Questions tagged [computer-science]

On standards or conventions specific to computer science as an academic discipline, and programs that lead to a degree in this field.

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163
votes
8answers
11k views

Why don't researchers publish failed experiments?

The following might be a slight generalization for all fields but something I've noticed especially in the field of Scientific Computing: Why don't people publish failures? I mean, if they tried some ...
160
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10answers
37k views

In a formal paper, should I censor “brainf**k”, the name of a programming language?

I'm working on a formal paper about programming languages. I am going to talk about two intentionally difficult languages, brainfuck and JSFuck. Should I leave the names as they are, or censor the ...
134
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10answers
12k views

Best-practice models for “research” code?

I have been a professional software developer for a number of years, I'm also an academic researcher - and my research has involved lots of software development. I sometimes feel as though my ...
126
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13answers
18k views

Is publishing runnable code instead of pseudo code shunned?

In Computer Science is it preferable to describe algorithms using pseudo code rather than real code? If so, why? I've talked to a few academics who think so but I can't understand why. Some of the ...
109
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9answers
27k views

“Dressing down” to impress in academic settings

I came across this highly-upvoted comment on reddit (15,300 karma) by /u/Semi-Hemi-Demigod The CEO of the company I work for said that it's not uncommon for programmers to be asked to dress down ...
91
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13answers
33k views

How to react to a student proselytising during office hours?

A few weeks ago, a student asked me during my office hours whether I was religious or not. More specifically, he asked whether I believed in his religion, and was visibly disappointed when I replied ...
85
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7answers
14k views

Someone plagiarised my entire paper. What should I do now?

I am a high school student who published some academic. Today, I saw a paper which looked quite similar to a paper that I published back in May. I was shocked to notice that the author of that paper ...
81
votes
6answers
18k views

How do some institutions attract so many female computer scientists?

It's no secret that computer science is a heavily male-dominated discipline. It's so male-dominated that some people have given up trying to attract more women. Yet Carnegie Mellon not only has close ...
69
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15answers
9k views

Why are academics not paid royalties on published research papers in IEEE, ACM etc.? [closed]

I understand that academics are not paid a single dime on their publications. In my field (computer science), IEEE, ACM, Springer, Elsevier are some known journals/publications and none of them pay ...
67
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10answers
20k views

I recently started my machine learning PhD and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing

I started my PhD a few months ago. Seriously, I don't know how I got accepted, but here I am. I am not a computer scientist, but come from a different STEM background. My knowledge in machine ...
67
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6answers
17k views

3 3-hour exams in a row with no time in between. What can I do?

I am currently studying computer science in a University in Canada. I have just received my Schedule for the semester, and I have noticed that, during the finals week, 3 of my 6 courses put their ...
63
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12answers
12k views

Reject a paper based on relevant but pointless research direction

Disclaimer: this is a hypothetical question, not (immediately) related to any concrete past, present or future reviewed paper. My context is the no man's land between Computer Science and Applied ...
62
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12answers
22k views

Why do Computer Science degrees contain a high proportion of mathematics?

About 17 years ago I attended a top 10 UK university to study for a degree in Computer Science. Mathematics had never been a particularly strong point for me. However I (just) had the required A-...
62
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16answers
13k views

Inadmissible theorems in research

One of my engineering friends told me how he once had to take a make-up calculus I exam due to being hospitalised and so self-studied a lot of the missed topics. For the make-up exam, he used L'...
62
votes
7answers
16k views

Is it okay to refuse a laptop from a new university if you already have your own personal laptop?

I got a postdoc position and I am moving to a new university. I was contacted by my new professor about choosing a laptop that the department would buy for me. The option they have is roughly the ...
61
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9answers
12k views

Academic code copied by library author

The papers I write contain all the source code required to reproduce results. I have written a series of papers that build on each other over the years. My intention has been to release an open-source ...
59
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4answers
7k views

Is improving a simple algorithm without beating the state of the art still publishable?

