About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dissertation Boot Camp

There was an dissertation boot camp at RPI during the last weekend. I participated in it in desperate hope. It was the best training session ever. The camp was informative and also motivational. I learned timed writing, writing skills and how to use writing support tools. Four faculties instructed 14 students for two whole days during weekend. I should have taken this program earlier; They just started it this year.

Useful Tools:
  • Free Mind: It is a mind mapping tool. It has diverse functions. You should use it instead squible on a piece of paper.
  • Zotero: It is a reference management software. There are bunch more functions, such as note taking. It works with Firefox or Netscape as a plug-in. At MS Word, you can cite while you type if you install plug-in for Word. If you hav not known it, you should give it a shot. I strongly recommend it. Plug-in for Open Office is here.
  • Evernote: It is a note collecting tool. I found that Zotero also takes note as it does. Personally I prefer to use Zotero. But it has a nice function to save user's data on-line.
  • OpenOffice: I was not a big fan of Open Office V.2. But version 3 is totally different. I found V.3 is very powerful in typing formula in document. Open Office can generate PDF file and even LaTeX file with. I can convert its document to MS word format, too. I think I will not go back to MS Word.
  • LaTeX: I need this for math presentations and dissertation formating. Equation editor at MS words is too bad... What I will do is that first I do my word processing at Open Office, then convert Open document to LaTeX file. I can do final touch with LaTeX. If you are a RPI student, you can get LaTeX at RPI help desk.
What I found at the boot camp homepage. I found this funny:


Junior professors, midcareer faculty members, and even the most seasoned of academics sometimes need help with managing at least one aspect of their careers. Here are a few signs of when you might need to give a faculty coach a call:

* You're mired in a departmental battle.
* You can only work under deadline pressure.
* You've allowed teaching and service work to take up all of your time.
* You're a chronic procrastinator.
* You start papers but never finish them.
* You're baffled by putting together a promotion and tenure portfolio.
* You can't find time to do research.
* You avoid writing at all costs.
* You're not clear on the expectations for tenure.
* You need help maintaining momentum.

SOURCE: Successful Academic, The Academic Ladder, Success in Academe
How many of them describe you? In my case, um... 6 out of 10. Rest 4 are the cases of assistant professors. Deadline pressure, that's what I like...