I am considering pursuing a PhD in computer science one day.
I guess specializing in (is that the way to put it)?
What I want to focus my research efforts on. I am interested in:
- Manned/unmanned space exploration (writing guidance/navigation systems for the next Mars rover, etc).
- Finding cures for diseases (folding @ home).
- Computer models of climate change, as I am very much a person that thinks "Global Warming is real and needs to be dealt with yesterday".
But this questions isn't "what should I do research in" but more of "how can I decide what I should do research in."
I know a lot of people will counter with "if you don't know what you want to research then you shouldn't be considering getting a PhD", but I don't believe in that line of reasoning. I want to do research and to be involved with something that expands the boundaries of Computer Sciences as we know it. Just because I am not exactly sure what avenue I should go down in doing so, doesn't in any way change how much I know that I do want to do it.
So where do I start with figuring out my specialization?
What are my theoretical options?
Where can I see if "getting my PhD to write software to guide probes to Jupiter" is even a viable option?
Must I choose a area that is currently being researched at the university I attend, or am I free to come up with my own?
Can/should I be reading recently released papers on Computer Science topics for some inspiration, and if so where do I go to find those?