Research Advice

What is Research? How is it Different from Classroom Learning?

If you want to succeed in research, you need to first understand how success is defined. Research is very, very, very different from classroom courses. You can throw away everything strategy that has made you successful in classroom. Many students are used to classroom learning and the success is measured by submitting homework and answering exam questions. These are usually quite well-defined questions with “correct” answers. What is learned in a classroom may be knowledge discovered decades or even centuries ago. Research, by the very definition, is to create new things: new concepts, new theory, new algorithms, new software, new data, new interpretation… It must be new. It is new to the entire history of humans, not new to you. If it is new to you but some other people already know, it is not new and it is not research.

Because research must create something new, you need to take a completely different set of metrics to define success. First, you absolutely must communicate with others (your teammates, advisers, other researchers). Nobody else knows what you are doing because you are creating something new. Many students are used to the pattern: go to class, take notes, submit homework, answer exam questions. It is possible to get A+ in many classes without saying a word to anyone (and many students say nothing for the entire semester). However, this will not work at all. You must explain what you are doing. Second, you must be doing something unique and nobody else is doing exactly the same thing (because you are a unique person). As a result, you must not assume that others know what you are doing. Instead, you have to explain the problems to them before you jump into your solutions. Also, do not assume that they remember what you have told them. Other people are solving their research problems. You have to remind them what you said before.

Success in research is definted exclusively by what new things you produce. Success is not defined by how much time you spend, how many papers you read, how many books you read, how much you learn, or even how much you enjoy the time with your teammates.

Advice about Doing Research

Here is a collection about my advice about doing research. You are welcome to share the information with anyone. Many parts are personal opinions and it is certainly possible that my opinions are different from yours. Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

If you have experience making video, you surely know the amount of effort needed. Recording narration can take a lot of time. To save my time, the voice of the video is generated by a computer program I purchased. I appreciate your understanding. Yung-Hsiang Lu

How To Do Research

Topic

Video

Slides

Script

What is Research

video

pptx

docx

Notebook

video

pptx

docx

Communication

video

pptx

docx

Style and Strength

video

pptx

docx

Take Ownership

video

pptx

docx

Linux and C Programming

Topic

Video

Slides

Script

Linux 1

video

pptx

docx

Linux 2

video

pptx

docx

C Programming 1

video

pptx

docx