My Tips to Graduate Students

Install Latex:

  1. For Windows, install MiKTex 2.7 from, and then install TeXnicCenter from
  2. For Linux, install TeXLive from
  3. For Mac, install TeXShop from

How to be a bad graduate student?

Dave Patterson in UC Berkeley has some talks about "How to have a bad career in research/academia" . Here is my version of "how to be a bad graduate student".

If you have the following symptoms, you have the working habits of a bad student (from Dr. Daniel Lemire).

  • cannot keep track of tasks assigned to you and be responsible for such tasks;
  • lies about what has been done and what hasn't been done;
  • repeatedly ignores some of your boss' phone calls or emails.

    If you meet one of the following criteria, you probably can't finish a decent thesis (from Dr. Bruce Spencer ).

    1. weak language skills (written and oral communication are weak with respect to technical topics -- even for many native speakers of English);
    2. not open to research culture (student does not make an effort to talk to others about research and does not come to colloquia or group meetings);
    3. unclear about objectives (supervisor does not portray the point of the research and how it fits in the big picture);
    4. laziness, inability or unwillingness to focus (student does not come to work regularly, or dissipates research energy when there);
    5. insufficient background (student does not have clear grasp of the essential elements of computer science and the required background for the research topic);
    6. no research spark (student does not possess an innate ability to innovate, especially necessary for PhD.).

  • My collections on advices on research and writing for computer science

  • Dr. David Patterson (U.C. Berkeley): "How to have a bad career in research/academia" (many presentations about research, paper and proejcts).
  • Dr. Mark Leone (CMU): Collected Advice on Research and Writing (many useful links).
  • Dr. Jim Patton (Northwest U): How to do a research project and write a good paper (one page to read).
  • My Collection of books on research and writing (for you to borrow)

  • Feibelman, P., A Ph.D. is not Enough!, Perseus Publishing (1993)
  • Frederland, A. and Folt, C., Writing Successful Science Proposals, Yale University Press (2000)
  • Day, R. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 5th edition, Oryx (1998)
  • Day, R. Scientific English: a Guide for Scientists and Other Professionals, 2nd edition, Oryx (1995)
  • Booth, V., Communicating in Science: Writing a scientific paper and speaking at scientific meetings, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press (1993)