im a 2nd year Computer Science student, and I wanted to start doing research.

Im looking for a topic to research on, or more specifically i want to know how researchers do the following:

  1. Find a research question they can answer
  2. Manage to actually solve that question

Do they try to research in more than one area and see where they can do progress? or are they focused on some specific question? If so, then how would you know you can actually solve it?

In addition, where can I find inspiration for research topics?

And just general information on me: im an 18 years old student, and i do my CS degree through a special program. Last year, i have done a project with 4 of my friends (under supervision of the program director). In the project, me and my friends took a (20 years old) paper, and wanted to improve and implement the ideas shown in it. Honestly - It was really fun to try and think up new ways to improve it (and we did!), and since then I really have wanted to write a research paper of my own - but i have no idea how to get started

  • 3
    Interesting question, but do you have an advisor/mentor?
    – GoodDeeds
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:35
  • You may want to edit the question to remove personal info like the name of the director. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:41
  • Im doing this out of my own curiosity, so there is not mentor or advisor currently helping me out in this. But i think that if i will find a research topic i might be able to ask my program director to advise me (like he did with our group last year)
    – nir shahar
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:43
  • Yes. Thank you!
    – nir shahar
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


There are a few ways to go about it and you have already found a good one. Take an existing paper and study it. Try to determine what it doesn't say that could be extended. Of course you need to look around to see if others have already published whatever ideas you come up with. Maybe the intersection of a couple of related papers.

Another way, for a beginner, is to have a guide. In graduate study you normally have an experienced advisor who should be more adept at coming up with problems for students to work on.

The third is also hinted in your question. Find a group of like-minded people and work together with them. This "circle of collaborators" is a powerful technique.

Eventually you get more experienced and are able to follow up leads from your own past work. Maybe now you are ready to be an advisor.

  • Thanks for the help! I will make sure to keep that in mind
    – nir shahar
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:45

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