A blog by Rob J Hyndman 

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Posts Tagged ‘progress’:

Establishing priority

Published on 6 May 2013

The nature of research is that other peo­ple are prob­a­bly work­ing on sim­i­lar ideas to you, and it is pos­si­ble that some­one will beat you to pub­lish­ing them.

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Blogs about research

Published on 9 August 2012

If you find this blog help­ful (or even if you don’t but you’re inter­ested in blogs on research issues and tools), there are a few other blogs about doing research that you might find use­ful. Here are a few that I read. Pat­ter — Pat Thom­son. The The­sis Whis­perer — Inger Mew­burn. The Research Whis­perer – sev­eral RMIT researchers. the (research) supervisor’s friend — Geof Hill. My Research Rants – Jordi Cabot. The Three Month The­sis – James Hay­ton. prof­se­ri­ous – Anthony Finkel­stein. Aca­d­e­mic Life — Mar­i­aluisa Aliotta. Help for New Pro­fes­sors — Faye Hicks. The Art of Sci­en­tific Writ­ing – Faye Hicks. Explo­rations of style– Rachael Cay­ley. shar­manedit — Anna Shar­man. Grad­Hacker – writ­ers from sev­eral uni­ver­si­ties. PhD Life – War­wick Uni stu­dents. PhD Comics — essen­tial read­ing for every PhD stu­dent, and good ther­apy. I’ve cre­ated a bun­dle so you can sub­scribe to all of these in one go. Of course, there are lots of sta­tis­tics blogs as well, and blogs about other research dis­ci­plines. The ones above are those that con­cen­trate on generic research issues.

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Hamming on research

Published on 10 December 2010

Richard Ham­ming was an excel­lent math­e­mati­cian who worked at the inter­face of math­e­mat­ics and com­puter sci­ence. In 1986 he gave a won­der­ful talk enti­tled You and Your Research. Derek Smith on the AMS Grad­u­ate Stu­dent blog reminded me of it today. If you haven’t read it pre­vi­ously, stop work imme­di­ately and read it now.

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How to fail a PhD

Published on 2 September 2010

I read an inter­est­ing post today by Matt Might on “10 rea­sons PhD stu­dents fail”, and I thought it might be help­ful to reflect on some of the bar­ri­ers to PhD com­ple­tion that I’ve seen. Matt’s ideas are not all rel­e­vant to Aus­tralian PhDs, so I have come up with my own list below.  Here are the seven steps to fail­ure. 1. Wait for your super­vi­sor to tell you what to do A good super­vi­sor will not tell you what to do. PhD stu­dents are not meant to be research assis­tants, and a PhD is not an extended under­grad­u­ate assign­ment. So wait­ing to be told what to do next will usu­ally get you nowhere. By the time you grad­u­ate with a PhD, you are sup­posed to be an inde­pen­dent researcher. That means hav­ing your own ideas, set­ting your own research direc­tions, and choos­ing what to do your­self. In prac­tice, your super­vi­sor will usu­ally need to tell you what to do for the first year, but even­tu­ally you need to set the research agenda your­self. By the third year you should cer­tainly know more about your topic than your super­vi­sor, and so are in a bet­ter posi­tion to know what to do next. 2. Wait for inspi­ra­tion Sit­ting around


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The 7 secrets of highly successful PhD students

Published on 28 September 2009

It seems every­one has 7 secrets to suc­cess, and now some­one has hopped on the 7-​​​​secrets band­wagon with some­thing for PhD stu­dents. Thinkwell is an Aus­tralian com­pany offer­ing a sem­i­nar and asso­ci­ated work book on “The 7 secrets of highly suc­cess­ful PhD stu­dents”. I bought the book out of curios­ity, but “book” is a gross exag­ger­a­tion — only eleven pages of fairly sim­plis­tic advice. I hope the sem­i­nar has more sub­stance. For what it’s worth, here are the so-​​​​called seven secrets. Care and main­te­nance of your super­vi­sor. Write and show as you go. Be real­is­tic. Say no to dis­trac­tions. It’s a job. Get help. You can do it. If you can work out what is meant from those head­ings, you’re doing bet­ter than me. After read­ing the “book”, I think a bet­ter sum­mary would be as fol­lows. Meet reg­u­larly with your super­vi­sor. Write up your research ideas as you go. Have real­is­tic research goals. Beware of dis­trac­tions and other com­mit­ments. Set reg­u­lar hours and take hol­i­days. Make full use of the avail­able help. Per­se­vere. Noth­ing too sur­pris­ing there. Per­haps it should have been called “Seven obvi­ous things PhD stu­dents should already know”. If I haven’t put you all off, one of the authors is pre­sent­ing the sem­i­nar at Monash in a cou­ple of weeks. The


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