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Scientific writing workshop Eric Weeks, Emory University

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1 Scientific writing workshop Eric Weeks, Emory University
Overall ideas writing introduction, conclusion, etc Writing an abstract Bibliography software (www.citeulike.org) How to get yourself to write

2 Basic ideas Start with figures Consider your audience Tell a story

3 Oh no! A big hole in science! Don’t worry, we fill this hole.
Parts of the paper Start with figures – it’s still good advice Introduction Explain background / prior work. Identify major unsolved problem. Then state that you solve it. what we know Oh no! A big hole in science! Don’t worry, we fill this hole. prior work other prior work

4 Parts of the paper Start with figures – it’s still good advice
Introduction Explain background / prior work. Identify major unsolved problem. Then state that you solve it. I like to include one pretty figure in introduction, examples on next slides

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7 Parts of the paper Introduction Methods: Need to be reproducible
Can put boring details online or in appendix Or, write a ‘methods’ paper Results: based on figures Results from one figure can suggest a question. Next figure answers question…. which leads to next question Conclusion: significance, summary. Most people write introduction, conclusions last

8 General advice “There are often details that are true and interesting, that nonetheless do not belong in your paper” – Harry Swinney Use simple language : “This is more germane to the critical aspects of building and sustaining traditional, and nurturing nascent, sub-programs within the department.” : “This is more relevant to sustaining our department’s current programs and building new ones.” Read other people’s papers. What did they do well? What did they do poorly? (What parts are confusing, for example?) Spell-check

9 Overall ideas writing introduction, conclusion, etc Writing an abstract Bibliography software (www.citeulike.org) How to get yourself to write

10 Writing an abstract We’re going to discuss this with a specific example You are going to work on an abstract for this example Would you like to hear about the example? Yes, you would.

11 You’re also going to think about titles, so this is not a title.
Ph.D. work of Dandan Chen, Emory University Emulsion: oil droplets in water, added soap

12 Emulsion pumped through chamber
Note! Chamber is thin, so droplets are flat. Like pizzas.

13 Chamber is a ‘hopper’ flow

14

15 Droplets rearrange: “T1 event”
Neighbor exchange: two apart, two together. ~1 mm t ~1s Time

16 Stress related to shape of droplet (“deformation” D)

17 Deformation fluctuates as sample flows (data from red-shaded region)
X0.033s t

18 Larger fluctuations = when more T1 events happen

19 Stress rises before T1 event, falls after
Bigger effect closer to T1 event distance to center of T1 event (center of 4 droplets)

20 Length scale  3 droplet diameters (from analysis of below data)
distance to center of T1 event (center of 4 droplets)

21 Your task: Skim paper Write a title for this paper
I suggest introduction, conclusions, figures Write a title for this paper Make list of five most important things to mention in abstract, about this paper specifically If time, write a good first sentence for abstract This is not a test of your internet skills 

22 Let’s discuss

23 Next slide has answer for the title

24 “Topological rearrangements and stress fluctuations in quasi-two-dimensional hopper flow of emulsions” Not my best title But paper did get published

25 Next slide has answer for abstract

26 We experimentally study the shear flow of oil-in-water emulsion droplets in a thin sample chamber with a hopper shape. In this thin chamber, the droplets are quasi-2D in shape. The sample is at an area fraction above jamming and forced to flow with a constant flux rate. Stresses applied to a droplet from its neighbors deform the droplet outline, and this deformation is quantified to provide an ad hoc measure of the stress. As the sample flows through the hopper we see large fluctuations of the stress, similar in character to what has been seen in other flows of complex fluids. Periods of time with large decreases in stress are correlated with bursts of elementary rearrangement events (‘‘T1 events’’ where four droplets rearrange). More specifically, we see a local relationship between these observations: a T1 event decreases the inter-droplet forces up to 3 droplet diameters away from the event. This directly connects microscopic structural changes to macroscopic fluctuations, and confirms theoretical pictures of local rearrangements influencing nearby regions. These local rearrangements are an important means of reducing and redistributing stresses within a flowing material.

27 Overall ideas writing introduction, conclusion, etc Writing an abstract Bibliography software (www.citeulike.org) How to get yourself to write

28 Overall ideas writing introduction, conclusion, etc Writing an abstract Bibliography software (www.citeulike.org) How to get yourself to write Let’s look at this website Others exist (Mendeley is popular)

29 Overall ideas writing introduction, conclusion, etc Writing an abstract Bibliography software (www.citeulike.org) How to get yourself to write

30 Strategies for getting it done
Editing/revising easier than writing from scratch How much outline to do? How to get work done How to get feedback


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