In a particular field there are two algorithms being used: Algorithm Simple: you understand it in five minutes, you can implement it in fifteen. Algorithm State of the Art (SOA): requires very ...
56
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it normal that a peer reviewer would ask for an executable file in order to check my results?

I have just received a decision letter for my submitted manuscript to an Elsevier journal. It was a revise and resubmit. However one of the reviewer asked for an executable file in order to check my ...
55
votes
6answers
26k views

Will I destroy my career if I published a paper with a serious mistake?

I'm an undergrad and kind of new to this whole research thing. I've been doing research for the past ~9 months as a requirement to graduate with my bachelor's (there's the research track and software ...
51
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10answers
12k views

Is paying someone to fix LaTeX issues in one's thesis ethical?

For my bachelor thesis in theoretical CS I paid someone to fix some weird LaTeX issues I had make some figures in LaTeX for which I provided exact (!) hand-drawn pictures adjust the document class/...
51
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11answers
14k views

How to handle a colleague who hasn't pulled their weight

I'm working on a project with a partner that involves developing a mobile app and corresponding server. I won't bother with the specifics, but both involve a fair amount of work (both require some ...
49
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10answers
144k views

After my PhD how much salary should I expect as a professor of computer science?

It's easy for me to find out salaries for tech-jobs but it seems Professor salaries are quite hush-hush. I really love to teach and would be more than willing to join academia. However, I may choose ...
49
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4answers
7k views

I wrote the code based on a paper's methodology; are there any legal problems with making it open source?

I coded the methodology based on the paper "Free Water Elimination and Mapping from Diffusion MRI" and I am curious if I am legally bound to take permission from the authors or the journal in making ...
48
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7answers
12k views

I have a strong suspicion and weak proof that the data in the paper are fake. What to do?

I reviewed a paper submitted for a smallish magazine. It presented an algorithm to perform some allocation task and compared its performance to that of several other algorithms from the literature ...
47
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7answers
6k views

What is the point of a PhD thesis whose content already exists in published papers?

In my area (computer science) it is standard to publish several papers during the course of your PhD and then only "write" your thesis in the last few months of graduate school --- often you only ...
44
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7answers
4k views

What can I do to get academic credit/recognition from my hobby project?

I've created an improved textual parsing algorithm, as a part of my hobby project. In comparison to existing ones, it provides better performance and memory efficiency. I haven't published my project ...
44
votes
10answers
7k views

Do you keep your study notes publicly available?

I am considering to create a wiki/blog for most of my study notes that I have made or taken digitally. Also, for the handwritten and rough ones I am thinking about storing them in my GitHub ...
44
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3answers
6k views

Not getting the prestigious papers

I work in a quite competitive sub-field of computer science. In computer science, we have the publication culture where people publish mostly in the proceedings of different conferences. As in other ...
43
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10answers
9k views

As a PhD student, how do I benefit from reviewing a book my adviser is writing?

My adviser is writing a book for a course in computer science he will be teaching next fall and I will be the teaching assistant for that course. He wants me to review the book and go through the ...
39
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5answers
11k views

Is it ok to show up to a conference without registering if I don't eat any meals?

I'm planning to attend a prestigious conference in computer science. The registration fees are very high (~150$ per day). I'm presenting as well, but on a co-located event directly after the main ...
39
votes
6answers
4k views

Is a faster implementation of an existing algorithm publishable?

So a paper exists, it was published 3 years ago and had a novel algorithm (more or less, it's in the area of finite-difference time-domain simulations). I've taken the algorithm and accelerated it ...
39
votes
2answers
10k views

Why are conference papers so important in computer science (CS)?

From my understanding many CS conferences are highly selective and the papers are peer-reviewed. The CS field also seems to publish traditional journal articles. I do not understand the difference ...
38
votes
7answers
6k views

Is it acceptable to ask for course notes ahead of time?

