Some background information: Found an error in a paper that I already presented at a student engineering conference; what should I do now?

I am inclined to talk about the paper because I was awarded the 2nd best paper. And although it isn't published (only printed in conference proceedings) and it was a student conference, I still made a big error.

  • You might add to this question to ask more generally, whether/how to include the paper and award in your CV, both for purposes of the MS application, and beyond to your future career. – ff524 Sep 18 '14 at 6:16
  • My thought (not an answer) is 1) you are learning, welcome to the community of scholars and 2) learning from mistakes is a strength not a weakness. The question you seem to be asking is "is my mistake a deal-breaker" when I think it should be "is the program the right fit for me" or "what does it take to be successful in the program". – EngrStudent Sep 18 '14 at 12:20
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    it isn't published (only printed in conference proceedings) — Printed in the conference proceedings is "published". – JeffE Nov 9 '14 at 0:33

Reading your background, it seems that everything about the work was correct except for a mistake in translating the algorithm from code to pseudocode. Moreover, you've done your best at correcting the mistake. Mistakes happen in science, and especially when it comes to the dread pseudocode (personally, that's why I always include actual executable code whenever I can).

From what you've presented, I think you have every reason to be proud of this work and none to be ashamed. Talk about the work in your applications. Talk about the paper. Talk about the experience in getting it corrected. Anybody who you'd actually want to work for will see all of these as strengths and not weaknesses.

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