Advice for Grad Students

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. - Gilbert K. Chesterton

Below are a few collected pieces of advice on computer graphics, grad school, research, and other matters of great import, that I may update occasionally.

Greg Turk maintains a nice summary of what areas of mathematics are important for computer graphics. (Spoiler: Lots of them.)

Some thoughtful advice on how to choose a graduate advisor can be found in the article "How to Pick a Graduate Advisor", by Ben A. Barres.

Jim Kajiya wrote a classic piece called How to get your SIGGRAPH paper rejected. A bit dated now (no one sends their SIGGRAPH videos by FedEx anymore!), but some of the underlying ideas remain relevant.

Waterloo's own Keshav offers some useful advice on How To Read A Paper.

For links to the latest graphics papers and related resources, check out Ke-Sen Huang's very handy site. For physics-based animation papers, check out my own physics-based animation blog.

There are many sources for tips on how to give great talks. I like much of what Jonathan Shewchuk has to say. Matt Might likes the book Even A Geek Can Speak despite the slightly mean-spirited title.

Speaking of Matt Might, he maintains an extensive blog with lots of useful advice for students of computer science.

Terry Tao's blog has some helpful career advice as well, with a focus on math.

Richard Hamming gave a talk outlining his thoughts on research success, entitled "You and Your Research" (HTML transcription, YouTube video). As with any advice, you can take aspects of it with a grain of salt, but there's plenty of interesting insights in there.

Simon Peyton-Jones gives some advice on how to write a great research paper (slides, talk). (Favourite line: "Your goal: to infect the mind of your reader with your idea, like a virus.")

Some common technical writing errors to avoid, courtesy of John Owens (link), Henning Schulzrinne (link), and from computer graphics, Wojciech Jarosz.