I am taking a course in Computer Science next semester (it is currently a vacation period for my university) and I would like to email my future lecturer and ask them for the set of course notes for ...
38
votes
5answers
6k views

What is a computer science conference, really?

I understand that in the field of computer science, publishing in a conference is the default, as opposed to other fields where it's normal to publish your research in a journal. But does the word ...
38
votes
9answers
15k views

Who cares about your PhD thesis?

I'm pursuing a Ph.D. in a computer science-related field (more particularly, in Artificial Intelligence). During my studies, I was involved in several projects, some of them got published in top-tier ...
35
votes
7answers
15k views

Do I have to cite common CS algorithms?

I'm working on my final thesis for a CS grade course and I want to use a common sorting algorithm (quicksort for the curious ones). Do I need to include a reference to this algorithm (cite or quote)? ...
35
votes
3answers
8k views

Is the new ACM 2012 taxonomy usable/in use?

I've wasted about an hour trying to figure out how I'm supposed to categorise an ACM article using the new 2012 taxonomy here, and how I'm supposed to represent those categories in my article. On the ...
33
votes
6answers
11k views

What would an inclusive curriculum look like in a computer science course?

There exists plenty of literature about how to be inclusive, both in the workplace and in the classroom. I'm wondering how this might be done intentionally — specifically in the context of a computer ...
33
votes
2answers
5k views

How to deal with my own sloppy research published when I was an undergrad?

I am a grad student in computer science. Having read many research papers and having worked with an adviser has made me much more aware about best practices concerning presentation and reporting of ...
30
votes
9answers
7k views

How to know I have done enough work in one semester?

I am a PhD student in computer science (theory). I am worried about my productivity. I try to do as much as possible. I used to take four courses per semester during my first two years of studying. ...
30
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4answers
1k views

How does one teach problem solving?

In teaching university level Computer Science, I find many students struggling because they lack basic problem solving skills. Having them do more practice problems does not help as they get stuck at ...
29
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6answers
6k views

How to tune algorithm performances in computer science papers

In computer science field is common to produce papers that present algorithms that estimate something with a certain accuracy and a certain speed. Many algorithms can clearly be tuned to have high ...
29
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8answers
8k views

Do postdocs still take courses?

I just saw an ad for a new Statistics course that will be offered this fall semester and it states: For postdoctoral, graduate, and advanced undergraduate students ... I am surprised and a little ...
29
votes
3answers
7k views

How often are results faked in computer science papers?

Especially in the the more experimental subfields of computer science like systems, how often are results faked? If there is no verification process for any code used, do researchers sometimes fake ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the status of conference publications in Computer Science really absolutely unique?

It has been discussed and explained many times that in (at least some subdisciplines of) Computer Science, conference publications have a special status compared to many other fields - where in other ...
28
votes
5answers
11k views

Master's institution forcing me to deposit $5000 immediately — what can I do if I accept?

I applied to CS masters programs in the US, and I have recently received an offer from a top-15 institution. The program is unfunded, and I want to wait for decisions from other programs I applied to,...
28
votes
7answers
15k views

Is an MS in computer science helpful in improving programming skills?

I attained my bachelors degree in computer engineering in January 2014. I was not a prolific programmer as an undergrad, instead focusing on my other coursework and in general completing my degree. ...
28
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a convention on how to write pseudocode in scientific papers?

I've found questions answering where or when to write pseudocode in scientific papers, but I haven't found any addressing any sort of convention for pseudocode, such as syntax, what type of symbols or ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I refuse a stipend during a PhD program?

I was admitted to a US PhD program (in computer science, if that matters) with fellowship + stipend. I am getting a separate stipend from my government (which is higher than the university stipend), ...
28
votes
3answers
6k views

Failing postdoc?

After a successful PhD in computer science (including some awards from top conferences, internship at top industry research labs, and a good number of citations to my ~15 papers) in a top-10 US school,...

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