A blog by Rob J Hyndman 

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Posts Tagged ‘supervision’:

What not to say in a job interview

Published on 12 August 2014

I’ve inter­viewed a few peo­ple for jobs at Monash Uni­ver­sity, and there’s always some­one who comes out with some­thing sur­pris­ing. Here are some real examples.

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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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Looking after your supervisor

Published on 25 March 2011

Some good advice here: The care and main­te­nance of your adviser.

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Advice to PhD applicants

Published on 3 November 2010

For stu­dents who are inter­ested in doing a PhD at Monash under my super­vi­sion. First, read the instruc­tions on how to apply. Sec­ond, poke around my web­site to see the sorts of top­ics I work on. There’s no point ask­ing to do a PhD with me if you want to do research on some­thing I don’t know much about. In par­tic­u­lar, please note that I’m not really inter­ested in finance or eco­nom­ics. There are some excel­lent researchers at Monash on both top­ics, but I’m not one of them. If you’re still inter­ested, here is what I nor­mally expect. You should have a strong back­ground in sta­tis­tics or econo­met­rics (at least hon­ours or Mas­ters level) along with some math­e­mat­ics and com­put­ing. It is essen­tial that you have stud­ied some matrix alge­bra, mul­ti­vari­ate cal­cu­lus and opti­miza­tion. You should be capa­ble of pro­gram­ming with a high level lan­guage such as R or Mat­lab; if you can write in C as well, even bet­ter. Stu­dents who strug­gle either find they don’t know enough math­e­mat­ics (or didn’t pay atten­tion when they learned it), or they don’t know enough com­put­ing. I don’t expect stu­dents to be whiz pro­gram­mers, but I do expect them to know about for loops, if state­ments, local vari­ables and func­tions, and I assume they have some idea about non­lin­ear


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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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Research supervision workshop

Published on 26 August 2009

Today I gave a work­shop for super­vi­sors of post­grad­u­ate stu­dents. Mostly I talked about cre­at­ing a team envi­ron­ment for post­grad­u­ate stu­dents rather than the tra­di­tional model (at least in sta­tis­tics and econo­met­rics) of each stu­dent work­ing in iso­la­tion. The slides are avail­able here in pre­sen­ta­tion form or in hand­out form. Actu­ally, these are an edited ver­sion of the slides as I acci­den­tally left out a cou­ple of the phở­tographs in the work­shop, and I’ve omit­ted slides that I didn’t end up cov­er­ing in the work­shop. An impor­tant part of my research group is this blog. So if you haven’t been here before, please take a look around. For those peo­ple who attended, feel free to add com­ments below if you would like to pro­vide feed­back on the workshop.

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Supervision award

Published on 19 August 2008

Last night I received the Vice-Chancellor’s post­grad­u­ate super­vi­sion award at a func­tion at Gov­ern­ment House. I am deeply hon­oured that my stu­dents thought to nom­i­nate me for the award.  I think I was as sur­prised as any­one to win, and some peo­ple have asked me what I did to deserve it. Actu­ally, I’m not sure that I did deserve it, but I can tell you what I told the award com­mit­tee who chose me. I was asked to write a doc­u­ment explain­ing my approach to super­vi­sion. My stu­dents and col­leagues also had to con­tribute com­ments, which are not repro­duced here. This is what I wrote …

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