Friday, May 30, 2008

From paper-writing to contribution to life-talks ...

I believe the most important parts of a technical paper are the Introduction and Conclusions sections. In the Introduction, the motivation for the problem has to be presented in such a way so that it looks utterly compelling - the reviewer should ask himself or herself, "how were we leading our lives without this research in the past?" This is the degree to which we need to convince people with our research - this makes a real contribution!

The conclusions section is the other end of the pole. One of the basic ingredients of good research is to be able to acknowledge one's own short-comings (note: is it not true for life as well - being able to identify our own mistakes and short-comings?). Therefore pointing out open issues in your model / framework / experiments in the Conclusions section is of utmost importance.

One of the primary reasons I took to research was because I wanted to contribute something to the world holistically. It is an endeavor which attempts to make our lives better! As I read in one of the papers today about the impact of social networks research:
"Social network analysis is useful for the development and self-optimization of the society as a whole."

The paper was published in the renowned scientific journal Nature and therein comes its wide dimensions of contributions!

Indeed, this is the kind of contribution I want my thesis to make to the world! Trust me, paper-writing comes with a lot of insights into oneself - not only the thesis topic, but life as a whole. After all, as someone once said (when I was starting off my PhD), "research is similar to being in love, a relationship, a very serious one, a relationship that needs time, effort and commitment: commitment for the lifetime..."

I guess it is true and I will make sure there is no dearth of commitment anytime; a personal trait I have always cherished in myself; commitment to whatever I am serious about. Probably not everything has worked out positively even after this, but I am truthful to myself: that I tried to the best of my efforts ... :)

And yes, if you think I am totally brain-washed about research or commitments in life, then you are right, I am :)


2 comments:

Alok said...

Well said - "research is similar to being in love, a relationship, a very serious one, a relationship that needs time, effort and commitment: commitment for the lifetime..."

Somehow, I am always seeing our life is closely linked with the work we do …or I can say it inspires every other corners of this life. It's not so difficult to understand that … the way we think, the way we look at things and the way we take up things are all different threads of the same piece of cloth … what I want to be … and what I am is all about the passions, the dreams, the efforts and what not … they all sum up at one place; the commitment we bring up to ourselves - that we are fighters.

Munmun said...

@ Alok
Yeah :) well explained ! We indeed are the fighters :)