Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Following Research

Sometimes one follows research in an immersive way: you know all the results and techniques in an area, follow new conf submissions as an expert referee and may even be the gatekeeper for that area. You can be immersive in only a few areas. Other times one follows research from the sidelines: you go to talks, read abstracts, be aware of open problems in the area. You can be such an voyeur in many areas. Finally, and this is my favorite, some times I follow an area from far to the left field. I grab a few hours, and do a quick review of recent conferences and catch up, or pick a single-authored paper (they are often written with a lot of care) and follow one technical result to the extent I can reproduce the proofs. Recently, I browsed through WOSN to figure out what social network data analysis problems are of interest now, and have begun reading Mikkel Thorup's SODA09 paper on string hashing for linear probing.

ps: Claire Mathieu did a few tweaks to the SODA conference (the printed program had abstracts and proceedings finally in CD), and they really worked.



Anonymous Claire Mathieu said...

Thanks Muthu, but most of the credit goes to David Johnson and to SIAM for the proceedings on CD and for deciding to have short abstracts.

11:52 AM  

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