Mario Valle Web

Moving to academia

In February 2003 I moved from a commercial company (Advanced Visual Systems) to a more academic workplace (Swiss National Supercomputing Centre) where I continued working in the same field: scientific visualization.

I have found the following documents useful to understand this new environment and to produce documents and talks in line with my new job.

Research

The research notebook

How to write

If you try a web search, it returns a huge list of “how to write a scientific paper” documents. Some of them are content or structure oriented and some others are style oriented. Here I list only three of them that I have found more interesting, unusual and useful. Instead for the “How to…” section I have found really helpful advice from conference and journals referees, i.e. the users of my writing.

How to present

Well, I have a long history of talks and lessons, so this list is quite short.

Adding some points from my experience:

Networking and personal marketing

Conferences and workshops

Be a referee

The peer review of scientific manuscripts is a cornerstone of modern science. So being a referee for a journal or conference is one of the jobs that sooner or later you should do in academia.

A quick search lands you on various guidelines and suggestions on how to serve the community as a referee. For example here is a 1990 advice [PDF] by Alan Jay Smith on how to review a paper and another one on Ethics of Peer Review: A Guide for Manuscript Reviewers [PDF] written by Sara Rockwell of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Moreover every conference put out useful guidelines about the referee work. For example: Ethics of the Technical Papers Review Process from the SIGGRAPH conference.

And my short experience as a referee:

But it is not only a burdensome job. When you review a paper you are in contact with the most advanced research in your field, you are “forced” to read and understand in depth new works and you become known in your field as an expert.

Late addition: I have found two interesting papers on the referee work: How NOT to Review a Paper: The tools and techniques of the adversarial reviewer[PDF] and the more serious The Task of the Referee[PDF] again by Alan Jay Smith.

General working habits