at least two perfect places. Paris and suburbs. You might want to check websites of David Baelde/Gilles Dowek (ENS Paris-Saclay), Delia Kesner (IRIF), Dale Miller (INRIA Saclay). Vienna....
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4 votes

What math courses should I revisit to prepare for a CS Ph.D. (Reinforcement learning and Game Theory)?

Know linear algebra well, say, at the level of Peter Lax' book (start with the first 9 chapters). Also, some basic real analysis and probability theory should be a good place to start.
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  • 301
4 votes

Advice on undergraduate research

Here is a tweet thread by Prof. Vijay about research for undergraduate students. Also, you can apply for a summer research internship in Europe. INRIA France, contact individual groups if they have ...
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4 votes

Graduate school for CS theory?

In many places (certainly most of USA and Canada) a master's is not required before a PhD. There it is fine, and probably recommended, to just apply directly to PhD programs from undergrad. I am not ...
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  • 7,090
3 votes

Why would a TCS researcher need funding?

As a young professor, I wondered the same thing! The short answer is that the ability to secure funding is more or less a requirement for promotion and tenure. This may not seem fair at first (it didn'...
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  • 10.1k
1 vote

How to find interesting research problems

this is ultimately a subjective and personal question and "over the long run" what problems are considered important to some degree go in and out of scientific fashion, but there can be some rough ...
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  • 10.8k
1 vote
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Which areas of TCS are better for a math bachelor?

It had been argued that Theoretical Computer Science is a branch of mathematics, so it seems to me that any answer to this question would necessarily be primarily opinion-based. That said, in your ...
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