Presentation on theme: "Interdisciplinary Research: Opportunities and Challenges"— Presentation transcript:
1 Interdisciplinary Research: Opportunities and Challenges Anne CondonThe Department of Computer ScienceU. British ColumbiaNancy AmatoDepartment of Computer Science and EngineeringTexas A&M University
2 What I’ll talk about why consider interdisciplinary research how to do great interdisciplinary researchhow to make sure you'll get a rewarding job when you graduate
3 Why interdisciplinary research? great ideas often transcend boundariescomputer science providesnew ways of thinking about, and seeing our worldnew technologies that are fundamentally changing our world in ways we barely understandthere are incredible opportunities!
4 What are the opportunities? you canwork on important problemswork on problems you care aboutdevelop broad perspective and skillshave great collaborationssee relevance of your workenrich our discipline
5 Interdisciplinary research is broad! you have a big problem you want to solve, and want to learn enough from different disciplines to solve your problemyou have core expertise, and collaborate with people who have complementary expertise
6 Interdisciplinary research is broad! your field/topic is novel and unexplored but "marginal"your field/topic is "hot" with a vibrant research community
7 Interdisciplinary research is broad! you are forging a path on your ownyou are part of a large, well-positioned research group
8 Interdisciplinary research is broad! this your main projectthis is a side project
9 Example: Anne’s experiences programming a tactile braille device for deaf- blind peoplecomplexity theory (game theory), a little parallel computingverification of cache coherence protocols, DNA computingverification cont., DNA, RNA secondary structure predictionDNA, RNA prediction and programming; combinatorial auctions
10 Example: Nancy’s Experiences In Grad School:Parallel algorithms for computational geometrySince then:Computational ScienceDesigning parallel algorithms and data structures for particle transport, seismic ray tracing, etc.Simulating Molecular MotionsOutgrowth of work on motion planning, originally applied in robotics (apply same algorithm to bio problems)
12 “Colwell told the meeting that she had major difficulties over 20 years getting funding. But, now that the success of her project was accepted, “I’ve gone from being a pariah to being a guru.”“Her hypothesis [on cholera epidemics] was at first scorned. But it is now the basis of a global project involving space scientists, oceanographers, molecular biologists, social scientists, physicians, and high speed computing scientists.”
13 How to do great interdisciplinary research pick a good problemline up the resources you needlearn how to work with a teamknow where to publishmake an impact and get recognition!learn how to navigate institutional barriersmanage negative feedback
14 How to do great interdisciplinary research pick a good problemkeep your eye on the big picture: read, listen and share ideasknow your own strengths and interestsidentify a piece where you can make progressit’s all about the datadon’t be afraid to “dive in”
15 How to do great interdisciplinary research line up the resources you needpeople, expertisebackground knowledge, through coursesyour thesis committeeequipmentdatafundingStudent can be the catalyst, can find profs in another field to work with
16 How to do great interdisciplinary research learn how to work with a teamidentify your roles in the project; expect to have both “secondary” and “primary” roleslearn the jargonhelp your team and document your contributions (e.g., organize the journal club; maintain a webpage)have a back-up plan in case the team falls apart
17 How to do great interdisciplinary research know where to publishfocus on quality!assess journal quality (journal impact factors)learn practices around listing authorslearn how to craft your writing for the audiencebe aware of differences in publication strategies: highly refereed CS conferences vs journals in other disciplines
18 How to do great interdisciplinary research make an impact and get recognition!make your software and data availablehave different versions of your talk, for different audiencestake advantage of opportunities to talk with the media
19 How to do great interdisciplinary research learn how to navigate institutional barrierscan you take the courses you need?do your advisor and committee know how to evaluate interdisciplinary research?
20 How to do great interdisciplinary research manage negative feedbackreviewers miss the point of your work
21 How to do great interdisciplinary research pick a good problemline up the resources you needlearn how to work with a teamknow where to publishmake an impact and get recognition!learn how to navigate institutional barriersmanage negative feedback
22 Getting that job (or postdoc).... do an environmental scanwho has recently graduated with a profile like yours?how do you fit with job ads?if you are looking for an academic job, will it be in CS? in an interdisciplinary unit? a joint appointment?cultivate supporters and letter writers from multiple disciplines; educate them about your contributionsbe visible in your research communityarticulate why your contributions are importantTODO: add more info on measures of impact.suggest people go to faculty recruiting talks, to learn how facultyare evaluated.