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 ...
159
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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 ...
132
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10answers
11k 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 ...
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 ...
92
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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 ...
84
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7answers
13k views

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

I am a high school student who has worked on multiple (well, 4 to be exact) pure math and CS papers. All of them deal with fairly significant problems, so some of them have been published by now too. ...
81
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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
8k 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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6answers
16k 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 ...
66
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10answers
19k 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 ...
62
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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
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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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'...
61
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
60
votes
11answers
20k 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-...
59
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4answers
6k 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
13k 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 ...
53
votes
6answers
24k 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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11answers
13k 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
votes
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
votes
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 ...
48
votes
10answers
141k 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 ...
46
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7answers
5k 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
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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
votes
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 ...
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 ...
37
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
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
7k 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
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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
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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
votes
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
7answers
14k 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. ...
29
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
27
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there added value in having your own presentation layout and using it consistently?

From the perspective of a Ph.D. student, how much of an added value is it to have your own presentation slides layout, that is used consistently throughout your Ph.D. conference presentations and ...
27
votes
7answers
1k views

How much is submission acceptance to high-profile conferences influenced by internal politics?

I was speaking with several professors in my department about submission to high-profile conferences like CHI in human-computer interaction. Most of the professors were of the opinion that acceptance ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

Running out of Algebraic Symbols

I'm currently writing my thesis in computer science. My work contains a large amount of equations to do with linear algebra, data transformations and calculus. On receiving feedback on my first draft ...
27
votes
3answers
5k 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,...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Should conference papers in computer science contain full proofs, and should these be checked by reviewers?

I am a mathematician. In my subject, the normal means of disseminating research is to write it up with full and detailed proofs of the main results, which are then typically subjected to a rigourous ...
26
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. ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I signal that I don't intend to follow up the items in my “Future Work” section?

I'm currently writing a paper that is based on work that I won't be following up on, as I'm changing career directions. I believe that the work raises a number of questions and ideas for future work, ...
26
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the most likely cause of short, quick, and useless reviews? [closed]

My theoretical computer-science paper that I submitted to an Australian (i.e., located in Australia this year) B-level (according to http://portal.core.edu.au/conf-ranks) DBLP-listed computer-science ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are papers accepted even if they don't release code or data to allow reproducibility?

Recently, we had a lecture about Reproducible research on of the slides was: Reproducibility: start from the same samples/data, use the same methods, get the same results. Replicability: ...