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Ph.D. in Computer Science: A Perspective. One Day Workshop: July 2, 2010 Computer Science and Automation Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. 1. VTU PhD Workshop. The Ph.D. Process: Part 1 Thesis Production.

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slide1

Ph.D. in Computer Science: A Perspective

One Day Workshop: July 2, 2010

Computer Science and Automation

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

1

VTU PhD Workshop

slide2

The Ph.D. Process: Part 1 Thesis Production

“PhD in Computer Science: A Perspective”

One Day Workshop: July 2, 2010

Y. NARAHARI

Computer Science and Automation

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

2

VTU PhD Workshop

the phd process
The PhD Process

Part II

Externals

(JH)

REAL WORLD

RESEARCHCOMMUNITY

INSTITUTION

ADVISOR

Part I

Internals(YN)

THESIS

slide4

OUTLINE

What is Research? ; Basic Vs Applied Research

What is PhD? ; PhD in Computer Science

Examples of PhD Problems

Ingredients of a Good PhD Program

Writing a Ph.D. Thesis

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide5

Inspiration: Richard Hamming

  • Pioneering contributions in coding, information theory,
  • Automatic Programming
  • Talk entitled “You and Your Research” on March 7, 1986:
  • Bell Communications Research Colloquium Series
  • Question: Why do so few scientists make significant contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?

ACM TURING AWARD 1968

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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What is Research?

Carving statues out of stones in a creative way

Systematic investigation to establish facts or

discover new facts

Scientific investigation intended to

extend the limits of human knowledge

6

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide7

Richard Hamming’s View

Luck favours a prepared mind

Knowing/asking right questions is the first step

in knowing the answers

If you believe too much, you will not notice the flaws

If you doubt too much, you won’t get started -

You need a lovely balance

Courage to continue working is important

7

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide8

Basic vs Applied Research

Source: Google Images

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide9

What is Ph.D.?

Rigorous investigation into an

important, non-trivial problem,

leading to a new methodology,

novel algorithms, or a significant tool

9

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide10

Ph.D. in Computer Science

CS has a wide appeal cutting across disciplines;

Offers wide scope for inter-disciplinary research

Exciting new areas: machine learning,

computational biology, computational economics,

cyber-physical systems, etc.

There is equal scope for basic research,

applied research, use-inspired basic research

10

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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PhD Problems: Example 1

Design of optimal auctions

for heterogeneous objects

Motivating Problems

Sponsored Search Auctions,

Procurement Auctions, Spectrum Auctions

Intellectual Challenge

Optimal auction available only for single unit of

single object – difficult to generalize

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VTU PhD Workshop

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Motivating Problem: Sponsored Search Auction

Advertisers

CPC

12

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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EXTENSION OF MYERSON’S AUCTION

Myerson Auction

1 Seller, Multiple Buyers,

Single Indivisible Item

Revenue Maximization

subject to BIC and IIR

Extension 1: Sponsored Search Auctions

1 seller, multiple buyers, multiple items (positions)

Extension 2: Multi-unit Procurement Auctions

1 buyer, multiple sellers, multiple units, discounts

Extension 3: Optimal Combinatorial Auctions

Spectrum auctions

13

VTU PhD Workshop

slide14

WBB

SBB

AE

EPE

dAGVA

BIC

IR

CBOPT

DSIC

GROVES

SSAOPT

VDOPT

MYERSON

MECHANISM

DESIGN SPACE

14

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide15

Ph.D. Problems: Example 2 Social Network Analysis: A Game Theoretic Approach

Social Network Analysis is an important current problem

with numerous applications and desperately in need of

efficient algorithms

Idea: Use game theory to model social networks

Challenge: Social networks could be huge in size

Problem 1: Influence Maximization in Social Networks

(Cooperative Game Theory – Shapley Value)

Problem 2: Discovering Communities in Social Networks

(Non-cooperative game theory – Nash equilibrium)

Problem 3: Predicting Topologies of Social Networks

(Uses both cooperative and non-cooperative game theories)

15

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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Characteristics of a Good Ph.D. Problem

Should be an important, relevant,

contemporary problem

Should address a significant research gap

Should be non-trivial, non-incremental, deep,

intellectually challenging

Should be a feasible and tractable problem:

should take polynomial time

16

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide17

Ingredients of a Good PhD Program: Research Training Program

Strong Background is an essential ingredient

of the PhD process

RTP involves picking up this background in a

rigorous way

6 to 8 courses would be ideal. Mathematical and

analytical courses are especially important

Good textbooks are ideal companions

17

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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Ingredients of a Good PhD Program: Reviewing the State-of-the-Art

Involves reading relevant

papers very carefully

This leads to identifying research gaps and

identifying a good research problem

This will help identify important, currently active,

currently relevant problems

Internet and the web play an important role in this

18

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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Ingredients of a Good PhD Program: Awareness of the Current Art and Positioning of Work

Awareness of the Journals and Conferences

in the area

Awareness of leading research groups,

research papers, researchers in the area

Awareness of research gaps and open problems

Clarity of how the proposed work can be positioned

with respect to the current art

19

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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Ingredients of a Good PhD Program: Abstraction, Analytical Modeling

Mathematical abstractions lead to

precision and rigour in research

Top quality Ph.D. theses are invariably founded on

solid mathematical abstractions and concepts

20

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide21

Ingredients of a Good PhD Program: Sound Experimentation

Design of experiments is very important

Each graph that is drawn must have a specific

purpose and plan

Insights from the experimental results must be

brought out very clearly

Simulation based studies must be accompanied by

confidence interval estimation, etc.

21

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide22

Ph.D. Thesis

Chapter 1: Background, Motivating Problems,

Research Gap, Importance and Relevance,

Contributions, and Thesis Outline

Chapter 2 typically should contain all

preliminaries

Chapters 3, 4, 5, etc. are the contributory chapters

Results, Conclusions, Summary, Future Work

Bibliography

22

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide23

An Example of a Ph.D. Thesis:Social Network Analysis: A Game Theoretic Approach

Chapter 1: Social Network Analysis,

Motivating Examples, High Level Review, Case for

Game Theoretic Approach, Contributions, outline

Chapter 2: Social Networks, Social Network Analysis,

Relevant Game Theory

Chapter 3: Influence Maximization in Social Networks

Chapter 4: Discovering Communities in Social Networks

Chapter 5: Predicting Topologies of Social Networks

Chapter 6: Summary and Future Work

Chapter 7: Bibliography

23

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide24

Key Success Factors for a PhD Program

Work on important problems

Try to find connections between seemingly

unrelated problems

Commitment, deep involvement, good planning

Work hard, continuously, and persevere

Don’t depend on luck; be creative

Breadth and depth are both important

24

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

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Challenges

Wading through and keeping track of

the ocean of literature

Identifying a good problem; rising above mediocrity;

going beyond a safety zone

Striking a balance: between depth and breadth;

between basic and applied

Doing justice to the teaching requirements

and family; time management

Planning, Passion, Perseverance,

Patience, Perfection, are the key

25

VTU Ph.D. Workshop

slide26

Questions and Answers …

Thank You …

26

VTU PhD Workshop

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Qualities of a Good Researcher

Motivation, Aptitude, Passion

Creativity and Originality

Rigour, Grasp, Perseverance, Eye for detail,

Breadth as well as Depth

Strong Background

Curiosity and Spirit of Enquiry

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VTU Ph.D. Workshop