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In 1976, the Four Colour Theorem was the first theorem to be proved by computer.
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have been published thanks to the Folding@Home project, which efficiently uses distributed computing to further scientific research in protein folding.
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Student Contests
ACM runs a number of competitions exclusively open to students. These contests typically involve some form of prize, but more importantly offer an opportunity to gain recognition for your skills— along with having fun! The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is a teambased competition that focuses on students’ skills at solving challenging programming problems. Spread across 2,000 universities and 80 countries, the contest tests creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building software programs. The ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) includes both undergrad and graduate students. The competition is structured in three rounds. Entrants are judged in terms of the presenter’s knowledge of his/her research area, contribution of the research, and the quality of the oral and visual presentation. Grand final winners are invited to the annual ACM Awards Banquet. For more details on the Student Research Competition see http:// src.acm.org/, for more information on the ACMICPC see http://icpc.baylor. edu/welcome.icpc. ——Daniel Gooch
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How to Review CS Papers
Never distribute among colleagues or friends. 4. Act as a neutral observer. Remember the goal is to review the work presented in the paper, not its author(s). Imagine yourself as a judge in a courtroom and the case you are observing is “the paper.” Listen to both sides of arguments (i.e. strengths and weaknesses), validate the claims (and the evidence) and never make a decision in a hurry. Your review should be a comprehensive feedback report if the decision is negative (i.e. rejections, and major revisions).
5. Ask yourself tough questions. Is this pa-

very young computer scientist has to read many scientific papers, assigned or otherwise, throughout his or her career. As such you will be better equipped to understand concepts, processes, and algorithms and improve the quality of your writing in your area of expertise. As the emphasis on publishing papers is increasing in academia, so is demand for reviewing material. Although you won’t usually get brownie points for reviewing, you will get praise for volunteering. The review process is normally more relaxed for conferences than journals. Here are some easy tips to help you get started:
1. Skim and read.

The basic concept of the peer-review process is to give honest and intellectual criticism. Although it depends on the paper (full/short/ poster/workshops) and the venue for which you are reviewing, mastering the reading technique called “skimming” helps a lot. The idea is to speed read but with care. 2. Meet the deadlines. Meeting the review deadlines for conferences and journals are important as it can affect the entire publication process. Normally, conferences will give you one month to review two or three short articles; journals will give slightly more for one longer article (5–6 weeks). 3. Advice about your advice. Your review should always be honest, polite, respectable, focused on potential improvements, and succinctly communicate the paper’s strengths and weaknesses. Papers under review are regarded as highly confidential.

per worth reading? In which field does the paper advance? Can the experiments conducted be reused? A re t he resea rch questions interesting enough? Is there any potential in investigating such-andsuch approach/technique/methods? What are the methodologies used? Are they valid enough? How does this paper answer relevant questions on preexisting scientific literature? What is the significance of the results? Does this paper merit publication? Furthermore, good reviews should always help the author(s) advance their own career and field of inquiry. One last thing, don’t forget to put that you have volunteered for a conference or journal in your CV. Happy reviewing! ——Santosh Kalwar
Biography Santosh Kalwar is a doctoral student at the Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland working on human-computer interaction. He holds an M.S. in information technology from Lappeenranta University of Technology and a B.E. in computer science and engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore, India.

XRDS • spring 2013 • Vol.19 • No.3