From the Trenches | Ideas | CBC Radio edit / delete

"PhD students spend years hunting for answers to the world's unanswered questions. They usually toil away in obscurity.... until now! Producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic shine a light on these emerging thinkers and their work." What a great idea for a radio programme!

to cbc phd radio research ... on 06 April

Student Teacher Ratings: Males Are Brilliant, Females Are Bossy! edit / delete

"While many feel that students can reliably rate the quality of their teachers and that they should have a strong voice in things such as tenure, there are many studies that suggest that such ratings to evaluate teacher quality are NOT the way to go." A review of publications in this area over the last few years.

to rating research survey teaching ... on 06 April

How to write a scientific abstract in six easy steps | Serendipity edit / delete

"The first sentence of an abstract should clearly introduce the topic of the paper so that readers can relate it to other work they are familiar with. However, an analysis of abstracts across a range of fields show that few follow this advice, nor do they take the opportunity to summarize previous work in their second sentence. A central issue is the lack of structure in standard advice on abstract writing, so most authors don’t realize the third sentence should point out the deficiencies of this existing research. To solve this problem, we describe a technique that structures the entire abstract around a set of six sentences, each of which has a specific role, so that by the end of the first four sentences you have introduced the idea fully. This structure then allows you to use the fifth sentence to elaborate a little on the research, explain how it works, and talk about the various ways that you have applied it, for example to teach generations of new graduate students how to write clearly. This technique is helpful because it clarifies your thinking and leads to a final sentence that summarizes why your research matters."

to abstract academia honours research writing ... on 11 October 2016

What's worked in computer science edit / delete

Looking back at Lampson's conclusions.

to cs history research risc security strategy ... on 28 February 2016

Static vs. dynamic languages: a literature review edit / delete

Metastudy of the effectiveness of static typing. Well worth reading. "The summary of the summary is that most studies find very small effects, if any. However, the studies probably don’t cover contexts you’re actually interested in"

to language-design research software-engineering type-systems ... on 28 February 2016

Alcoholics Anonymous: Much More Than You Wanted To Know | Slate Star Codex edit / delete

"The studies surrounding Alcoholics Anonymous are some of the most convoluted, hilariously screwed-up research I have ever seen. They go wrong in ways I didn’t even realize research could go wrong before." Worth reading for this bit alone, but there is a serious (and pretty interesting) point here.

to academia experimental-design research science ... on 23 March 2015

Copy, Shake, and Paste: Homebrew Collusion Detection edit / delete

Scanning for plagiarism (or, rather, repeated text, which I guess would also catch things like university boilerplate as well) in a large corpus of theses.

to academia plagiarism research teaching text ... on 13 March 2015

The people behind research software edit / delete

"The people behind research software - Research Software Engineers (RSEs) - lack recognition and reward for the incredible contribution they make to research. The RSE Community have come together to raise awareness of this issue, to campaign for change, and to share knowledge and collaborate to improve research software."

to research software-engineering ... on 03 October 2014

Academic urban legends edit / delete

"Many of the messages presented in respectable scientific publications are, in fact, based on various forms of rumors. [...] To illustrate this phenomenon, I draw upon a remarkable case in which a decimal point error appears to have misled millions into believing that spinach is a good nutritional source of iron." It's more complicated than it sounds. Recommended reading for students who wonder why we complain about inadequate references -- and for seasoned researchers who may well have exactly the same problems...

to academia ag0700 citation nutrition referencing research spinach writing ... on 24 August 2014

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