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I am going to be a senior undergraduate and am looking to really find the area of research that I would like to be engaged in during graduate-school/senior year. I have submitted one conference paper as a collaborating author (currently waiting for the reviewers) in the area of Social Network Analysis (mathematical modeling) and am currently working on a conference paper in Graph Algorithms.

As you might guess, I am double majoring in Math and Computer Science and would like to pursue a graduate degree in applied math. So far (I haven't taken all the undergrad courses yet!) I have enjoyed Algorithms, Real Analysis, Graph Theory and Differential Equations. In the future I am curious to learn more about Stochastic Modeling, Mathematical Logic, Artificial Intelligence, Complex Analysis, Fractals and Abstract Algebra.

  1. Where can I find current research journals about both the topics I have enjoyed and the topics I am curious to learn more about?
  2. Do any journals have mobile apps (IOS, Android, or Windows) in which they can be viewed?
  3. Where can I find unbiased information about the quality and related-data about journals?

EDIT: Do any journals "stream" (RSS feed) to GNU Emacs? or is there any type of package manager that will automatically download the latest publications? For example, I just found this "package/program" available in GNU Emacs. It is a list of AI publications from MIT up until 2005 (why would they stop then?)

Thanks for all the help! I am at least looking for a copy of a physical journal so I can take my eyes off the computer for a little bit! :)

  • Yes, many journals have RSS streams and/or can send you an e-mail on all new issues. Just look on their home pages. – Federico Poloni Jun 18 '13 at 6:42
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    For most of the computer science topics, you'd be better off ignoring journals entirely and focusing on conferences. – JeffE Jun 18 '13 at 10:11
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    You can use Google Scholar to set up "alerts" that send you periodic digests of recently published papers. – cartonn Jun 21 '13 at 19:18
  • Some answers from this one: mathoverflow.net/questions/38119/… are a related to this question. – Piotr Migdal Jun 21 '13 at 20:08
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    @seteropere: That is a long story that deserves its own question. – JeffE Jun 22 '13 at 11:33
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@willwest has answered regarding CS. I will answer regarding math.

I would start with the journals of the AMS (pure math) and of SIAM (applied math). These are the pre-eminent professional societies in their fields and virtually all of their journals are top tier. In particular, you might start by browsing the Journal of the AMS and the SIAM Review, the most selective journals from each society.

The journal that a paper gets published in is becoming less and less important, since most researchers find articles through search engines or social media rather than by browsing journals. The best way to keep up with new research in a particular subfield of math or CS is to subscribe to the appropriate arXiv RSS feed; for instance, for numerical analysis this is http://arxiv.org/rss/math.NA. This is how I usually learn about relevant new research.

Note that few mathematical conferences have proceedings, and none that I know of are considered prestigious (in CS, the situation is roughly the opposite). If you want to know which journals are the most highly regarded, talk to faculty in the field.

Journal articles are PDFs, so you can view them with any mobile app that understands PDFs. If you want to read a hard copy, either print the paper or go to your campus library.

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    The problem with the arXiv feed is that if you don't know anything about the field, you can't separate the good stuff from the junk. As an undergraduate who isn't that knowledgeable about a subfield, I'd suggest you look in one of the pre-eminent journals for that subfield. There are usually a small number of these (I'd guess between one and five). How do you identify these? The most accurate way is to ask a mathematician who is familiar with the subfield, but googling (say) "Journal ranking numerical analysis" also seems to work pretty well. – Peter Shor Jun 22 '13 at 14:15
  • @PeterShor: filtering out the junk isn't that hard (and, in my experience, just as necessary a skill when you read journals). One conservative way is to search for people cited in textbooks and explore their writings. Recursively build your "Web of trust" as you read their papers, and papers of others they cite. (I mean cite in a significant way, not as a bad example.) Sure, you'll miss the fresh blood and the hidden gems at first, but eventually you'll come to them too, and as an undergrad you shouldn't aim for 100% coverage of the field anyway. – darij grinberg Nov 23 '16 at 11:06
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I would agree that you should mostly be ignoring journals and focusing on conferences, as they publish the majority of new computer science research.

Microsoft Academic Search is a good place to go to get an approximate listing of the top conferences for each sub-field of computer science. Other fields other than Computer Science are listed there too.

Use your school's network to access the ACM Digital Library (this should be free through your school's library), and download the proceedings for the conferences in the past year or two. Find the papers that look interesting to you and then search for them on Google Scholar. You can print them out if you prefer hard copies.

Hope this helps!

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    No discussion of mathematics-based material would be complete without mentioning arXiv. – aeismail Jun 21 '13 at 9:42
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    Don't assume that all CS conferences are available in, or even indexed by, the ACM Digital Library. See, for example: FOCS, SODA, CCC, COLT, VLDB, USENIX, ICALP, WAFR, ICRA, CVPR, ... – JeffE Jun 22 '13 at 22:29
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Let me put in a vote for Mathematical Reviews (online version). They're a few months behind the actual publication of the article, but someone who knows the field is giving you a two-paragraph (plus-or-minus) synopsis. Even low-quality papers get reviewed, and the authors-should-have-read-X comments of the reviewer are well worth it.

Your department can arrange a login for you. For that matter, just go join the American Mathematical Society; dues for grad students are trivial.

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