September 08, 2004

Reading Research Papers

It's nice when I get the chance to sit down and read a research paper. It's even nicer when it's well written. Some research papers seem to be written with dense technical detail and very little in the way of explanation or examples. I'm not sure whether the writers aren't trying to help the reader understand the paper, or whether they feel it looks more impressive if measured in symbols per inch. Sometimes I wonder... Anyway the paper I read the other day was a pleasant exception. It was well written, the explanations were explanatory, and I managed to read it through to the the end whilst still understanding what was going on, rather than getting lost about halfway through like I usually do. The paper presented some interesting results, a very tempting conjecture, and I really felt like I'd learnt something valuable. Would that all my research papers could be like that!


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