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Tips for Grad School

colleague forwarded me a nice blog post by an MIT PhD student on grad school advice.

It is a great list… except exercise is missing from it, as well as timeboxing.

zotero 1.5beta released today

zotero_logo1Managing citations well can save you loads of time. I do this with Zotero. It is free for everyone, open source, and always getting better. It has a great community of users including one who created a very useful python script to rename PDF files.

A new version came out today, which allows you to backup your precious database to their servers for free, and follow other researchers (akin to twitter). If you want to see my library, request to follow me. In the mean time, check out the main developers library.

One of my favorite things about zotero is that is standards compliant. It makes use of the COinS standard. More on this later. Good descriptions on what else is new, here and here.

What citation manager do you use? Use Zotero? Give a shout out…

Gmail goes offline

gmailInstead of having multiple email accounts, I have everything forwarded to gmail where I have it rigorously sorted through hundereds of filters and labels. I am currently using 5432 MB or 74% of my alloted space. 

I must have been snoozing because offline gmail came out a few weeks ago and I missed it. This should be extremely useful. There has even been a new release already.

Many people are unaware that you can add dots to your gmail adddress. Instead of putting [email protected] I could put [email protected], and it would still get to me. I can give online stores my [email protected] address, and then filter out those messages if I wish.

Requirements Engineering Design Model

Designing software and websites is not at all like designing a building or city planning. This model is quite useful to help understand the process. I found this preparing for class.

[caption id="attachment_69" align="aligncenter" width="475" caption="Requirements Engineering Design Model"]Requirements Engineering Design Model[/caption]

Here is a summary of the model from the article:

Summary: Requirements engineering is an iterative exercise; often, the purpose of going through the exercise is to define the problem itself, and in the process, refine requirements. That is, an initially fuzzy requirement gets clarified through discussion, leading to other, more specific requirements. While the model has been motivated by requirements engineering, its components are generic enough to be applicable across various phases of the life cycle.

The model is from Ramesh and Dhar 1992
, based on the IBIS model by Kunz and Rittel. References below.

Kunz, W., & Rittel, H. W. J. (1970). Issues as Elements of Information Systems. Institute of Urban & Regional Development, University of California.

Ramesh, B., & Dhar, V. (1992). Supporting systems development by capturing deliberations during requirements engineering. Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, 18(6), 498-510. doi: 10.1109/32.142872.

Three Paper Dissertation Format

The time is soon approaching when I will be writing and defending a dissertation proposal. I have usually liked the idea writing three smaller papers rather than one large monography of comparable size. Today I found a great comment on the AOM OCIS Student Blog which describes some great benefits of the three paper format.